This winter was the first time we have ever travelled with my daughter for over 1 hour in the car. Lots of preparation was required when planning travel for a baby. We had originally planned to use a cargo carrier to carry all her knick-knacks to make her stay at the hotel comfortable, but unfortunately, we found out that the roof rack on the SUV did not fit the cargo carrier size. Hence, we had to make some last minute decisions and changes.
Luckily, a week prior while I was imagining placing my daughter in the playpen to sleep at night in an unfamiliar place, I began having nightmares of her waking every hour on the hour and wanting to be comforted by my husband and me; which, would leave me staying awake the entire night holding her while I try to encourage some much needed sleep. Yes, that was a waking nightmare, and it had a potential to become a reality.
To avoid such a challenging situation, I decided to look for co-sleepers. You may wonder : “your last post talked about no co-sleeping in the bed, what could you possibly be thinking, you hypocrite.” Well, as all physicians may say, it’s never all-or-nothing. Sometimes, as a parent, you must assess the situation and if temporarily a riskier change is needed where the benefit exceeds the risk, then perhaps, it’s ok to do so. I would encourage discussing this with your physician if such a case arises.
Finding a co-sleeper bassinet was extremely difficult because my baby was already 8 months old and on the bigger end of the average scale for height and weight. With great trepidation, I decided to purchase the Brica Fold ‘n Go Bassinet which barely fit her but, fortunately worked like a charm. It folded flat so we were able to store it in a crevice in the car to make room for the luggage for 4 adults and 1 baby. On a King Size bed in the hotel, I put it in between my husband and me above the comforters which left us enough room for comfortable sleep, and the sturdy sides prevented us from rolling on top of her. We were very surprised that she actually slept comfortably in it, although she needed to adjust herself a little bit, but remained able to sleep through the night, despite all the craziness in her schedule.
Which brings me to the next part of this topic: keeping the routine. As you may know, when you travel or go to any family reunion type thing, the activities tend to be late night, and when you have a sleeper who’s night-time schedule usually starts around 6:30pm, it can get hairy. Although the schedule was thrown off, we tried very hard to continue her usual bedtime routime to signal to her, it’s night-sleep time, and to allow her the naps she is used to during the days, even though sometimes, it requires holding her during her entire nap session, which is much shorter than usual. Also, keeping her feeding schedule on target (except for the last one; we usually give a bottle right before bed as part of her night routine) usually keeps her on track. Although there were nights we were unable to start her night routine until 11pm or midnight, she miraculously made it through the 4 days of change and went right back to normal when we got home in 1 day or so. This really builds confidence for our next outing if this occurs.
Perhaps next time, we’ll venture out on a plane, and I’ll make sure I keep you posted, especially if we run into time changes and even more challenging schedules.