Previa Alliance Podcast

Summer Travel with Unnati Patel

July 01, 2024 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 115
Summer Travel with Unnati Patel
Previa Alliance Podcast
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Previa Alliance Podcast
Summer Travel with Unnati Patel
Jul 01, 2024 Season 1 Episode 115
Previa Alliance Team

Summer travel season is on! Here at Previa Alliance, we like to say traveling with children is parenting in a different location. This week, we have our favorite sleep guru, Unnati Patel, back to help you and your little. Let's get rested and take in some tips and tricks on how to set you and your child up for sleep success!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Summer travel season is on! Here at Previa Alliance, we like to say traveling with children is parenting in a different location. This week, we have our favorite sleep guru, Unnati Patel, back to help you and your little. Let's get rested and take in some tips and tricks on how to set you and your child up for sleep success!

Follow Previa Alliance!
Previa Alliance (@previaalliance_) • Instagram photos and videos
Keep the questions coming by sending them to info@previaalliance.com or DM us on Instagram!

Speaker 1:

Hey guys, welcome back to PreviewLine's podcast. It is Sarah and we are in summer, guys, and one of the constant things we have heard is we are traveling home. So you know, we called your girl Yannati from Nested Restless Sleep. She's got us to sleep and our children to sleep at home. She's going to get us to sleep when traveling or set our expectations. We should say so welcome Yannati, and let's get us ready to travel.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thank you for having me. I'm excited for this conversation.

Speaker 1:

So last week was swim, because we're kind of building up for this summer. What we're doing this week we're talking all things travels, because everybody our kids are out, you know it's warm, you kind of just want to go to the beach, pool situation, and then it comes. Well, how do we keep a routine? How does the baby nap, how does my toddler nap? So let's start off with what you personally kind of set your expectations when you're traveling with your kids. Let's just give our moms just like a baseline of what a sleep guru goes into. The situation like.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So as a mom that traveled with her daughter before she became a sleep consultant, my daughter literally traveled on 20 flights in her first year. That was unknown and that was due to, like, some family issues, so we were going back and forth seeing my grandparents. But she flew on 20 flights, including international, in her first year. And I did that before I knew better. So I kind of think of myself as a pro in travel and now travel and sleep. So the first thing is set your expectations very, very low. I now I like to call traveling with kids not a vacation, but it's more like a work trip because, let's be real, we are doing the same stuff we do at home, just without our conveniences in a new location, but we're going to do everything the same. That's exactly what we're doing, and I like to call it a work trip because we're working there, we're working at home. It's the same stuff.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Okay, so let's with your travels. I'm assuming you guys did time zone changes with your daughter, and this is a common question. When we polled our Preview, moms was okay, the time zones, how do you handle that? Which time zone do we stay on? Do you try to adjust? What does that look like?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so anytime you are changing time zones, the sun is going to be like your best friend. Okay, the sun is going to be like your best friend, Okay, Wherever you're going, whether that's from East coast to West coast. That transition to me is a little bit easier depending on what time your flights are. That'll be addressed later on in this conversation. But when you get from the East to the West coast, you still have some time to get exposed to the sun.

Speaker 2:

And that's exactly what I recommend is you get off the plane, you go to, like, your destination, you check in and get outside for like an hour or two before it's bedtime, and shifting that bedtime you know it's three hours depending on how long you're changing, like how long you're going to stay in the new time zone. I would say maybe just shift it like an hour to an hour and a half max. That way when you return back it's not like you're adjusting three hours right, Because that adjustment back to the East Coast you're not going to want to put your child down at 10pm, Trust me, you're not going to want to do that, Whereas like an 8.30pm bedtime is more realistic and it's easier to shift closer to 7pm over a few days. So I would recommend just shifting an hour and a half, two hours max if you really need to, but don't shift the entire time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And then to our mamas who are going international. We're talking 10, 12 hours.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, international it's kind of tricky, like if you're going to Europe it's only, like you know, five, six, seven hours, but then if you're going to the Asia side of the country, right, or the world, then it's like 10 plus hours, which is a lot different. So I did that personally. I went to India with my five month old and I took my daughter again just this past December when she was five years old, and the adjustment was very, very surprisingly easy both times. What was harder was the adjustment back home, and that happens, that's very normal.

Speaker 2:

Okay, when you go on vacation, your days are planned, you know what to do, you're kind of having fun, you're going with the flow and it's a little bit easier, right, because when you're outside you're getting that sun exposure Again.

