A few, simple steps to help make travelling with baby easier.
Whether you’re travelling by car or by plane, you’re probably anxious to make sure baby’s first trip goes smoothly. And that’s understandable: from cranky seatmates to unexpected car troubles; there are many things that can complicate your first journey with baby.
But don’t panic just yet. With a bit of planning—and, granted, a bit of luck—there’s nothing to stop your trip from going smoothly. Here are a few steps you can take to make travelling easier.
1. Draft a pre-travel checklist
The key to stress-free travel with your baby is planning ahead. This includes the obvious like packing (more detail below) but also thinking ahead to things like changing tables and facilities for breastfeeding or pumping mothers.
If you’re flying, one option most people don’t think of is calling the airline to check how spacious the aeroplane is and checking the airport’s website to see what facilities are like for parents. If your child is a bit older, you can also locate play areas in the airport(s) where you’ll be flying. For car trips, check the route for kid-friendly places where you can stop along the way, and plan to stop frequently.
2. Let's talk about packing
If you’re nervous about what to pack, don’t worry: the Internet has LOTS of travel checklists you can draw from, so we won’t dive into too much detail here. Don’t forget the essentials: snacks, drinks, and wipes. You should always pack more than you think you’ll need: if your flights are delayed, or your bags get lost, you’ll be infinitely less stressed if you have supplies to last an extra day. For aeroplane travel, you can carry milk in a thermal flask and they will screen it separately. Don’t forget the pacifier to help your baby’s ears adjust to changes in pressure.
If you’re travelling by car and have more space, you might want to pick a few favourite toys and books, several changes of baby clothes, a change of clothes for you and zip lock bags for soiled clothes. It is also recommended to carry travel packs of disinfectant wipes to help keep surfaces clean in dirty airports, restaurants and public places.
3. Healthy baby, happy travels
So, you’ve packed, you’ve planned, and you’re ready for your family to hit the road. But your throat is getting itchy, and your head has started to ache, and is that… achoo! Yep, you’re sick right in time for the big family trip. Nothing makes travel less fun than getting ill or travelling with a sick, grumpy baby.
There’s only so much you can do once you fall ill, but these tips might help you avoid it. If possible, try to avoid travelling during the cold and rainy season, and keep baby out of crowded areas with lots of people. “Even after babies receive the flu vaccine, it can take a couple of months for their immunity to kick in. Of course, avoiding people isn’t always possible if you’re travelling through busy airports and crowded aeroplanes, so don’t feel guilty if you can’t keep baby away from people all the time.
If you’re travelling somewhere warm, make sure you and baby drink plenty of water and add hats and sunscreen to your suitcase.
Finally, remember to set your expectations low. Travelling with a baby is never going to be easy, but the more organized you are, the more relaxed both of you will be.
Data on file