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The Sleep Sunday Blog

Top travel sleep tips for every new parent

The thought of travelling with your new baby can be enough to send any new parent into a spin. I hear you – you’ve only just got their routine sorted, you’ve got them all calm and settled and now the thought of breaking all that apart to take a holiday is filling you with dread!

I remember the first time my husband and I took our then 8 month old over to meet the family in the UK. All I could think about was sleep…not only his, but mine too. I googled myself stupid looking at ways to keep my sleep resisting little man in some kind of routine. Since then, I’ve taken my three overseas almost every year and am slowly getting this travelling malarkey down pat.

Prepare Early and Pack Well

  • In the time leading up to your holiday try to find a way to make your routine portable. Huh? What do I mean? Well, for example, if at home bedtime means, pj’s on, lights dimmed, massage, milk, story and song, try to emulate this as best you can even if you’re on a flight. For us we had the bath, massage, pjs, milk, story bit mapped out but didn’t have one regular song we sang. By introducing this song (for us it’s the Irish diddy ‘Danny Boy’) we used it as an extra sleep cue to signal sleep time was on the way.
  • Introduce a natural sleep balm or pillow spray with essential oils that are safe for baby and signal the body for sleep. This smell will be familiar and comforting for baby in unfamiliar environments. If your baby is used to being massaged for bed, instead replace this with a sleep balm massaged into baby’s feet and chest so that they know, it’s time to sleep. The Sleepy Sundays balm is safe on babies from 1 month and will also work on you too to help you feel calm and more relaxed as you travel.
  • If you’re flying, try to book the flight at a time that aligns with your baby’s regular nap time. Then they’ll be expecting a nap and should hopefully drift off more easily.
  • Pack everything you need and a bit extra. Bottles, dummies, comforters, spare clothes, snacks, a familiar teddy, and a brand-new exciting toy they haven’t seen before to spark their interest.
  • Wipes, wipes and more wipes – the antibacterial kind to wipe down EVERYTHING. The last thing you need is to pick up a germ on the plane and make the flight even harder! Sheesh!
  • Try to create a dark space free from distractions to prevent your baby from getting overtired and over stimulated. Dark coloured breathable muslins, a light Sleepy Sundays Dohar Blanket or a dark coloured sarong work wonders as makeshift hidey holes. The fabric is light enough to let some air through, but dark enough to emulate dim lights when cabin lights are on full. If you have a curious baby this also stops all those friendly passengers making eye-contact just as your little one is about to drift off to sleep.
  • If your baby is used to only sleeping in a cot, this is the time to try to get baby to get at least one of baby’s naps sorted in a pram or carrier. This means that when you’re out and about and enjoying the sights, you’re less restricted and baby will be used to being out and about.
  • If there’s a change in time zones, try to transition your little one moving the routine by own hour or so to assimilate this new bedtime at least a week prior to heading off on your trip.
  • Take baby’s current cot sheet with you for when you arrive – they love the smell of home and this will make them feel calm and safe in their new environment. You can even get them sleeping in their travel cot a few days prior to holiday so you can both learn to settle them well at home before heading off on your trip.
  • Introduce a song that signal sleep – this was our big one and really worked. It seems simple, but two weeks before we headed off overseas we introduced a song. Now my kiddos only need to hear the few line and their eyes get heavy.
  1. Find a way to block out the light and create a sleep sanctuary for your little one no matter where you are.

When on the plane and at your destination, this is a big one. Babies need darkness to stimulate the release of melatonin and help their brains get the signal for sleep. Getting enough sunshine is also important to ensure the release of serotonin to help baby feel happy and relaxed and reset their body clock.

