So the holidays are here, you’re traveling with your family, and you’re biting your nails, worrying about all the What If’s. What if the baby doesn’t sleep on the plane? What if her naps get screwed up? What if my mother-in-law judges me for (fill in the blank)? If you’re traveling time zones, add the what-if-she-wakes-at-3am worry to your list. Your worries are endless, and they’ll make you crazy if you let them. But you have a choice here. Do you want to spend your holiday worrying about things you can’t control? Could you possibly put all your worries aside, and decide to, God forbid….Go With the Flow?
If you’re anything like me, it’s really hard to let go of control. But family travel is just one of those times when you will simply have more fun if you do. After years of trying to micromanage time zones and naps, I finally learned what I now know: There’s no point. You can’t control if your baby cries on the plane any more than you can control judgmental jabs from your mother-in-law. So let your hair down. Don’t worry when or where your baby naps. Let the baby stay up late so you can stay for that last drink. Or you can go crazy and let your toddler sleep with you in the hotel bed. And seriously, who cares if he cries on the plane? You’ll deal. Yes, if you’ve already got good sleepers, sleep may come unraveled and be a mess when you get home. But so what? You can get back on track when you’re back in your routine. Pinky promise. I see this every day in my work helping families sleep. Getting back on track is easy-peasy, once your baby knows how to sleep. This is my secret to (fun!) family travel, and my deepest wish for you.
So go off on your holiday trips with joy and give yourself permission to get loosey-goosey about sleep. Pass the baby around. Stay up late, let your baby sleep wherever, and deal with the consequences tomorrow, or next week. After all, you only live once, and every happy moment matters.