Speaker 2:

That sun exposure is going to be so, so important. And what I would recommend is booking a flight where it gets you there either early in the morning, so like maybe three, 4am ish, that way you can check in, you can sleep for maybe five or six hours and still wake up at like maybe 10, 11 o'clock, which is a little bit reasonable of a time, and then you can stay up the rest of the day and then maybe do an early bedtime if you need to, but then that'll really help get your circadian rhythm in balance when you're outside most of the day, whereas if you land at night but your original time zone it's the morning time, your body's gonna have a hard time falling asleep and you're just gonna be up the whole night when in reality you should be sleeping, and when the sun's out, when you need to get that sun exposure, you're gonna to want to go to sleep.

Speaker 2:

So I recommend booking a flight If you're crossing the pond, booking a flight that will get you there in those early morning hours so you can sleep till 10, 11 am and then enjoy the rest of your day, love that.

Speaker 1:

And then now we're on airplanes, let's keep the airplane, love that. And then now we're on airplanes, let's keep the airplane. Let's say we're back, domestic flights, we're going down to the beach, you're booking a trip, you have a one-year-old. What are you going to try to do? Right, because they could be one nap, two nap situation here. Are you going to try to fly during their nap or are you going to say I'm going to get there and get them to nap?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So it depends on, like, when their nap is and you know how long they nap. If they nap like an hour or so, then I would like totally just let them nap. If they are on their own, I wouldn't really force it. I wouldn't force it at any time during the travel. Honestly, honestly, when your kids are exposed to that sunlight, when they're on the beach all day long, they missed a nap. That early bedtime on a vacation day is going to be your best friend, because then they're going to go to sleep at like 6, 7pm and then you'll be able to enjoy the rest of the evening. Maybe, if you have some family going with you, then you and your partner can go on a date night, or you can find like a local babysitter, if you know that's something you're okay with. But I would say, let naps happen as they happen.

Speaker 2:

Now, if you have an infant, that's a little tricky, because we do want them to nap right. With toddlers and preschoolers, it is totally okay for them to skip that nap. For infants, though, I would recommend taking all the stuff. Whether you're on the beach, you're on the go, whether you're on at Disney, you know, whatever you're doing, I would take all the stuff, so a portable sound machine, a fan, especially if you're going to a hotter climate. I would also take like a sunshade, if you plan on being at the beach all day, to put them like in a tent or something like that and cover them up because, depending on their age, you're probably not going to be able to put sunscreen on them if your baby is under six months. So taking a sunshade, portable sound machine Granted, if you're at the beach, the waves kind of act like a natural sound machine, but taking that extra sound machine and that fan is going to really really help.

Speaker 2:

And you can totally do naps for infants and babies at the beach, especially if you have an older child that protests going back to the house or hotel for a nap. Right, they want to stay at the beach and that's totally okay. Do what you can in the moment Now. If you want to take turns, maybe have your partner stay at the beach and you want to go back with the baby, totally okay, do what you are comfortable with.

Speaker 2:

Do not force yourself like okay, the baby has to sleep and I have to be in a dark space in the room so I can't enjoy myself with my toddler, preschooler at the beach. Right and totally do that. I've done that myself. I've been. In fact, this is funny I've taken a pack and play to the beach and let my like son sleep in the pack and play, covered him up with an umbrella, and then my daughter was enjoying the beach while we were two. We were all enjoying the beach, while my son napped in the pack and play covered him up with an umbrella, and then my daughter was enjoying the beach while we were too. We were all enjoying the beach, while my son napped in the pack and play.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, totally possible, totally possible, and I think that's a point too, is you? I love that you stress. That is like I had a fear, I think, with my postpartum anxiety traveling with Will before he was a certain age Cause, and then I had to just let go a little bit, like you were saying, of like don't have to be trapped up in that room while he's napping, to get that nap and kind of just letting yourself be. And you know they've now got these great baby monitors that don't require the internet. That's the distance, so that you can, you know, you can put them down, have the baby monitor.

Speaker 1:

You know you could sit outside, right on your balcony, or, if you had an Airbnb, it's, you know, right next to the pool or the beach or whatever, and have kind of that, enjoy your time, enjoy that nap time too. That's for you. I mean we are working, like you said, because it is. We say it's not a vacation with kids, it is mom in a different location. And I think one thing too to point out with traveling is it's not our safe spot, right? So when it comes to sleep safety, when it comes to traveling safety, do you got any kind of tips there? For you know we've all done it. We've walked into the Airbnb or the hotel and go. This is not what we expected. How are we going to make this work?

