posted in Babys Mart News
by Babys-Mart on July 30th 2015
As a new parent, the thought of travelling with your baby can feel daunting. After all, coping with feeding, changing and crying can feel difficult enough in your own home, let alone on the road.
However, contrary to popular belief, babies can make good travellers – as long as they feel comfortable, secure and are regularly fed.
With a little preparation and some tried and tested advice, you can ensure that your trip runs smoothly.
- Make sure you’re ready
Most airlines will allow babies to fly just a few weeks after they are born (although this can vary, so you’d need to check before booking).
However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by new parenthood, it’s a good idea to wait a couple of months until things are more settled. By this time, your baby’s immune system will also be more resistant to germs, making them less likely to pick up bugs on a crowded plane.
You should always check with your GP before you travel – to discuss whether your baby’s ready and to find out whether they’ll need any vaccinations.
- Choose the right travel gear
Choosing the right travel gear will make your journey run more smoothly and make it easier to get around once you arrive. If you’re flying or travelling on trains and buses, a front baby carrier is a good option. Not only will being close to you make your baby feel secure, but having your hands free lets you easily root around for passports, money and tickets, as well as allowing you to carry bags.
If your baby is very young, a travel system with a car seat that fits onto the pushchair is the best option – particularly if you’re planning on doing lots of driving. These allow you to easily move your baby from the car to a restaurant, airport lounge or hotel, without waking them up.
A good alternative is a lightweight, quick-folding pushchair, such as the Baby Jogger City Mini. Lightweight, easy-folding designs are ideal for travel, as they make it much easier to get on and off trains, buses and planes. Just make sure that the model you choose is suitable for babies from birth, with a seat that can lie flat.
- Remember to ask the hotel for a cot
This sounds simple, but it can be easy to overlook. If your baby usually sleeps in a cot, make sure you ask for one when you make the reservation. Otherwise, you risk turning up to the hotel, with a tired baby, and finding there’s nowhere for them to sleep – not a good start to a holiday!
Alternatively, you could take a travel cot or a travel system with a carrycot that’s suitable for overnight sleeping.
- Create a ‘baby holiday checklist’
Travelling with a small baby makes the packing process much more complicated – and it can be easy to forget an essential item. Creating a checklist of everything you might need is by far the easiest way to avoid this. Aside from the obvious items (like nappies!) good things to include are:
Some of your baby’s favourite toys
Your own blankets and cot sheets – the familiar smell of your laundry can help your baby feel at home
* A nightlight – as this can help a baby settle in an unfamiliar room
* A pram or buggy sun canopy or parasol – particularly if you’re heading somewhere hot
* A baby sunhat and sunscreen
* A baby monitor
* A basic first aid kit, including supplies such as plasters, teething gel and nappy rash cream
* Car sun screens – to protect your baby from the sun’s glare and heat
- Take supplies to keep your baby happy on the journey
A long flight, car or train journey is often the most daunting part of travelling with a baby. To keep your little one occupied, take a new toy such as a teething ring, stuffed animal or rattle, as well as a couple of favourite ones.
In case you’re delayed, you should also take more food and drink than you think you’ll need (the normal rules about carrying liquids in your hand language don’t apply to food or milk for your baby).
If all else fails, take a break from your car journey, or take your baby for a walk on a train or airplane – they’re less likely to get bored and cry if there are lots of things to look at.
- Decide how you’re going to feed your baby
Breastfeeding your baby is a great way to travel light – although you may want to take a cloth or blanket with you to create some privacy.
If you’re formula feeding, the easiest travel solution is readymade formula, as they can be offered at room temperature. Alternatively, you may prefer to take the equipment with you to make your baby’s meals on the road, or check whether your preferred formula is available at your destination.
For babies on solid foods, readymade jars and pouches are a convenient on the go option. Alternatively, you might want to pop some homemade food in re-sealable containers.
- Apologise to other travellers if your baby is out of sorts
One of the biggest worries about travelling with a baby is that other passengers will become annoyed if they cry. However, most people will understand that travelling can be unsettling, and will only get upset if they feel like the parents are indifferent.
A genuine apology is usually all it takes to placate your neighbours – and they’ll probably be pretty sympathetic to your plight!
- Try to make your holiday-destination a home from home
Sticking as closely as possible to your home routines can help your baby adjust to their new location. As soon as you arrive, set up the room to make it as close to home as you can – surrounding them with their toys and laundry. If you’re taking a travel cot, it’s a good idea to get them to sleep in it for a few nights before you leave, so that it feels familiar.
You should also try to stick to your baby’s nap times. Try taking a scenic drive whilst your baby is sleeping, or go for long walks so that they can nap in their buggy. Alternatively, if they’re not a good in transit sleeper, take turns nap-sitting back at the room.
It’s also important to stick to your baby’s pre-bed time routine. If, at home, this consists of a bath, bottle and lullaby – do the same on holiday. And, rather than expecting them to shift their internal clock to fit in with the new time zone, shift your day so that you’re staying up later or getting up earlier by a few hours.
Travelling with your baby can be daunting, but with a little preparation and advice, you can enjoy a wonderful family holiday. Do you have any tips for travelling with a baby? Let us know in the comments.