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the crib sheet

we went on vacation and forgot to pack sleep

Brooke Nalle

Fireworks, in multiple locations, multiple nights in a row?  A pack and play that is safe but super uncomfortable?  Naps on the go for your crib sleeper?  Does your family think letting your baby cry is the worst thing in the world?  Or does your family think you don't let your baby cry enough?

Sound familiar?

Here are some tips to save (what's left) of your vacation or to help you get your next vacation a little more vacation-like:

1. If your child is refusing, really refusing to nap with you, i.e. screeching in the pack and play while you deal with the awkward silence from your relatives or freaked out fellow guests, take him out, change his diaper, feed him, calm him down, reset his buttons, and try again about 45 minutes later.  This time sit quiety in the room where he can see you and shush/sing quiety, reassuringly.

2. Make use of an experienced friend or relative - I recently had the pleasure of helping my sister in law with my nephew's naptime.  It really was a pleasure for me (crazy, right?), and she was able to get a break.  As soon as her son realized he was getting my loving arms, not hers, he decided that maybe a nap was a good idea after all.  The same applies for bedtime.

3.  Give your baby as many safe reminders of home as possible - same white noise, same lovey, same book.  Give it 3 nights, and bedtime should get better, naps too.

4.  Either sit by the door or near the crib, reassure your baby in this new environment, you can then progress to just outside the door or check-ins every now and then.

5. Check out local babysitting services.  We recently attended a wedding on Block Island, and I was really impressed with the babysitters available to help us.  They were very experienced and happily took on our routines and sleep expectations.