Whenever I’m wrapping things up with a client, they ALWAYS ask about what to do with sleep when traveling.  The last thing a parent wants is their wickedly awesome sleeper to end up back at square one.  In this episode, I’ll be talking about my top sleep tips for traveling with little ones.  I’ll also be speaking with Lou Childs, CEO of the Slumperpod- the best baby sleep travel bed out there and a game changing product for traveling with little ones.


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Eva: (00:04)
Hey there. You’re listening to the, my sleeping baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little one sleeping so that you can sleep too. And enjoy parenthood too. With fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident sleep expert, mom of three founder of the sleep Bible, online coaching program, and lover of all things, sleep and mother home. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one’s sleep WOS, or you simply wanna learn more, this podcast is for you for more information, check out my sleeping baby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.

Eva: (00:44)
All right. So today’s episode is gonna be all about traveling and sleep, how to keep your baby toddler preschooler sleeping well while you are traveling and I’m not gonna lie. I am so excited to be able to record this episode, because is we are recording. It is November, 2021 when for the first time in over a year and a half traveling is becoming more mainstream. Um, there has not been much traveling happening around here. Uh, no, thanks to COVID. So the fact that recording this episode is actually applicable for where we’re at right now is just selfishly a little bit exciting for me. I’m especially excited to be interviewing Lou child who is the CEO and founder of the slumber pod, which to me sounds like such a game changing product for family of little ones who want to be able to go away and be able to keep their little ones sleep intact.

Eva: (01:50)
So before I chat with Lou, I wanna give you all my top biggest tips for keeping your little ones sleep intact when traveling. So I just wanna preface this by saying, you know, some something really, really important when it comes to traveling. I think this is an especially important message for the fellow type a moms there like myself. You have to remember that when your little one is out of their sleep environment and in a new space, potentially in a new country, a new environment, a time change, potentially all bets are off. So we have to remember that it’s not always realistic to expect the same kind of consistent, predictable sleep that you’re able to get at home when you’re taking your little one out of their environment and putting them somewhere completely differently. And so I think it’s very important to have realistic expectations that what comes along with the beauty and enjoyment of traveling and family vacations, and, you know, maybe visiting loved ones across the country is that sleep might go a little bit sideways.

Eva: (02:58)
And I think it’s important to go into your trip with the assumption that it’s likely not going to be perfect. And that’s okay, because remember, even if you’re going away for, you know, a solid one or two weeks, somewhere, or even longer, potentially you are gonna come back home and then as soon as you at home, you’ll be able to get your little one back onto their previous schedule. So I would say that’s tip number one is, you know, regardless of what your little one’s sleep may or may not look like when you are traveling, make sure that as soon as you’re home, if there was a time change, give your little one and yourself for that matter. A few minutes to adjust a few minutes, a few, it’s gonna take a little bit longer than a few minutes, a few days to adjust to being, you know, back on that normal time change, uh, in that normal time zone of yours and allow their bodies to adjust and then get them back on schedule as quickly as possible.

Eva: (03:53)
You don’t want any problems or any unwanted habits that may have been may have been picked up when you were away to continue being back at home. So nip that in the butt as quickly as you can. Now, that being said, there are absolutely things that you can do to maximize sleep as much as possible when you’re away, because I know as much as anyone that a vacation is not gonna be so enjoyable. If your little one is, is keeping you up all night long and then you are bloody exhausted during the day. So the most important thing I can tell you in this department is do your best to keep your little one on schedule, meaning get them up around the time that they’re usually up, make sure that they’re napping when they need to be napping and then make sure that they get to bed early enough.

Eva: (04:43)
Because remember if your little one’s naps go out the window and they go to bed two hours later than they should be, you are going to have a very overtired baby on your hands. And everyone knows that overt tiredness can cause every single sleep problem out there, right? It can difficulty falling asleep night wakings, early, rising, short crummy naps, and then a cranky over tired baby. So here’s the thing though. A lot of people will hear this and go, oh my gosh, well, that’s not gonna be much of a vacation if I’m in my hotel room all day, because my little one is napping. So look when you’re on naps on the go are okay, right? It’s not ideal. You don’t wanna be doing naps on the go for every single nap, um, in the long run when you’re at home, but your vacation is short, right?