Speaker 2:

is not what we expected. How are we going to make this work? Yeah, so, talking about the place that you're staying at, I have tons of tips on this. I have stayed at hotels with my kids, I have stayed at Airbnbs, everything. So the first thing is, especially if you have movers right and toddlers that love to touch everything, take away everything that can potentially break. We like to stuff everything in a closet, like lamps and vases and all the things like take all of that away. You do not need all of that out. Granted, before you leave, you may want to put it back and make sure you put it back in the right spot. Right, but remove all of that in case it breaks.

Speaker 1:

Okay, you sweep the room. What is my child? What is shiny, what is pretty, what is expensive? That my child, I mean, I'm telling you as my youngest, I'm just like, can you climb, can you knock it, can you throw it? It's all going to happen.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, exactly. So that's the first thing. And the second thing and this applies to hotels and Airbnbs call them and figure out what the layout of the room is, what the structure is. If you're staying in a hotel, do they have a pack and play or a crib for your child that they can set up? If they are going to put a pack and play because some hotels do use a pack and play because one time I called a hotel and I reserved a crib and it turned out to be a pack and play because all of their actual cribs were in use, so they gave me a pack and play.

Speaker 2:

So figure all that out. See if they have a closet space that'll fit the pack and play in, and you can totally stick a pack and play inside of a closet. If it's vented, great. If it's not vented, you can leave it cracked open, even like I've left the doors completely open, so there's some airflow going in there, right. So it's not like you stick the pack and play and shut the door completely. Don't do that. Another option is get a slumber pod. I love my slumber pod.

Speaker 1:

Love a good slumber pod.

Speaker 2:

Same, yeah, and that is an investment that actually grows with your infant, to your baby, to your toddler. It goes over a toddler bed, all the things. So definitely invest in the slumber pod if you're a traveling family or plan to travel soon. Another thing to do with the Airbnb is if you're staying like in a multiple room bathroom house, then figure out, if you can, if the bathroom in your room is big enough to hold the pack and play. I have done that as well. I have stuck the pack and play in a bathroom.

Speaker 2:

The good thing about a bathroom is most bathrooms don't have any windows, so it's like a natural blackout situation, which is perfect, and bathrooms are vented, so you don't have to worry about that. So definitely call these places in advance. Have a game plan going in when is your child gonna sleep, what room or closet are they gonna sleep in? Figure all that out so you know exactly where to set up their sleep space. And if you're all like a family of four, maybe sharing one hotel room, right, that can get a little tight and I've done that too.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

I would probably recommend getting a room with the two beds and then splitting up. You're going to sleep with one child, your partner is going to sleep with the other child, kind of a thing, right, especially if you have a toddler or you can get a sofa bed, if that room allows for a sofa bed. Situation where you and your partner are on the big bed, the toddlers on the sofa bed and the baby or infant is in the pack and play or the travel crib.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean we've done things when we've traveled. It's like kids down and like then you order takeout and like you're maybe like huddled eating in the bathroom or wherever that safe space is, or like that tiny little balcony and you're having your little date night and you guys are. But it's, you know, in a dream world we would all have our own bedrooms and you know this would be the. It'd be just like normal. But you know our toddler now he gets up sometimes at early hours. So for safety tips for the roaming toddlers and new locations, any thoughts or helps? I'm asking personally that you've got for like the Airbnbs or vacation rentals where you're just like you know you don't want your toddler roaming in a foreign place to them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I would recommend, if they're sleeping in their own space and you're in another room, I would probably show them what their route is, right, like, okay, you're going to be sleeping here, mommy and daddy's room is right here, and then show them, have them walk, practice that. Okay, I was like, now I want you to come to me, where am I located? And then have them practice that route. So even if they need you in the middle of the night like a potty break or they need some water or something, or they're scared right, they could totally be scared in a new spot, right, that's normal. So just have them practice so they're comfortable coming to you. And then also let them know if there's stairs, right, then also let them know that they're not allowed to go here.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes you can rent baby furniture and baby gates and all of the things. So if you feel like you need that as a safety precaution, if your Airbnb has a staircase that's not protected, definitely rent a safety gate or see if the Airbnb can put one in. Sometimes they will, yeah, sometimes they'll even tell you, like, what they have for families. So just ask. Ask all the questions.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Yeah, Baby, we've used the company BabyQuip before and they were great. I mean, I remember we were traveling and they, the big, the double stroller they had for me, they had like a wagon, they had a high chair, they had basically everything was very reasonable to honestly, and it saved me. That big stress Cause I think that's another stressor is like when we're traveling we think we got to bring all the things and the whole house and home. So speak to that for a second Cause. I know with your 20 trips you've probably got it down to art and science which you need to bring.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I live in Georgia, for anyone that doesn't know, and we take road trips down to Florida all the time, and especially Orlando Disney things like that. We've done plenty of those Disney trips over COVID and the biggest thing is do not pack your stroller, especially if you have a double stroller. Do not pack a pack and play unless you want to use yours. You can rent all the things and if you stay in like one of those Orlando Disney Airbnbs or resorts or something, they will have everything on site. A lot of them have it on site so you don't even have to like have it picked up. They don't have it on site, They'll drop it off. A lot of these rental companies they will drop it off to your Airbnb or your hotel and they will come and pick it up. So, whatever your place does not have, rent it and reserve it well in advance, especially if you're going to a super family populated place like Orlando and Disney.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, love that. What about you know and this is a question that came long car rides and naps. So you driving down to Florida, what does that look like for your kids, especially when they were younger? What did car naps look like for you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So you know I one thing I will tell you never to do not. Never, because if you're in a situation where you have to, then of course do it. But I have done this and I do not recommend it. One time we were brave and thought like, okay, let's just drive to DC overnight. So we left at like 8 PM, thought the kids would sleep the whole time. We were wrong. They slept maybe two hours and they were a hot mess the next day. So do not leave overnight. Okay, I swear to you, getting to your destination and doing that early bedtime is your lifesaver.

