Sleep is everything when you have a baby or toddler! And it’s one of the number one things I’m asking about when flying with a baby. A lot of parents are concerned about routine and jetlag at their destination and are looking for tips to help with that. If that’s you, you are in the right place.
We’ve crossed timezones from 1 hour to 12 hours in difference with babies and toddlers. We’ve stayed in rooms with no curtains, and rooms that catch the sun first thing and learnt how to circumvent that and make sure everyone gets some rest still.
This article will give you tips to help get your baby off to sleep in a strange place and give you some options for some portable blackout blinds for windows, stroller covers, crib blackout covers and alternatives.
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We were never super strict with routine in the sense, we would happily go out using a stroller and a Snoozeshade or CoziGo UV stroller sleep cover, and let baby nap in that rather than in her crib or cot. At night-time, we like to follow a general routine of bath-time, milk & story with the lights dimmed and bed.
The same helps when you are traveling or on vacation/holiday. Those sleep cues let baby learn when it is quiet time. For us the dark and no distractions really helped on flights too.
Using the same ideas for hotel rooms can help get your baby to adjust to a new time zone or sleep in an unfamiliar place. If your baby is small and still in a Moses basket, then the CoziGo can even fit right over it, giving it yet another use!
Alternatively, there are travel blackout shades for windows, travel crib blackout shades and even aluminium foil can be a cheap way to make a room darker.
Pros of Using Portable Blackout Blinds, Cot Blackout Shades & Stroller Covers
- Sleep: Making a room, crib or stroller darker removes visual distractions and stops them getting stimulated by what is going on around them – allowing baby or toddler to sleep.
- Routine: If baby has a routine nap at home, then napping on the go will keep that familiar routine going.
- Time Saving: You can still go out and meet friends, go for a coffee or sightsee, making the most of the time you have.
- UV and Sun Protection: Specialist stroller shades and covers offer protection from UV rays and the sun, whilst the air permeable breathable fabric with zippers and flaps helps stop it getting hotter than the outside temperature whilst baby is sleeping under there.
Things to Consider BEFORE Buying a Blackout Shade or Blind
- Value: How often will you use it? Is it worth looking for a cheaper, second hand one if you won’t be traveling much? Or would the Aluminium foil hack detailed below be enough? Does it have a dual purpose, like the CoziGo bassinet AND stroller cover? Where would you be stayig mostly? Airbnb or hotel rooms? Hotel rooms mostly have blackout curtains already. Or are you camping and need some suction cup blackout blinds?
- Use: Where will you use them and how will you be travelling? Cars can back a bit more in than luggage allowances on planes. Is the size and weight light enough for your needs? Will you use it at home to to get baby familiar with it?
Travel Blackout Curtains and Shades
Travel blackout curtains and shades are useful for all places, whether at grandparents or on vacation and are suitable for all ages whether baby or adult looking for a dark room to sleep in. Most blackout blinds come with suction cups which we have had varied success with.
Suction Cup Blackout Blinds
Portable blackout blinds with suction cups are lightweight, easy to pack and travel with and can be used in most windows. In some cases you buy the material and can cut to size and then use the Velcro dots and the suction cups to stick to a window. (However, this is only useful if you are staying in one place fairly often with the same size windows, like grandparents house or a RV/trailer if camping with kids.) Otherwise, they come in varying pre-made sizes which have adjustable velcro parts to fit the window correctly. They have the advantage of making the whole room dark, so everyone can sleep – useful if you are suffering jetlag!
Blackout Shades for Travel Cribs, Cots and Pack ‘n’ Plays
There are a couple of options for this style of blackout shade: A blackout cover which simply fits over the cot – there are no complicated attachments or poles to connect. With blackout sleep covers like the Slumberpod, simply connect the poles up like a mini tent and place over the crib. SlumberPod is the more expensive option and fits playards up to 44 inches long, 30 inches wide and 38 inches tall. Both make the crib or cot a darker environment for the your baby to sleep without distractions. Each have peep holes and are made of permeable fabric.
