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How To Help Your Baby Sleep When Travelling

Posted by: Andrew on August 30, 2012 | 6 Comments

If you’re like me, becoming a parent has made you need a vacation more than ever, but now that you have a baby, just the thought of packing all that extra stuff and travelling with a little one is enough to make you not want to ever leave the house ever again in your life. Although I can’t help you get out of taking all the extra stuff that goes along with travelling with a baby, I do have some good ideas to help your baby sleep well even while travelling:

  1. White Noise:
    When away from home, every thump, thud, and new sound is likely to wake your little one, who is probably already tired but nervous about being in a new place. A great solution to this is to play a PEDIASLEEP white noise MP3 Download or CD at night and nap-time to help drown out the many new, strange noises that your baby is likely to hear when sleeping in a different place than home. Plus, white noise is naturally soothing to babies because it reminds them of sounds that they heard in utero, before they were born, so it’s also great to use at home too!
  2. Black out their sleeping room:
    One of the best ways to help your baby sleep well when travelling is to help them sleep in a darkened room. After all, there’s nothing worse than having a tired, cranky baby, but having a bright room for them to sleep in - and no way to make it dark. A really easy way to darken any room at any time of day or night is to bring along a blanket or two that is thick enough to cover up the windows if the existing blinds or curtains won’t keep the outside light from coming in. Another way, if you’re driving, is to take along several large cardboard boxes folded flat, that can be put in front of windows to keep out the light.

    I can attest to this last idea myself. On a recent vacation to the beach, my daughter was waking up every morning at the crack of dawn - or around 4:30 in the morning. However, once we put up a few empty boxes over the windows, she slept great and I was able to actually enjoy a sleep that was long enough to be rejuvenating.
  3. Bring along the smell and feel of home:
    It doesn’t take any space at all to throw a crib sheet that your baby has slept on into your suitcase, but its familiar smell and feel may be just what your baby needs to sleep without trouble. If you really want to go all out, you could even bring along their familiar crib bumpers or other accessories like this to help smooth the transition.

These are all great ways to help your baby sleep better when travelling in unfamiliar settings. So, give them a try and hopefully your next vacation with your baby will be relaxing and enjoyable for everyone!

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab

About the Author:

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab is a father, web developer, and one of the founding members of Pediasleep, a leader in the production of white noise and other soothing sounds to aid the healthy sleep of infants, cosleepers, and parents. Having successfully survived his daughter and son's early sleep problems with the help of white noise, he is also an expert on infant sleep problems and their solutions.

Pediasleep can be found online at


Picture of Amie

I have done this exact thing when travelling to grandparents houses and it really works.  I just take the crib sheet with me, usually, and since my baby has been sleeping on it for the week, it smells like home.  It’s amazing how simple things like this can help your baby feel settled in a new place.

I also think that bringing along my Pediasleep MP3s and portable speakers helps because when my baby wakes in the middle of the night, they hear the familiar sound and smell familiar smells, and feel their own crib sheet… and she just rolls over and goes back to sleep.  Usually, anyways!


Picture of Andrew

That’s a smart idea, Amie, to bring the MP3s along with portable speakers when you travel.  I’m sure that helps your baby sleep better when you’re travelling.  What I do, is actually have a little plastic bin packed with portable speakers and an extension cord.  Then all I need to do is grab my MP3 player and it, when I travel and my baby has all the sounds of home, even when we’re away from home.


Picture of Penny

Thanks for all the tips here! The only thing I am missing is how to play the MP3 whilst on the plane/walking etc. If only newborns could get away with headphones hehe


Picture of Andrew

Hi Penny,

Ha ha… yes, it would be nice if there were headphones for infants that would be comfortable and safe!  :-)

I think while out walking around, you could try playing from a small portable speaker like those that are on many mobile phones, or just recognize that when you’re out walking, your baby probably doesn’t need white noise as much as when you put them down to sleep in their crib or cot. 

One bit of good news about airplanes, the sound from the plane itself can be excellent white noise… However, it still doesn’t help babies who struggle with ear pain caused by the pressure change when the plane descends for a landing. :-(

Thanks again for your comments.  I’m glad you like the tips and the site!  Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.


Picture of Penny

Thanks Andrew,

I have your Hair Dryer playing as we speak for a little 5 week old who cannot settle herself in the evenings. She is sleeping like a baby !!


Your MP3’s have saved our lives a billion times <3 Thank you!


Picture of Andrew

Great to hear it, Penny.  Thanks for letting us know!  I’m glad that our products have been so helpful to you!  Best of luck as your little one grows…  :-)

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