Sooner or later, your baby will have to sleep away from home, whether it’s at your sister’s or in daycare. Learn how to ease the transition
Your sweetie naps so nicely at home — why can’t he do the same at your mother-in-law’s house? “Switching cribs can be hard the first few times because babies really crave sameness and routine,” says Judith Owens, M.D., coauthor of Take Charge of Your Child’s Sleep. “But it’s important to encourage some flexibility.” Here’s how to ease the transition:
Keep it simple
Days before you head out, check if your baby’s pre-sleep routine needs streamlining. It should be short and sweet, and others should be able to duplicate it. Tots who are always nursed to sleep or rocked in a special chair will have a harder time with a crib switch than those with a no-fuss tuck-in. Try out your new version before you travel. If you usually handle bedtime, have your husband take over, or vice versa.
Do a practice run
If you’re planning to bring along a portable crib, set it up at home a few days in advance. Use it when you put him down for naps so he can get accustomed to it. Work up to having him sleep in it at night.
Make the new familiar
Once you’ve decamped, a favorite tune or frequently heard story will remind him of home and may help to settle him down.
Block the view
“Some babies who sleep alone at home may cry to be picked up if they see Mom and Dad in the room with them,” explains Dr. Owens. One solution may be to position the crib so that part of it is behind an open closet door.