Traveling is fun, but the mood can quickly change when you have a crying baby along. If you are one of those families that love to travel, then with a little bit of planning and advice from more experienced parents you can continue to share the joys of traveling with your little one too.
As a first time parent the thought of traveling with your baby may seem daunting and admittedly it is scary especially since you’d like them to enjoy the journey too. However, with careful planning and with lots of preparation the trip should turn out to be a wonderful experience for everyone.
So, if you keen on taking this first trip with your baby, read on for things you should know before you plan your trip-
★ Age of your baby- make sure your baby is old enough to travel. It is best to avoid travel before your baby is at least 40 days old as their immunity is at their weakest and your little one risks catching an infection and mumma also needs time to fully recuperate. 3 months and over is a good time as baby has developed some immunity and over 6 months is even better as your baby is stronger and would have also developed some kind of routine by then.
★ Take a few short trips to get your baby used to the idea of traveling.
★ It is a good idea to invest in a good baby car seat, it not only keeps your baby comfortable, safe and secure but also leaves your hands free to do other things.
★ Keep your travel itinerary simple, plan fewer activities and keep your schedule flexible depending on the mood, feeding and sleeping time of your baby. Remember a well-rested baby is a happy baby. Choose a child /infant friendly hotel which will be more suited to your needs as well as the needs of your child.
★ Before you travel it is best to talk to your pediatrician and prepare a first aid kit to manage any illnesses that might occur- motion sickness, colic, nausea, fever, even an upset tummy. Remember to carry the prescription along, you might need it.
★ A week or 10 days before you travel, take the time to prepare an exhaustive list of things you need to pack particularly for your child. With young children it is better to be over prepared than under prepared.
Here are a few things to keep in mind and prepare for while traveling with your baby –
★ When traveling, choose closer destinations for your holiday so as to keep the traveling time short or have several stops along the way for feeding and diaper changes, maybe even a quick walk around to break the monotony of the journey.
★ Use a car window shade or cover your child’s window with a cloth or towel to prevent the strong sunlight falling on your baby, it also helps to darken the car when your baby is sleeping. It is also a good idea to pack some baby sunscreen and a hat to protect your baby’s delicate skin.
★ If your baby or toddler is already walking around, it is better to dress them in brightly colored clothes, in case they wander off.
★ Pack a separate bag with travel essentials to be kept within reach, this bag will contain necessities like, baby’s food, snacks, bottles, water, extra set of clothes, diapers, wipes anything you might need during the journey.
★ Breastfeeding is really convenient when traveling as you don’t need any extra gear. It also helps to breastfeed your baby when flying by plane as it reduces any ear discomfort due to pressure build up, or you can keep a pacifier handy for your baby to suck on.
★ Do remember to pack a bag filled with your child’s favorite toys, books, colors, puzzles to entertain them during the journey and on holiday. Take your baby’s sleep buddy and blanket along too, the familiar smell of these will provide comfort and will help your baby sleep better.
★ If possible take along a compact pram or stroller, for younger children a baby sling or carrier comes in handy when moving around. These keep your child comfortable and your hands free to do other things.
Some additional miscellaneous tips to ensure you’re prepared for anything –
- Try and get enough rest before you travel, a well-rested baby is a happy baby and you being rested will help you stay calm and deal with any situation that might occur.
- While there is a lot that goes on while traveling, do keep in mind that your child needs to stay well hydrated too.
- When traveling by plane, inform the airline staff in advance of the baby traveling as well, they will do their best to keep you and your child comfortable, when traveling by train choose a lower berth it will make it easier for you to walk about with your child, while traveling by car, ensure you stop at regular intervals to stretch and break the monotony of the journey.
- Sitting near a window and looking at the scenery will help entertain your baby.
- A pram or stroller with an adjustable back is useful when your little one falls asleep as you walk from one place to another.
- Keep a blanket or thick bed sheet handy, you never know when you might need it.
- Keep sanitizing wipes, wet wipes, hand sanitizers, toilet rolls and tissues within easy reach, these are always useful.
- Keep spare clothes for you and your baby close by incase of any mishaps and things get messy.
- When planning your activities keep the schedule of your child in mind, try to start early in the morning after a good night’s sleep when everyone is in a good mood. Towards evening try and stay closer to your place of residence so you can get back at ease and comfortably begin the bedtime routine.
- Keep your activity schedule flexible and light to help cope with your child’s changing routine and moods.
Traveling with a small child is not easy but it still can be fun. With time it does get easier as your children will get older and you will get used to the requirements of travel. Taking frequent family trips together strengthens family bonds and helps you make precious lasting memories.
EuroKids always focuses on the needs of children, and strives to keep them safe and comfortable. The learning and experiences the children have in our EuroKids centers will also last them a lifetime, so click here to find a center near you and enroll your kids today!