Speaker 2:

So have naps again. Have naps happen as they happen in the car. Take the tools that will help them get those naps right, like the portable sound machine. Set that up. Maybe if you have some sunshades in the car, like, roll those up so there's less sun coming in. If you know you have like a car seat.

Speaker 2:

Some car seats have that like that tent feature my nan at car seat did for the infants so you can put that down so that acts like a sunshade for them to create that dark environment. So there are so many ways to help naps happen in the car seat and some babies they don't nap well in the car seat, and that is okay as well. If that is your baby and you've been on the road for like four or five hours and your baby really needs a nap, then make that pit stop, do that contact that for an hour, right, like you can eat lunch or something while you're stopped and your baby is napping on, you put them in a wrap or carrier and stop at a rest. Stop and make that happen and then at least they have some daytime sleep in them and they won't be super overtired. Now, they will be overtired, right, if they're missing out on a lot of day sleep, so, but always do that early bedtime.

Speaker 1:

Love that and I think this goes with kind of when what to do in all burn, sound, sleep wise. I mean, what do we do? We're in our trip, we're going, you know, let's be honest, sometimes traveling with kids, at some point you're going what have I done? And you're going. You know, let's be honest, sometimes traveling with kids, at some point you're going what have I done? And you're going. You know, you feel like you're going to go off on this beautiful scenery and just have a mental breakdown and cry, and they, especially at two. It's like it's hard when babies can be very hard, I think mobile preschool toddlers, when they're trying to kill themselves constantly, and it's so like you have many safety precautions and then they're not napping and then you're not sleeping. What do you say to that mom? And she's like it's burning down.

Speaker 2:

What do we do? Yeah, so I would probably recommend, if this is happening to you while you're on vacation, I would probably just hand the torch over to your partner, take that mental break, maybe go relax at the beach or the pool by yourself, for you know, a couple of hours, drink a margarita or two and come back to you know, with a better mindset and tackle your baby, your toddler, your family after that. And I would really recommend, if sleep is downhill on vacation, there are ways to not have that be downhill, right? So a few things that you can do to help maintain sleep is taking all the things like I've said.

Speaker 2:

So taking a used crib sheet so a crib sheet they are used to sleeping on that have that familiar smell. Take that crib sheet with you and put it on that rental crib or that rental pack and play. So that way it's not, the sheets aren't new, right? The sheets are still the same, so they smell that familiarity. And then that same thing with the sleep sack. Take a worn sleep sack Don't take a sleep sack with fabrics, softener, smell on it.

Speaker 2:

And then make sure you replicate the routine like the bedtime routine. Make sure there's maybe longer wind down process in the routine. So maybe you know, give some extra cuddles, do like, take a few reading books this is something we do. We always pack some bedtime storybooks with us. So that's something that's always a constant in our travel is storytime. Taking their bath toys it's also a constant. We always do that as well.