Eva: (05:35)
It’s short, it’s temporary. And of course you wanna be able to, you know, enjoy your trip and presumably leave your hotel room or air and B. And so what I like to tell people is, look, if you can maybe try doing the first nap of the day in the pack and play or crib, you know, wherever your little one is napping so that they at least get one good nap, um, at home in a still environment. And then if your little one needs another nap or is napping three or even four times, it’s gonna depend on the age of your baby, right. Then allow those naps to happen on the go. What does that mean? A nap in the stroller, perhaps in the car, a baby carrier, do what works. Don’t worry about creating unwanted habits that you’re not gonna want in the long run, because remember, like, just as I said, when you get back home, you’ll be able to get your little one back onto their routine, um, within a few days.

Eva: (06:30)
But when you’re away, the most important thing I would say is just make sure that your little one isn’t skipping naps, um, because you don’t want them to get overtired. I would much rather them take a 75 minute nap in the stroller or in a baby carrier than not be napping at all. Another really important piece of advice for you is to try your best to recreate your little one sleep environment as much as possible. So if your little one has a favorite sleep sack, that they sleep in, bring that with, if they have a special lovey or comfort toy or Blinky, bring that along. If they sleep with a white noise machine at home, which for the most part, they should be bring that white noise machine with you. Um, if your little one has a bedtime song that they listen to, or a special story that you use read to them, bring that with this is important because it’s going to add a huge amount of familiarity to this brand new space, which is going to help your little one adjust and transition to sleeping in this brand new environment.

Eva: (07:33)
Because you know, the white noise, the comfort toys, that’s all from a home and it’s gonna feel so familiar and make them feel that much more comfortable with where they’re now sleeping. And if you know that you’re gonna be sleeping at your moms or your mother-in-laws, that who presumably doesn’t have blackout blinds for you, then just order that, uh, blackout shade that you can get off of Amazon, if you just search travel, blackout blind, they sell this fantastic product that literally sticks the window through section cups. And you can bring that along with you so that your little one can nap just fine when they are sleeping in a room that would otherwise be brightly lit. And then at the same time, make sure that whatever bedtime routine you do for your little one at home, take that routine with you. Don’t omit it just because you’re now not at home.

Eva: (08:24)
Continue with that bedtime routine. You know, the bath, the bedtime stories, the bedtime songs. It, once again is going to add that important sense of familiarity and security and comfort for your little ones. So that they’ll be able to go to sleep more easily, even though they’re not at at home. And then lastly, if you’re traveling somewhere that has a time change and you’re going away for more than I guess, two or three days, which you likely are, do your best to get your little one on local time, as quickly as you can, because the quicker you get them onto that time, it’s gonna be a lot easier for you. So light exposure to natural light specifically is your best friend. So if it is 8:00 AM local time, but your little one thinks that it is, you know, five, 5:00 AM because maybe it was 5:00 AM where you live, then you wanna get them exposed to lots of natural light during the date so that they, their body is basically sent a very clear message that it is now time to wake up, but it’s not time to go to sleep. So when it is daytime, local time, try and take them outside and get at them exposed to as much natural light as you can. All right. So those are all my main travel tips from you. And now I am so excited to bring on Lou child of the slumber pod. So enjoy everyone. Okay. Well, thank you so much Lou, for being here. So why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself and, uh, what you,

Lou: (09:56)
Oh, thank you for having us Eva. Um, my name is Lou Childs and I’m the co-founder of slumber pod. Um, slumber pod. For those of you who might not know is a blackout privacy pod for little ones, babies and toddlers. So it goes over whatever approved sleep place you, you have chosen for your child. It is great for on the go in hotel rooms, or anytime that your little one is sharing a room with someone, it keeps them in their own little dark cocoon, and they can sleep peacefully and you can keep the lights on. Um, my daughter and I invented slumber pod because she a actually came to my house for the holidays, with her little one for the first time. And they had to share a room. I’ve got six children, Eva . And so the house was packed. She’s my oldest and three nights in a row.

