Tips for Travelling with Baby
A full tummy, a clean diaper, a comfortable place to sleep, and a whole lotta love is all that a baby needs.
While most pediatricians recommend waiting until baby is settled – from around three months – babies generally make pretty good travellers. So enjoy this period: once baby is mobile and on solid food, the list of tips and tricks gets a lot longer!
If you are travelling internationally, be sure to have all the necessary legal paperwork for baby.
Consider ditching the stroller and carrying baby around in a sling or BabyBjorn during your trip (except in the car, of course, where an infant seat is required). Not only are your hands free, but baby will be soothed by the close contact and movement.
Don’t overpack for baby. Make sure you have warm outerwear and sun protection but don’t go overboard on outfits. Consider packing some gentle laundry soap and wash a few of baby’s clothes during your trip. (That leaves more room for that extra pair of shoes for mum.)
As well as plenty of diapers, pack diaper rash cream, bags for dirty diapers, spare clothes and a baby first aid kit. And don’t forget the holy grails of parenthood – Ziploc bags in every size available and baby wipes. Keep a stash of both in all your bags.
Psychologically prepare yourself to change your baby in the cramped quarters of an airline washroom. There is usually a table that pulls down over the toilet, but preparation is key. Get your diapers, wipes and anything else you need ready before laying baby down.
Stash a few of baby’s favourite toys in your diaper bag: shiny, babyproof mirrors, rattles, musical toys, soft animals, cloth books, plastic keys or teething rings.
Don’t plan to stay away too long. Newborns are flexible, but later hours and varying sleep times will eventually wear on baby (and mum and dad, too).
Follow your baby’s normal eating, sleeping, and bedtime routine as much as possible and avoid over-scheduling your days.
If you’re on a road trip, take a break from driving at least every one and a half hours unless baby is sleeping. Bring snack foods for yourself and for older children in case baby decides to sleep through scheduled dinner stops.
Ask your hotel for a room in a secluded section of the hotel so baby’s nighttime howls wont disturb others. Also, request a non-smoking room on the lower level. This makes it easier when bringing in luggage and baby supplies. Find out where the nearest store to your hotel is so you can buy diapers and other essentials. Alternatively, have essentials shipped to your destination in advance. For more info, visit jetsetbabies.com.
If you travel frequently, invest in a portable crib for your baby. There are now super lightweight travel cribs like the Baby Bjorn travel crib light available. Or rent essential baby gear from a baby equipment rental company at your destination.
Beware of contaminated water. Before you travel, find out whether local tap water is safe to drink. If not, use bottled or boiled water for washing baby’s hands and face.
If you have been travelling all day, take time to do some activities with baby before putting him to bed. Fingers crossed that you all get some quality sleep!
Kara Turner is the owner of Little Traveller (www.littletraveller.ca) baby equipment rentals in Calgary and a mum of two (with another on the way). She’s done a lot of travelling in the past and has big plans for adventures in the future.
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