Travelling with a baby can be quite overwhelming, here are some tips to take the stress out and make it a fun family trip.
Babies aren’t as fragile as we sometimes believe – by age three months; babies are good candidates for travel – but try to keep it low key.
- Try to plan trips closer to home in the first few months after your baby is born. At this stage your baby requires almost non-stop attention between feeding and diaper changes.
- Put a first aid kit together with the items you will need to deal with minor medical problems while on the road with your baby. Don’t forget prescription medications.
- Keep emergency info with your child’s health information close on hand – on your mobile phone or notebook. Include the contact names and numbers of healthcare providers and any medication your baby takes.
- Always take a hat to shade your baby from the sun or a cap to keep him warm in cool weather.
- And don’t forget the Sunscreen – a must if you are spending time outdoors – not matter which season you are travelling in. Use one with both UVA and UVB protection that’s at least SPF 15. (Sunscreen with SPF 30 is even better, especially for babies who have fair skin.) Apply small amounts to the face and back of hands in babies younger than 6 months. In older babies, you can use it more liberally wherever skin is exposed.
- Whether a short trip to the store or a longer trip – your baby should always ride in the back seat, in a car seat – never in a front seat. Before you leave, make sure the car seat is properly. Adjust the harness so it fits your baby snugly and securely.
- If you are using public transport such as a bus, train or taxi, keep your baby as safe as possible by taking a car seat. The car seat will provide some protection even when there are no seat belts to strap him in.
- If you are flying and have purchased an airline seat for your baby, bring an approved car seat for your baby to sit in – it is the safest way for babies to fly. Contact your airline for their tips on flying with babies and toddlers.
- Some baby’s ears hurt from air pressure changes during take-off and landing. Encourage him to suck on a bottle, pacifier or sippy cup to help ease the pain.
- Whether you are driving or flying – there are a range of general necessities you will need to make yours and your baby’s trip comfortable:
- Diapers and wipes (enough for travel time plus 24 hours extra in case of delays)
- Two or three receiving blankets – they’re great as nursing cover-ups, for naps, for keeping your baby warm, and for keeping your clothes protected from spit-up
- A change of clothes for your baby – at the very least, pack an extra onesie
- Nursing pads and shields if you’re breastfeeding
- Formula and bottles if you bottle-feed – again, plan for travel time plus 24 hours to be safe
- Pacifiers, if necessary – always bring a couple of spares
- One or two board books and a couple of comfort toys
- A sling or a baby carrier
- Baby-friendly snacks.
- A couple of Ziploc bags – they come in handy for storing snacks and keeping soiled clothes separate in your diaper bag
Travelling with babies and toddlers isn’t always going to be smooth sailing, but making sure you are prepared for anything can make you feel more confident. But always remember to live by this mantra; “It’s temporary. I’ll be at my destination in no time!