Lou: (10:59)
Their little Margo would wake up in the middle of the night and see them across the room and cry and think it was time to get up and woke other people in the house up. And they left early. They were sleep deprived, crabby, no fun to be around. And so they went home and I called her and I said, you know, we’ve, we’ve got to figure this out because number one, I want you to be able to come home with your baby and spend several nights at my house. And number two, we can’t be the only ones on this planet with this problem. Right.

Eva: (11:37)
Right. So

Lou: (11:38)
Not serious. We got serious about inventing slumber pod together. And, um, we, we launched the product a little over three years ago.

Eva: (11:49)
Yes, yes. And it sounds like the BEST baby sleep travel bed out there and an absolute game changer because, um, you know, I’ve been in this business as a sleep consultant now for, um, over seven years. And I can tell you that for, you know, I guess the first four years of that, um, before your product was even around, um, people would ask me all the time, what do I do when I’m going to, you know, my mom’s house for the holidays, or, you know, my mother-in-law for, you know, Thanksgiving or over the summer. And we all have to sleep in the same room and before your product came out, my answer was always, oh gosh, well, that’s really sucky because, you know, at a certain point, it’s one, the, if you have a little baby, right, you know, a 2, 3, 4 month old, then it’s usually okay. But then when they get to that, even, you know, 6, 7, 8 month age range, especially where they can sit up on their own, they can stand up on their own.

Eva: (12:47)
And they know that you are right there and they’re aware, they know they don’t know what to do with themselves because your presence is so inherently distracting. That’s what can cause so many problems that night, right. Where a baby is just up and doesn’t know what to do with themselves. And if you’re stuck in one room, it’s not like you can go escape somewhere. You know, especially if you’re in a one bedroom hotel, I guess you can go all hide in the bathroom. be outta sight out of mind, but that’s not exactly a long term solution. And so I would often tell people, you know, gosh, can you, can you put the pack and play? Like, is there a walking closet somewhere? Is there an extra bathroom that you can put it in? And sometimes there were those options, you know, depending on the, the home and the setup, um, there might have been an extra bedroom that they can squeeze in.

Eva: (13:36)
Oh, my dad has an office, but I can fit a pack and play in the office and he’ll give up his office for a few days. And, and you work something out. But then as you said, you have six kids, right? Presumably unless you have like a 12 bedroom house, which most people don’t, then I know it’s a lot easier said than done, than to find a, a spare bedroom for every single child or grandchild in this situation to sleep in. Especially if you’re, if each of your six kids is coming or, or if let’s say even half let’s, even three of her, six kids are coming to visit you. And they’re all coming with, let’s say two of their own kids. That’s a lot of bedrooms that theoretically somebody would need, that’s just not possible. So. Right. Um, so you realize, okay, there’s clearly a need for something like this. So what happened next? So you decided you, you see that there is a problem. How did you go, you know, from point realizing, okay, there is a need in the market. There’s nothing like this to point B, I guess like coming up with like the design and all the features that make the number pod, what it is. It’s a great question. So when we started with this idea, like you said, there

Lou: (14:51)
Was nothing on the market. There was nothing mm-hmm . So when we were going through the creation of slumber pod, Soo shade, which is one of our competitors, and I really love the owner of the founder of, of Soo shade. She, she is wonderful to be a partner with because we are different. Yes, we solve the same problem, but we’re different. And, and we get along, which is fantastic, but they weren’t even on the market yet she’s in the UK, they sold in the UK. We didn’t even find them until after we were in development. And then they started selling on Amazon. So there was really no product for us to choose from. So that’s why we started thinking about, okay, what are the features that we want? We knew we wanted that visual barrier between the bed and whoever else was in the room, whether it’s another sibling or parent or, or just light in general.