Stroller Covers For Sleep and UV/Sun Protection
Stroller covers are multi use these days, offering UV, sun protection, and a darker place for nap on the go. The Cozigo is air permeable allowing air to pass both ways with various ways to open sides and parts up to keep an eye on baby or increase airflow.
It also doubles up as an airplane bassinet cover! CoziGo (affiliate link) retails at AUS $99.95 and can be shipped worldwide and shipping is FREE to Australia USA, Canada from their site, or it can be bought from Amazon.co.uk if you are based in the UK (affiliate link) is air permeable allowing air to pass both ways with various ways to open sides and parts up to keep an eye on baby or increase airflow. It also doubles up as an airplane bassinet cover!
An alternative, is another UV stroller cover we have used, SnoozeShade. The Snoozeshade works in a similar way with air permeable material. It has little flaps to lift up and ties to make it fit pretty much every pushchair or stroller.
A budget travel blackout blind version which works well is using aluminium foil and Bluetack or Cellotape to fit directly to the window. Its easy to bring with you or buy when there and a cheap way to make a room dark!
Best Portable Blackout Blinds for Travel including Crib and UV Stroller Covers
Best Portable Black Out Blinds and Blackout Covers for Travel
The GroAnywhere blackout blind adapts to fit nearly any window with its velcro re-sizing system and you can attach it easily using its powerful suction cups. It also folds away into a lightweight, handy travel bag for easy transport or storage.
The suction cups may become flat when the item has been stored away for a while -- just wash them with warm, soapy water then pat dry and they will be back to the normal shape in no time.
- Dimensions: 77"L x 51"W
- Weight: 1.5 lbs
- 100% Polyester
- Travel bag included
- Machine washable
Amazon Basics Travel Window Blackout Curtain ensures total privacy and blocks out sunlight and harmful UV rays. It also reduces outside noise and creates an insulating barrier against heat and cold. The curtain edges have velcro on them so you can customize the dimensions of the curtain to fit various window sizes. Installation is a breeze as the curtain has suction cups included. It is made of 100% polyester and can be machine washed and line dried, just remember not to bleach, iron or dry clean it.
A few readers pointed out the strong plastic odor of the curtain so its probably a good idea to air it out for a few hours or days before using it.
- Dimensions: 50" x 78"
- Weight: 1.4 lbs
- 100% Polyester
- Suction cups + Velcro edges
- Machine washable
The SUN AWAY Portable Blackout Curtain comes in a large size, prevents any form of light and ensures you have total privacy while enjoying your sleep time. It is made of heat resistant, soft and extra thick natural polyester and has no vinyl backing so you don't have to worry about unpleasant odours. Like the other brands, Sun Away's blackout shades come with suction cups and velcro edges for adjusting the curtain size. Some readers loved that the material is thicker and heavier than other brands so it definitely darkened their rooms.
- Dimensions: 66" Long X 51"
- Weight: 1.85 lbs
- 100% Polyester
- No vinyl backing
- Travel bag included
The Dream Art Portable Blackout Curtain provides a simple way to create a pleasant sleeping environment with its thick, sturdy blackout curtain paired with easy to install suction cups helping to turn a day-lit room into a cozy sleeping space. You just have to moisten the suction cup with a little water and press them on to the window. Some readers had difficulty with the suction cups and recommended purchasing some velcro to help them stick and reduce the light.
- Dimensions: 72"L x 52"W
- Weight: 1.19 lbs
- Material: Fabric
- Machine Washable
- Quick ironing or steam cleaning
- Easy Installation, no tools required
- Block 95%~99% light and UV ray
This portable blackout curtain is perfect for travelling as it folds away into a compact travel bag at the size of 13" X 10.5". Its made of thick and sturdy polyester that blocks out incoming light, creating a dark and cosy sleeping environment for you and your little ones. LIFEI's blackout shades also come with velcro patches and suction cups. The main difference from other brands is that their suction cups come with locking tabs that make them much stronger than ordinary suction cups.