Speaker 2:

So really replicating that bedtime routine, naptime routine that you do at home as best as possible because in a way, that is something that could easily be replicated, right, and that routine plays such an important role on our baby sleep and that alone will help maintain sleep in a new destination, I promise you and if it doesn't, don't worry about it Don't worry about it Do some contact maps the next day, drink tons of coffee the next day and pick right back up with your normal routine Once you're back home. I'm not saying that once you're back home the sleep is going to be better right away. There is a grace period where sleep is going to. It's going to take some time once you're home. Right, it may take five days, it might take two days, so it just depends on your child. But just give yourself grace, give your children grace, enjoy your family vacation. Remember it's a work trip, but it's also a vacation for you. So take that break. Take two hours for yourself, give your partner two hours for them, so everyone is having fun.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I think always such sound advice and any travel articles we can link or blog posts or Instagram that we can tag in for our moms.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I I talked a lot about taking all the things and I actually have a free travel checklist. So I talked a lot about taking all the things and I actually have a free travel checklist. Love that. So definitely grab that if that is something you need to help plan your future travel. I have tons of travel blogs. I will share that with you as well, and I also have a travel sleep guide that goes into much more detail than what we talked about and it covers travel by air, travel by land, travel across time zones, what to do once you get back home on improving sleep. It covers all of the information. It also has information on how to prep for travel, because prepping for travel starts, like you know, when you're at home. So you really have to start at home if you want to maintain sleep at your travel destination. So I talk all of those things inside of the travel guide.

Speaker 1:

We will listeners, we will tag this and this will be on the show notes and then Preview. Alliance moms will make sure this gets this to you as well, and you know it'd be really fun for the listeners is when you guys are out on your vacations. Tag us in your Instagram stories and let us see your travel tips that you know he's provided is in action and you know what the more we could share with moms, like how to survive and thrive. We like to say this is our online village, coming to support each other. It'd just be really cool to see this whole summer everybody kind of traveling to different locations and what we're doing to maintain our sanity and our children's sleep.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, One thing I just remembered, Sarah, that I want to share as a little tidbit, and this is inside of my travel guide, but we did not touch on this or maybe I forgot to mention it, but I ran into this issue on our last road trip.

Speaker 2:

I have a boy who's almost four, who's potty trained, and he needed to pee a lot on the road trip, and this is something we did with my daughter. I forgot to pack his travel potty seat and this is something I did with my daughter and I forgot to do it that trip and I knew it was going to happen. So what I usually do is I take that travel portable potty seat, take some plastics grocery bags, put that grocery bag inside of the potty, have him use that in case he needs to go potty and there's no restroom nearby, because there are definitely areas from Georgia to Florida that have no restroom for hours at a time. So if that is going to be your situation, if you need some tips on potty training road trip help, definitely take that potty seat, take some grocery bags. That way, all you have to do is have them stop right on the side of the street and have them go. You have their pee or poop in that grocery bag. You can trash it easily. Cleanup is easy and go on your way.

Speaker 1:

I 100% agree. We still have it. It's actually having it in the back because baby James is coming up on potty training and sometimes will still needs to go and there's nowhere to go. And it pops out and has my little grocery bags too. I think. Once a veteran mom says when you know, just grab the grocery bags like and just be like, we're not paying for this special kind of bags, we're going to use our grocery bags double layer if you need to.

Speaker 1:

In the back of the car, here it is among the seats, you know the suitcases. There's your child using the bathroom. You're on the side of the road. It's happened to the best of us, but you know that's the better outcome than accidents, which has happened to us all. I have thrown away tons of clothes, blowout clothes and on road trips myself it's traveling. I always said you know, it just didn't really. And sometimes if you're by yourself with the kids, it can really be like you just got to go warrior mom status and just get to that destination sometimes. But if you have that partner, you've got to tag in and out because it's a challenge.

Speaker 1:

But there is ways we can navigate this and we're going to link everything and we love these personal stories. We love all the like. This is how she knows her tips because she's lived it. We love this. Yes, thank you, you're so welcome. Okay, guys. So next steps is when you guys travel. Read all her blogs. First, we're going to link everything. Tag us on Instagram and let us know what you guys are doing, but you will hear from us again. We will keep telling you sleep tips, but this was a fun summer travel. We got you guys and more topics you want us to talk about. You can follow us on Instagram, you can DM us and just let us know how we can help you be your village. All right, yonati. Thank you so much. Till next time, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Maternal mental health is as important as physical health. The Preview Alliance podcast was created for and by moms dealing with postpartum depression and all its variables, like anxiety, anger and even apathy. Hosted by CEO founder, sarah Parkhurst and licensed clinical social worker, whitney Gay, each episode focuses on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

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