Lou: (15:54)
Yeah. So we also wanted to make sure that it could grow with the child and be used for several years. Mm-hmm . So we came up with this standalone structure that you can put over any of proof sleep space mm-hmm so it fits on a, over a mini crib or a toddler cot or an inflatable mattress. Um, so you can use it. We, we suggest you use it, start using it at about four months. When you said children, start a little and start getting more aware mm-hmm of their surroundings from four months to five years. And there there’re not many baby products that you can say you can use ’em that for that long. No. Um, so longevity of use was important to us as, and it, as well as the standalone safety feature, mm-hmm so somber pod does not attach in any way to anything.

Lou: (16:55)
So, um, it is, there’s no entrapment issues. Um, they can’t, you know, if they crawled out of their play yard, they can easily climb out mm-hmm , which some parents want the, and, um, you know, to be kept inside the play yard, but that’s not the purpose of slumber pod. Yeah. And we wanna be more than safe. So all of these things, we had this checklist of the features that we wanted it to have, as well as the safety aspects that we wanted it to have. And we landed with this design mm-hmm . So, um, it took a while it took about two years of development to, to find the right design and then find our, our sweet sauce really is the fabric. Yeah, it is. Um, it is not 100% blackout and I wanna make everybody clear on that. And the reason why is that would not be breathable mm-hmm .

Lou: (17:57)
So it’s, it’s a beautiful combination of very, very, very dark, probably the darkest fabric of any of, of the solutions that are out there for a little ones, as well as being breathable mm-hmm . So, um, we went beyond what was required for safety testing and we had CO2 rebreathing tests done, and we got the highest grade that you can get. Oh, wow. Wow. So we, we feel really, really confident about this product. In fact, all of my grandchildren and, um, and some other family members used it as beta testers and, you know, I wanted it to be ultra tested and safe before using it on my own family members. So, um, I just want your listeners to know that we’re not some big company that is manufacturing something because there’s a need and not paying attention to safety. Yeah. It is very, very important to

Eva: (18:59)
Us. Yeah. No, no. And I, I love that feature about the product. So, you know, in terms of like what it looks like, so it basically looks like this cute little tent that fits to over, um, a pack and play a mini crib or a toddler bed you said, right?

Lou: (19:15)
Yes. Um, and it is bottomless, so it can pop up off, but it has features like a zippered, uh, window is what we call it. It’s a, it’s a window and an opening that you can put your child in and out. Don’t have to pop it off every time. Right. Um, it also has a pouch for a monitor, so it’s accessible from the outside. So there are no cords inside of slumber pot at all, but you can keep your eyes on your baby, even when it’s all closed up, because the monitor PO, um, is compatible with most of the popular

Eva: (19:54)
Brands. Oh, that’s so smart. Mm-hmm, , that’s so unbelievably smart. And I tell you, I love this because, um, when, when families would ask me, you know, what, what do I do about my little one’s sleep? We’re gonna be staying in a hotel, you know, in a standard, you know, one bedroom hotel room. And I felt, and I feel so guilty often telling people, well, can you upgrade to a suite because I know that that’s another way of saying, um, you’re gonna have to increase your travel budget, you know, and depending on the city that you’re visiting, if you’re going to New York city, then going from, you know, a one bedroom, a, a one bedroom hotel, which is probably gonna be an arm and a leg to begin with and upgrading to a suite in the name of keeping your little one’s sleep intact is a lot of money.

Eva: (20:41)
And, and I hated, I hated how it felt to tell people, well, this is an option that you can toy with. And so knowing that you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, um, if you would rather, you know, for budgetary reasons, or you’re staying at your mom’s where there isn’t an extra bedroom and it just makes life so much easier to be able to stay in that one room, but have your little one in something like slumber pod. I think to me, just removes such a huge source of stress for families who may have, who, especially when they’ve just worked with me or, you know, they’ve completed my sleep. I program, they just got their little ones sleeping, like champs, and then they’re going away. They don’t want that going down the toilet they’re going,

Lou: (21:27)
Oh, they don’t. No. You know, um, to your point about getting a sweet, sometimes that doesn’t even work for little ones because they wake up and they realize that they’re in an unfamiliar place. So waking up inside of slumber pod is pretty, it’s just darkness. Right. So they get used to that and you can take that familiar cocoon with you wherever you go. Yeah. And so they’re always in a familiar environment.

