6 tips to surviving your first spring break with baby

6 tips to surviving your first spring break with baby

It’s not Cancun 2009, but you can still have a blast with your baby on spring break thanks to these simple tips.
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Remember the wild spring break adventures of your youth? Neither do we. Well, get ready for a different kind of excitement this year as you embark on your first spring break getaway with your little one in tow. While it may not involve beach parties and all-nighters, traveling with your baby can be just as thrilling – and let's face it, a lot cuter. 

From mastering the art of travel times to creating the right sleeping environment for your baby, we've got the tips and tricks to make this spring break one for the books (unlike that trip to Cabo). So leave the tube top at home, grab your diaper bag and get ready for a spring break adventure like no other..

1. Mimic The Nursery

According to Dr. Natalie Barnett, pediatric sleep expert and vice president of clinical research at Nanit, the first thing you’re going to want to do is recreate your home environment on vacation. That includes a dark room, full sized crib (or pack and play) and a white noise machine. “Those three things will make traveling that much easier,” says Natalie. Put some garbage bags on the window, take your Nanit Sound + Light and Pro Camera and basically just set up your home environment as best you can.” 

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    Fortunately, our Flex Stand is the perfect take-anywhere add-on to your Nanit arsenal that allows you 130 degrees of room monitoring with on-the-go ease - whether you’re halfway across the world or at your mother’s house. Throw it all together in our Travel Pack, which includes the Flex Stand, power adaptor and Pro Camera. Our Traveling Light Case is the ultimate travel bag solution that securely protects the Pro Camera, Sound + Light, and Flex Stand. 

    FYI, since your privacy and security is of the utmost importance  our pro-cameras are not compatible with public hotel wifi. We highly recommend an inexpensive travel router so you can connect with and monitor your baby from any hotel.

    2. Choose Your Accommodations Wisely 

    If you’re heading to a hotel, consider securing a one or two-bedroom suite. That way, you can put your baby down at their usual nap or bedtime hour and you’ll still have some space to binge a show or attempt to drink the frozen margarita you ordered hours ago back at the splash pad. Even a balcony could do the trick, so that you can dig into the latest Ann Patchett novel in the sunshine, rather than being stuck inside. If you’re together in one room, see if your pack and play can fit inside a walk-in closet or even the bathroom! (Trust us, it works). You can also opt for an Airbnb for added space and if you’re lucky, maybe even your own pool, bedroom, or at the very least, a wall. 

    3. Bring On the Sun 

    According to Natalie, you’ll want to get your baby in the sunshine as soon as you get to your destination, particularly if you swapped timezones, which will help their circadian rhythm adjust. Speaking of which, similar to Daylight Savings prep, you might want to start getting them on your vacay time in advance - especially if you’ll be away for one week or longer. “If you’re going to California, for example, change their schedule by an hour and a half - not the full three hours,” says Natalie. “That will make things easier coming back.” 

    If you’re headed east, to Europe for example, the time change might be in your favor. Your baby will be more likely to stay up later and go to bed later, which will make them easier, and more fun to travel with. “You can take your baby out to dinner, come home at 10pm and everyone will go to bed,” says Natalie. “You can be with your baby more in the evenings, which can be nice.” Again, don’t do the full six hour time change for a trip to Paris, but about half that, which will save your sanity once you’re back home.

    4. Get Your Gear Sorted 

    Arguably one of the more important tips to traveling with your baby is to have the right gear you can count on to get you everywhere from security lines to sand-in-your-toes fun with relative ease. You’ll want a great travel stroller system like the Babyzen or Doona - one that can adjust to fit a carseat and get stowed overhead on a plane so that you don’t need to gate check it. Speaking of which, consider purchasing your baby a seat on the plane next to you. That way, they can sit in the carseat and you can get your hands back. “It sounds excessive, but it will make the flight a lot easier,” says Natalie. “You can rest, eat meals and you’re not holding your baby for eight hours straight.” 

    If your baby is under six months old, or less than 20 pounds, you can call your airline to reserve a bulkhead seat with a bassinet, but they’re often very small and you won’t be guaranteed the offering (nor are you guaranteed that your baby will like it!). Depending on where you’re headed, you can request that a travel crib or pack and play be added to your hotel room, and certain Airbnbs advertise similar family friendly amenities on site. Do your research in advance and don’t wait until the last minute to make these requests. 

    5. Timing is Key

    Whether you’re driving or flying, schedule your trips around your baby’s nap schedule. Natalie recommends that for domestic flights, leaving in the morning will allow your baby a full day to acclimate to where they are. For international flights, opt for a red-eye so that they can get some rest. 

    For older babies, make sure you bring entertainment with you on the plane, like sticker books, stackable cups or toys. Don’t forget more formula or milk than you need, plenty of snacks (if they’re eating) and an extra pair of clothing for both yourself and the baby. Keep important documents, such as passports and vaccination records, easily accessible. Use travel organizers to keep your baby essentials organized and readily available.

    6. Take it Easy on Yourself 

    Babies can feel discombobulated by travel. You might have the best of intentions to keep them on schedule and then find yourself nursing three times a night just to get them to sleep. If all goes awry, try not to stress it. You’ll get them back on track as soon as you get home. In the meantime, embrace the adventure of traveling with your new BFF and focus on creating the memories you’ll treasure for years to come.

    Nanit is dedicated to delivering high-quality, reliable content for our readers. Our Parent Confidently articles are crafted by experienced parenting contributors and are firmly rooted in data and research. To ensure the accuracy and relevance of the content, all articles undergo a rigorous review process by our team of parenting experts. Additionally, our wellness-related content receives further scrutiny from Nanit Lab, our think tank of scientists, engineers, physicians, academic experts, and thought leaders.

    Our primary objective is to furnish readers with the most current, trustworthy, and actionable information concerning a host of parenting topics. We strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions by offering comprehensive and respected insights.

    In pursuit of transparency and credibility, our articles incorporate credible third-party sources, peer-reviewed studies, and abstracts. These sources are directly linked within the text or provided at the bottom of the articles to grant readers easy access to the source material.

    CONTRIBUTORS

    Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

    Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

    Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

    Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.