How can I help my baby sleep in new places?

Q: We're going to visit my parents and I'm worried about my 9-month-old baby adjusting to sleeping somewhere besides his crib. Any tips for making the transition easier?

A: It's true that travel (as well as other things like teething and illness) can derail previously great sleep habits. But you can help your baby rest easier by bringing a favorite light blanket or lovey (they'll remind him of home) and trying to stick to his normal schedule as much as possible. Often, it's the combination of staying up later than usual, switching time zones, travel fatigue, and a strange, new crib that makes up the recipe for a horrible night. So just doing these two things should help a lot. Some experts recommend preparing while you're still at home -- by having baby sleep in a portable crib for a few nights before you leave. But in my experience practicing really doesn't make a difference. It will either be a piece of cake, or he just won't sleep that well. If the latter happens, don't worry. Have fun while you're away and then get him right back on schedule once you get home.

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