Eva: (22:02)
No. So that’s so

Lou: (22:03)
True. Yeah, it is. So also you don’t, so what the environment is gonna be like, okay, so you do have an extra bedroom for baby to sleep in. Does it have blackout curtains? Right? Is, are there noises or, or lights or whatever that are gonna disturb your little one? Mm-hmm the great thing about slumber pot is you can keep on in the room. Yeah. We, we have people send us photos all the time and I, I would really love for people to join us on Instagram, just to get a feel for what customers talk about and, um, follow our stories. But all the time we get pictures of people having a romantic dinner in their hotel room, raising their glass of wine and slumber pods in the background. Yeah. So they, they con continue to live and not have to slither around in the dark once their babies not, uh, bedtime comes. So we, we have had customers set game changer, life saver, marriage saver. Mm-hmm um, just for a few of those adjectives.

Eva: (23:17)
Yes. No, it really is. Especially for those families who travel a lot, you know, they’re, I’ve, I’ve worked with families who literally, they, they tell me, they’re like, Eva, we’re not at home for at least a quarter of the year. Um, you know what, and again, this is, this is like a before, before COVID, but you know what, now, now where we’re at right now, a lot of those families have gotten back to, you know, our normal, regular, um, traveling where they might have family all over the country. What’s that? Yay. Yes. I know. Isn’t that? It’s amazing. Right? Yeah. And so they might have family that they’re seeing all over the country. They might just be especially adventurous and just want traveling and seeing the world to be part of, um, the life that they give their kids. And the key is to enjoy that. Right. And we know that it’s hard to enjoy even the most enjoyable aspects of life when you’re sleep deprived. When your little one is making you, you up all night long. Yeah. And

Lou: (24:19)
Nothing more

Eva: (24:20)
Miserable than that. No, no. And it sucks to have to choose between continuing to get amazing sleep versus seeing the world or, or at a minimum seeing family that might not be local. And, and I see something like this as a tool that can really help families see each other, you know, connect and go away and see the world and be able to continue and be able to enjoy it because it means that they’re able to continuously be sleeping like champs throughout the night. So this is as a sleep consultant and, you know, and as a parent myself, I think that this, this tool is so unbelievably exciting because it does, it completely changes the game with what sleep and traveling can look like for families. So, um, if people wanna learn more about your product, um, where, where can they find you and, and follow you?

Lou: (25:18)
Well, of course we would love for them to purchase slumber pot and get to know slumber pot on our website. But we do have other retailers as we, um, our website address is slumber pod, all one word.com or.ca for those in Canada. Yes.

Eva: (25:37)
Um, and I’ve got a coupon code for everyone. Yes. A code. So if you use the coupon code, I’m gonna write it out in the show notes, but the coupon code is my sleeping baby 20 all in caps. Um, if you use that code, then you will get a $20 discount on your purchase of the slumber pod. So I will link that all for you in the show notes. Um, and then you’re also on Instagram, you said as well, right? Yes.

Lou: (26:01)
Instagram is our main social site. Um, so we’d love for you to follow us there. And we share store and tips and blog posts about a lot of different things that our audience is interested in way beyond just sleep mm-hmm um, so yeah. Follow us, read our blog, uh, on the us site and get to know us. We’re amazing.

Eva: (26:26)
Yes. Yeah. I can, I can, I can get at that vibe for sure. And I like it. Amazing. All right, guys. Thank you so much, Lou, for coming on today. Thank you everyone for listening and, uh, a wonderful day. Take care, everyone.

Eva: (26:43)
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listeners. So feel free to DM me on Instagram @mysleepingbaby, or send me an email at eva@mysleepingbaby.com until next time have a wonderful restful nights.

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