It can be difficult when you’re on-the-go to maintain the level of safety that you do at home, but there shouldn’t be any exception to the safe-sleep guidelines that are recommended to parents. Here are some tips that will help if you’re planning to go out of town in the near future.
Plan ahead and ask questions. Whether you’re staying with friends and family or at a hotel, ask questions! Where will you be sleeping? Is a pack-and-play available for use, or do you need to bring one? By knowing these answers ahead of time, you can prepare appropriately for sleeping arrangements and your little one’s needs. Many hotels will provide a pack-and-play or crib for little, if any, charge. However, the number they have on-hand may be limited, so reserve one early.
Once you arrive, check for safety hazards. Maybe you’re staying at grandma’s house and she has an antique bassinet. Make sure it is sturdy and safe. Sleep guidelines have changed and improved dramatically over the years, and what was once acceptable may not be safe today. (Many of our parents rode in cars that didn’t even have seat belts! It wasn’t that long ago!) This includes checking to make sure cribs or pack-and-plays haven’t been recalled and are in appropriate shape for your little one to sleep in. If your baby is crawling, be aware of outlets and dangers that are within her reach.
Don’t bend the rules. Ever. Not for one trip or even just one nap. Accidents can happen too easily, and it is better to be safe than sorry. If it “feels” like you shouldn’t do it or allow it, then don’t. It can be tough when friends and family don’t understand and think you’re overprotective, but that’s OK!
Car seats and swings aren’t for sleeping. Now, if your baby falls asleep on the drive, that’s OK. But once you take her out of the car, move her to a safe sleep location. The same goes for swings. It can be SO tempting to let the swing soothe our little ones into sleep and then leave them, but the bottom line is that swings were not designed for sleeping. If you DO leave your little one asleep in the swing, you should be right by her and aware of what is going on. Don’t leave her unattended.
Don’t try anything new. This includes food and medications. While you’re away from your family doctor is not the time to try a new food or medicine. Allergies and side effects can be dangerous. Infants are often already under some stress because of the changes that traveling can pose, so keep things as familiar as possible for your little one.
While traveling can be fun, friends and families’ homes aren’t always childproof or baby-friendly. Plan ahead and put your little one’s safety first and enjoy your time away.
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