*This post is sponsored by Tom’s Of Maine, as always all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow The Mama Notes to stay in business.
We consider ourselves pretty lucky when it comes to Piper’s sleep. She started sleeping through the night at a really early age and despite several sleep regressions she’s remained a really great sleeper (naps are a whole different story) since! We’ve been traveling with Piper since she was 4 months old and despite sleeping in small hotel rooms, unfamiliar bedrooms and most recently in a tent in Maine, Piper has rarely had any issues sleeping through the night on our trips. I credit her ability to sleep anywhere with our habit of bringing our bedtime routine on the road with us. Today I’ve partnered with Tom’s of Maine to share a few ways we try to keep her routine as much as possible without it affecting our ability to ‘go with the flow’ and have flexibility on our trips. We’ve been using Tom’s of Maine products in our household for years and I’m excited that now Piper uses them as well.
Bring home with you.
Whenever possible we try to bring as much of Piper’s sleeping stuff from our home environment with us. We’ve used the same travel crib since she was born so it’s become familiar. We always bring one or two of her favorite blankets, sound machine, babies and bedtime books. At times it seems cumbersome (especially if we are traveling somewhere with a crib or the option to rent one) but we’ve found it really worth it to pack the extra stuff!
Stick with your routine.
It may seem hard to stick with a bedtime routine from home when you’re on a road trip or camping but despite the time of day Piper’s going to bed (often much later than normal) we always carve out a time and place to do her bedtime exactly how we do it at home. I forget travel size toiletries and instead bring all of the products we use at home so there’s familiarity with them too. We’ve been using Tom’s of Maine toothpaste since she was very young.
We always start the routine with a bath or a sponge bath depending on the day’s activities. I find this helps relax and calm Piper down. Then we brush teeth — which is Piper’s very favorite part of the routine. We’ve been using Tom’s of Maine’s Toddler Training Toothpaste since we introduced the toothbrush and now that she’s 2 we started using Tom’s of Maine’s Silly Strawberry Natural Kids Toothpaste which comes in both fluoride and fluoride-free varieties. And of course we listen to the Silly Brushing Song on our iPhone, it’s so cute and encourages kids to brush for the full 2 minutes, twice a day as recommended by The American Dental Association. I love that Silly Strawberry has no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners –instead it’s made with naturally derived ingredients including real strawberry juice and never tested on animals! I easily understand how it’s the #1 natural kids toothpaste on the market and it’s the only natural kids toothpaste to receive the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Silly Strawberry Natural Kids Toothpaste is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! Being in Maine surrounded by such natural, untouched beauty made me think about how glad I am that we’ve chosen to use natural products in our household whenever we can. Tom’s of Maine has donated 10% of its profits for over 45 years to organizations that help people and the planet, and I’m happy to support a brand that is so responsible.
After we brush teeth (sometimes baby’s or moosie’s too) it’s time for stories. When we are visiting with family or friends often Piper wants someone else to read to her and put her to bed. I always prefer stories to happen in the room she’s sleeping in, away from noise and distractions and most of the time my husband or I will be the one to step in and put her to sleep. Again – keeping things routine!
Give yourself flexibility & get creative.
The first time we traveled with Piper (to California) I was so worried about her naps and sleep, but after a few days I learned to throw the idea that things would be exactly the same as they are at home out the window. It gave us much more flexibility in our schedule and we got creative with our planning. We always think about what we are doing around her typical nap time — but we aren’t set on her sleeping in her crib. We’ll bring a stroller and plan an activity where we can walk with her, time our driving for nap time so she’ll sleep in the car and when she was under 1 we’d often wear her during nap time.
Set up a designated sleep area.
Whenever possible we try to have Piper sleep in her own room, but sometimes that’s just not an option. When we are sleeping in hotels we set up a corner, hallway or even a closet (with the door open) for her crib that’s out of the way. Sleeping in the same room often means that we’ll have to be quiet and in the dark when Piper goes to bed but we’ve found this sacrifice to be far worth it for a good night’s sleep. I’ll usually scroll on the iPad or read and it’s nice to get extra rest myself!
Set a ‘wind down’ time and get everyone around on board — that means no loud music, running around and wild play. I find its best to do this at least 30 minutes before we start Piper’s bedtime routine so she’ll start to settle down and get in a more peaceful mindset.