After adjusting to a newborn baby for the first few months, parents may feel ready to travel with their baby. A short trip can be rewarding for everyone – the mom who have been ‘confined’ to the house to recuperate after delivery gets to relax outside of the home and the baby can explore and be stimulated by new environment. A baby is not necessarily a bad travel companion; the whole family can look forward to some fun with the following tips!
1. Don’t be Ambitious
The baby’s first trip should not be an ambitious one; instead opt for a relaxing short trip such as a beach getaway or visit to a family in a neighboring country. The destination, hotel and travel on the road should be family-friendly.
2. Be Flexible
Design an itinerary that has one main activity per day and does not require rushing from place to place. Your baby (or even yourself) may not feel up to it after the flight or road trip, or may suddenly come down with flu or fever. Bring along water toys so that your family can always fall back on fun in the pool or for your baby, some fun in a hotel bath tub!
3. Stay Healthy
As the baby’s immune system is not as strong, it is safer to travel closer to home (thus the short trip). Ensure that the trip will not disrupt your baby’s immunization schedule, and if it would, discuss first with the pediatrician. Bring along the regular first-aid tool kit and medication for the entire family. You would want both you and your spouse to stay healthy, instead of falling ill and passing along to your child. Thus, bring along your usual health supplements too.
4. Be Safe
Do not neglect safety; exercise car safety precaution even on holiday. When booking a car, ensure you also reserve the right type of car seat (rear-facing for infants). When traveling in the plane, the baby may have difficulty dealing with the air pressure, therefore have a sippy cup or something for your baby to suck ready during take-off and landing.
5. Make Your Baby Feel at Home
Whenever you can, create the same bedtime or naptime routine and bring the blanket, soft toy or pillow that offers comfort to your baby. You may want to bring along a portable playpen. There is also no need to dress your baby pretty for the camera, instead, the usual comfortable clothes worn at home may work better. You may want to choose some brighter clothes in case your baby has started toddling and moved away from you.
For a flight, consider booking the bulkhead seat in front, getting both the window and aisle seat to have 3 seats in a row (on a non-full flight) and choosing a flight time that coincides with your baby’s nap/bedtime. If you are travelling with young children, check out the Best Airlines That Offer Free Or Discounted Air Fare For Baby And Toddler!
6. Bring Entertainment
Your baby may not be as entertained as you would be with the TV or the in-flight movies. Instead, bring some new or not recently played with toys. Also bring along light books, puzzles, coloring, music and a ball to play with.
7. Snacks Works
Not only the baby, but sometimes adults are also not used to food in a foreign country. Therefore, bring along baby biscuits, animal crackers, juice, smoothie and ready to eat pureed foods. The whole family should have plenty of water to drink, bearing in mind it is easy to get dehydrated on a plane ride or in the sun. Also bring along the necessary to prepare milk on the go.
8. Safe in Sun
It is more likely that there is more time spent outdoors when on holiday. Apply sunscreen for your baby, particularly as the baby’s skin is thinner and more susceptible to sun burn. At least a SPF50 and also wear a hat and shades.
9. Plan for Mess
Always have tissue to wipe any mess from feeding your baby. Have spare diapers and baby wipes with you all the time and bring sealed plastic bag to dispose of the soiled diapers. Bring along a change of clothes as well, you never know when the urine or stools may leak.
10. Stroll Smart
Depending on your preference, you may want to bring along a light-weight stroller or baby carrier or sling. It also depends on the type of trip you have planned – if there is a lot of walking, a stroller may be less physically taxing for you. However if your baby naps well in a sling or you anticipate hands-free to be important, bring along the sling.
Are you a breastfeeding mother? Here are 10 Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers While Travelling With Infants Or Baby!
Finally, relax before the trip. Don’t start a quarrel with your spouse over the trip or over packing, or get yourself irritated before even embarking on your first family adventure!