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
What have you found to be the best travel blackout blinds for babies and toddlers? Let us know below!
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