We recently hit the road after a long time home (thanks COVID and 2020!). It was our first time traveling as a family of three and the first time going away with the twins in beds (as opposed to cribs!).
Let’s just say it – traveling with kids is hard. I wish this post was going to outline a recipe for a magic potion that made traveling with kids easy. Maybe something that they could drink to ensure no hotel room damage, high-pitched highway screams, messy parking lot diaper changes ….BUT alas I cannot provide that information for you. (I do promise to keep working on it though.)
One thing I can do, is share a list of items we took on our most recent road trips to ensure that our kids slept comfortably. Because well rested, happy kids WILL help cut down on the amount of chaos you juggle on your trip. It’s not a magic potion but it’s close :).
- Portable, Inflatable Bed Rails – Since the twins are now in toddler beds (a change that happened this summer!) we had to adjust to using sleep sofas and twin beds on the road. To help make sure they stayed put overnight I bought these portable, inflatable bed rails which did the trick. They were easy to blow up (there is a pump included but I didn’t need to use it…strong lungs!) and stayed put all night under the bottom sheet.
- White Noise Machine – Our kids have all slept with white noise since day one, so we always take it on the road with us. But even if it’s not a “normal” for you at home it’s a good idea to take it on the road. If you’re staying in a hotel or in a house with family there is bound to be more noise then they are used to and the noise machine will help drown it all out. We especially like our “Big Red Rooster” noise machine (I don’t know why it’s called that!) because it can run on batteries or a plug. The battery option has saved us so many times (just make sure you actually pack the batteries!) when there hasn’t been a convenient outlet available.
- Cabinet Lock – Okay, not a sleep item, but it DOES help with the general stress level….I also always pack a cabinet lock or two. If you’re traveling to a rental or family home, there’s a good chance it is not baby proofed. You won’t be able to seal everything, but having at least one or two locks will ensure your little one stays safe from the under-sink cleaning supplies in the kitchen or bathroom.
- Toddler Sleeping Bag – Going to rentals or a hotel you never really know what the blanket, duvet, sheet situation is going to be like. Packing sleeping bags helps eliminate some of the guess work. It’s not necessary in my opinion but it’s something I’m glad we have. Plus in a pinch they could sleep on the floor or a room if you’re visiting good friends or cousins.
- Pack n Play Mattress – Pack n Plays are one of the things that make me feel bad for babies. Would you like to sleep on a piece of cardboard with a measly bit of padding? No? Me either. That’s why I got Baby H a Pack n Play mattress. It sounds annoying to pack but it’s not. It’s 3 inches thick so it goes at the bottom of the car before we put our stuff in (as in everything goes on top of it), then I put a sheet over it (which I also pack! They’re hard to find but Aden + Anais makes nice ones) before bedtime. He tosses and turns a lot less!
- Nightlight – I always through a nightlight or two in our bags when we travel since L&H do not sleep in pitch black at home. It’s a lot easier then propping doors or keeping the bathroom light on all night.
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