We have bed shared with Theo since birth, following safe co-sleeping recommendations. Although it wasn’t our intention to bed share before he was born, it was clear that he was much happier being close to us, it was easier to soothe him through the pain of multiple allergies and silent reflux, and it has undoubtedly supported our breastfeeding journey. Whenever he decides that he’s ready to sleep on his own, there will be a room waiting for him, but for now, we all get a better night’s sleep when we’re cuddled up together so it works for our family. It has also made travelling a lot easier, not to mention cheaper. There’s no need to lug a travel cot around, we avoid any potential excess baggage fees, and we can book cheaper accommodation with only one bed. For Theo, it doesn’t matter where we’re sleeping or that he doesn’t recognise the room; he knows that I’m right next to him. If he wakes in the night, there’s no need to cry out for me, or sleepily wander unfamiliar corridors in search of us; he just reaches over for a cuddle.
For Theo, it doesn’t matter where we’re sleeping or that he doesn’t recognise the room; he knows that I’m right next to him. If he wakes in the night, there’s no need to cry out for me, or sleepily wander unfamiliar corridors in search of us; he just reaches over for a cuddle.
All children are different and although the practices of breastfeeding, babywearing and bed sharing are wonderful for us and help Theo feel safe wherever we are, they may not be the right choice for every family. Follow your child. Some children will find a lack of routine, an unexpected change in environment and periods of transition difficult regardless of how you try to comfort and reassure them. I recommend creating a storybook appropriate for the age and development of your child, and reading this frequently in the run up to your trip. Include pictures and simple words to depict your family packing your belongings, waving goodbye to your home, details of your journey and chosen method of transport, your destination and what you will do there, and when you will return. If possible, print images of wherever you’ll be staying so you can talk about the area and even the room they will be sleeping in, but make sure that whatever you include in the story, you are able to stick to!
I wish you happy travels with happy little ones!
Joss is a Clinical Psychologist, eco family travel blogger and photographer. Find tips and suggestions for environmentally-friendly family travel, as well as destination recommendations, on her blog Little Green Globetrotter, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.