  • On the plane if you have a bassinet try one of the overhead covers such as the Czsigo. Cozigo have a range of awesome travel products including a cover that fits over bassinets, prams and cots to provide a dark space for your baby to sleep. Importantly, these covers also provide adequate airflow to prevent over- heating.
  • When arriving at your destination, try Sleepy Sundays Instant Blackout Blinds. This portable roll of blackout will stick to any flat glass surface and is 100% portable, blackout and recyclable too. If you’re staying in a lot of different places, you want to be sure you’re covered. All window covers are not made equal. Sleepy Sundays Instant Blackout Blinds fit to any sized window or glass door – covering multiple windows at once. Be sure to throw a roll in your case and don’t be tempted to just alfoil your windows! Alfoil can absorb heat making windows crack – not what you need on holidays or to keep baby safe.
  • Try to book a hotel that has apartment or a villa style if possible. That way you have a separate room to pop baby in, whist you and your partner can relax without having to sit quietly in the dark. Remember, it’s your holiday too!
  1. Create a new holiday routine that works for you.
  • I’m not saying routines aren’t important because babies love them (and for our sanity so do we!), but there’s no point being locked in your hotel room waiting for baby to wake up!
  • Make sure you keep feeding times and nap times as close as regular as you can in your new holiday routine – keeping an eye on tired signs. An overtired baby can be an impossible to settle baby!!
  • Perhaps instead of the first nap of the day being in the cot, try getting baby to sleep in their pram with a dark cover instead, or sit by the pool in the shade with your baby in their carrier also works well. You’ll find a rhythm that works for you all, and by keeping all sleep cues consistent hopefully everyone can get more sleep.

Have a great trip!

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10 Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas

10 Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas

10 Unique baby shower gift ideas to draw inspiration from! 

I love giving presents – well more than that actually, I love researching presents, wrapping presents, finding presents that are a little more unique, a little more interesting and personalised. I also love to seek out gifts that I know my friends and family will properly love, and gifts that will hopefully not end up in the ‘re-gifting’ cupboard!

For new mums, and those buying for new mums, there are so many products out there, from frilly pants to baby rockers, but finding something a little more interesting is not always easy. Here are a few of my favourites.

1. A Beautiful Story Book


‘On the Night You Were Born’, by Nancy Tillman has to be one of the most gorgeous stories for a new baby.


“On the night you were born, you brought wonder and magic to the world. The moon stayed up till morning. Polar bears danced and the stars whispered your name’


My boys adore this story and it's one that I too don’t mind reading over and again!


‘Ten little fingers and Ten little Toes’ and ‘The Green Sheep’ by Mem Fox have to be my next favourites. Simple, fun and perfect for bedtime.

2. A soft cotton baby wrap or Dohar Receiving Blanket


There are so many brands to choose from now that create beautiful muslin wraps and baby blankets. Versatile, multi-purpose and a must for any new mum. To find something a little different, I like to seek out brands that are really focussed not only on beautiful design but are ethically produced and have their own story to tell.   Blankets like these Dohar Gifting Blankets are all handmade and ethically produced in Jaipur. Using traditional methods that date back centuries just adds that extra feeling of love and care. Even Meghan Markle chose a Dohar blanket for Archie’s first outing at the Polo. Well…if it’s good enough for royalty!


As well as our own Sleepy Sundays Dohar Blankets, try the gorgeous single layer wraps by another Australian brand Mama Maya who provide safe clean birthing packs for mothers in developing countries or, an international label also championing for slow fashion.

3. Breastfeeding Cover, Lactation Cookies and Breastfeeding Pack


For any new mum planning to breastfeed, there are a few things that might help ‘get things started’. When feeding a small human, it’s usual to also get super hungry! Without adequate food and drink, the whole breastfeeding journey can become even more challenging. I love lactation cookies – I used to make my own from a fab recipe on, but now there’s a whole industry selling them to make it much simpler. I love these ones by Aussie brand Franjos Kitchen, They taste great and really work!


Breastfeeding Covers are another great item to take to the hospital. Better than just a baby wrap or muslin, proper feeding covers provide a little more privacy when feeding on the go. The ones I love are from


You could partner this with some bamboo reusable breast pads, some natural soothing miracle balm, or a beautiful water bottle to make sure your favourite new mum stays hydrated too. 