Some readers complained about the strong smell of chemicals and recommended airing out the curtains prior to using them.
- Dimensions:77"L x 50"W
- Weight: 1.37 lbs
- Material: Polyester
- Travel bag included (13" X 10.5")
The Easynight Portable Travel Blackout Blind is silvered on one side to reflect heat and light away, helping to keep your sleep space cool and dark. You can either use the suction cups, the self-adhesive fastener strips, or even both when attaching the curtain to any glass window or window frame. Using both is helpful if staying a hot climate as the sun can affect the adhesive.
This brand offers different sized curtains but you can also cut the fabric to any size you wish as it doesn't fray.
- Dimensions: 78"L x 57"W
- Weight: 1.08 lbs
- Material: Polyester, Polyester Blend
- Suction cups + self-adhesive fasteners
Aozita Baby Travel Blackout Blind will help you and your little ones fall asleep more easily by turning a bright room into a cosy pitch-dark sleeping area. You can attach the blinds securely to any window with the suction cups and adjust the size using its velcro patches. It also comes with a velcro cable tie so you can loop it around the curtain when you don't need to remove it completely and just want to let a little light into the room. When not in use, you can fold it into a compact size of 11 x 12 inches and store it in its own travel bag. Clean up is also a breeze as you can just pop it in the washer for a cold wash and line dry it.
- Dimensions: 78"L x 51"W
- Weight: 1.83 lbs
- Material: 100% Polyester
- Travel bag included (11" x 12")
- 10 Suction Cups and 1 velcro cable tie included
- Machine washable
The dual purpose Cozigo is not only an airplane bassinet cover but also a blackout shade for strollers too, with breathable mesh and UV protection. With zippers to open at various points, airflow can easily be increased. It is suitable for birth.
The SlumberPod Blackout Cover for travel cribs is easily put up with poles like a mini tent and then just place it over your crib. SlumberPod fits playards up to 44 inches long, 30 inches wide and 38 inches tall. It is an easy way to make the crib or cot a darker environment for the your baby to sleep without distractions.
The SlumberPod has peep holes, is made of permeable fabric and comes with a travel bag.
- Fits playards up to 44 inches long, 30 inches wide and 38 inches tall.
- Packs up into a 17 x 5 x 6" in a travel bag.
The original Snoozeshade blocks 99% of UV rays (UPF 50+) It is made of air permeable, breathable mesh fabric and easily attaches to prams and strollers. Peek a boo zipped areas let you easily check on baby whilst they are sleeping.
The Snoozeshade travel cot cover has two versions of SnoozeShade designed to fit:
a) most popular travel cots (pack'n'plays & playards). It will fit a mattress no larger than 95cm x 65cm (37.4" x 25.6") and
b) standard sized European cots (and larger travel cots).
This one pictured is for the regular sized travel cribs and is a budget friendly. Like the stroller cover, it is made with breathable mesh fabric that lets air flow freely, safely blocks out 94% of light and blurs distractions..
- Compatible with all rectangular travel cots up to 106cm long and 75cm wide (this is the industry standard). It also fits triangular-style travel cribs up to 106cm long.
SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe is a premium version of SnoozeShade Plus, for babies from six months until they outgrow their pushchair, it safely protects your child from up to 97.5% of UV rays and is made with breathable mesh fabric that lets air flow freely.
The Snoozeshade Plus is for babies 6+ and is a budget friendly version of the Deluxe model. SnoozeShade Plus is a much larger version of SnoozeShade Original for children who are sitting up and want to see out. It is also offers UV50+ protection and has aa large zipped panel or baby to peak out of.
What have you found to be the best travel blackout blinds for babies and toddlers? Let us know below!
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