4. Clean Tea

I love everything by this brand. Their gorgeous glass tea infuser bottles, bath salts, accessories, and their range of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding teas that taste great and really work. Based in Byron Bay – the home of all things natural – their gifting packages are just gorgeous. 

5. The Gift of Sleep – oils, balms and pillow sprays


Whether this comes in the form of a Pillow Spray, Sleep Balm, Oil Diffuser or Massage Oil, the power of essential oils and their ability to help regulate the nervous system is becoming far more mainstream. Be sure to check the ingredients carefully to ensure they’re safe for pregnancy, new mums and baby, but if you can find one you love (and that works!) this gift will be a firm favourite.


We, of course, have our own 100% natural Sleep Balm, however, there are plenty of great natural blends out there all with a different mix of ingredients all designed to best suit new babies and mums.


You could also try an oil diffuser that is specifically designed for nurseries. This one by Aroma Snooze  has some great reviews and looks great. 

6. The ‘out and about’ pack


When leaving the house with a new baby, there are countless things that need to go with you. A functional baby bag is a must, but what about a beautiful portable change mat too? We’ve discovered a new Aussie brand who have created some lovely change mats that have been designed as proper investment pieces to last.


Or, rather than one item, you could make up your own pack in a gorgeous reusable bag with bamboo wipes, antibacterial gel, a super cute spare outfit, baby sun hat and a proper natural sunscreen from have some great pram covers to provide a dark and safe space for baby to sleep when not at home, and of course there’s our Sleepy Sundays Instant Blackout Blinds which (even though we’re totally biased!) believe is the perfect gift for every new parent. Use at home, at grandmas or on holiday and ensure everyone gets some sleep.

7. A beautiful journal with a handwritten note


Those first few weeks and months of new motherhood can be tough. Sometimes a little space to write down thoughts, organise the week ahead and schedule in some ‘me time’ is just what is needed. I love the journals by, but there are heaps on the market now. Perhaps include a handwritten note letting your friend know what a great job they’re doing and how valued they are. Or diarize some nights when you’ll pop some dinner over for them, or babysit so they can go for coffee. Anything really to take the load off just a little bit. 

8. Photography Session with Gorgeous Frame


Why not wrap up a stylish photo frame for ‘memories yet to come’ and include a voucher for a local photographer. New babies are only tiny for a very short time and it’s great to have some professional shots of these precious moments. Be sure to check out their style though – if they’re ‘formal portrait’ type people, don’t get the vouchers for a more candid style photographer and vice versa! Check out some of the work by Debi Brett  in Brisbane for some of her gorgeous ‘in the moment’ style photography. Capturing life as it really is, but plenty more flair!

9. A Satin Pillowcase, robe and eyemask


After 9 months of growing a person and all of the nurturing that newborns require, a little luxury might just be what this new mum is craving. Something just for her, something to make her feel special and ‘a little bit fancy’!


Check out and for some gorgeous pieces to include.

10. A little extra help pack


Sometimes all a new mum needs is an extra set of hands. A cleaner, a home delivery meal service, voucher to a night nanny or sleep consultant…pretty much anything to help this new family where they might need it most.


Physical gifts are great, but actually often what is needed most, is the gift of love, help, and support. Where has our ‘village’ gone?


If there are a few friends all wanting to help out – you could make up a roster to pop over and cut the lawns once a week or just treat them to Uber eats. Knowing how busy life is for us all  – sometimes it’s best to just outsource to the experts.


There are plenty of companies that are all set up and provide packages for new parents.


For first time parents, why not splurge on a before the baby arrives – to get them set up for success from the start.


Or get their first week’s dinners all set to go by using Gourmet Dinner Service. They have their very own ‘new parent hamper’ set to go!


Whether you select one of these or find a unique gift of your own, I’m sure it will be loved.  And – if you find anything super awesome, please be sure to drop me a note so I can update this list!

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