Traveling with a baby can fill you with dread, excitement, and anxiety. You’re looking forward to making beautiful memories with your little one, but you’re also apprehensive about the journey.
Travelling can be challenging at the best of times; all it takes is an unexpected delay or a lost suitcase to throw a spanner in the works. So, it’s understandable to be worried about traveling with a baby.
Thankfully, traveling with a baby or toddler isn’t as daunting as it seems. But it does require a little more planning. Here are our top tips for traveling with your little one.
Check for Vaccinations
In the UK, babies and children have a series of routine vaccinations, including vaccines against MMR and the rotavirus infection.
Your child will be scheduled to have these vaccines throughout their early childhood. If you’re traveling to another country with your baby, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor and ask about vaccinations.
For example, if you are traveling to a country that has recently had a breakout of MMR, your baby may not have had that vaccination yet.
When it comes to traveling with a baby, all the mummy blogs will tell you the same thing – plan! It will make your first adventure with your baby go much smoother.
For example, when booking accommodation, choose wisely. Accommodation with a separate sleeping area will give your little one the peace and quiet they need to get a good night’s sleep.
Plus, it means you can chat or watch TV without worrying about waking your baby up. Also, contact the accommodation to ensure they have a crib available. When traveling with a baby or toddler, you may prefer accommodation that has kitchen amenities, such as an apartment or villa rather than a hotel room.
If you’re flying on a long-haul flight, contact the airline beforehand and request a bassinet for your baby. They’re not guaranteed but can make the trip so much easier if you get one.
If you’re hiring a car at your destination, contact the car hire company beforehand to ensure they have a baby seat. The same applies if you are booking car transfers or taxis. Baby seats are big and bulky and aren’t ideal for traveling.
Take the Right Stroller
Having the right stroller makes a huge difference when traveling with a baby. It would be best if you had a stroller that is lightweight and compact yet durable. We love this J-TOURER from JUNIORJONES.
A stroller with all-round suspension is best, as this will provide a smooth ride whatever the terrain. Plus, the seat unit of your stroller must lie flat. This way, your little one can take a comfortable nap wherever you are.
Pack for The Journey as Well as The Destination
Whether you’re driving, getting the train, or flying, you should always pack for the journey. Pack plenty of nappies, wipes, and an extra change of clothes for your little one. Plus, keep a hand sanitizer in your bag. Babies and toddlers love to touch – which isn’t ideal in public places!
Dress your baby in layers that can easily be removed or added if your baby is too warm or cold.
Packing a change of clothes for yourself is also a sensible idea (wearing a sick-stained top for a 7-hour flight is nobody’s idea of fun). Snacks will also come in handy if there is an unexpected delay.
Also, pack your baby’s favorite blanket or soft toy. This will bring comfort to your little one when they are unsettled or trying to sleep.
Ensure Technology Is Fully-Charged
On any other occasion, we wouldn’t recommend sitting your baby in front of an iPad or tablet. We much prefer traditional books and soft toys. However, technology can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your little one entertained on long journeys.
Download your baby’s favorite films or TV programs onto a tablet and make sure it’s fully charged before setting off. Don’t forget the portable charger!
Pack Enough Baby Food
If you are breastfeeding and you like to express, don’t forget to pack the breast pump, bottles, and sterilizing equipment.
If you don’t express, it may be worth packing a bottle anyway. If you’re heading to a country with hot weather, you might like to give your baby small amounts of cool boiled water to keep them hydrated (water should only be given to babies from 6 months old).
If your baby is also on solid foods, perhaps pack a few jars of their favorite food. This will take away the worry and stress of finding the right baby food when you reach your destination.
Don’t Forget About Travel/Health insurance
Everyone in your family, including your baby, should be insured when you’re traveling. Plus, if you’re taking baby accessories, such as a stroller, these should also be protected.
There are various ‘couple and child’ policies available, which are great if you have one child. Alternatively, you can opt for a family policy.
Take Your Time
When traveling with a baby, give yourself plenty of time to do everything. Get to the airport earlier, give yourself longer to walk to the gate, give yourself time to unpack and unwind when you reach your destination, etc.
As a parent, you’ll already be aware that time runs away with you when you have a baby. To avoid unnecessary stress, try to avoid rushing! Plus, don’t feel like you must hurry because of other people.
For example, don’t try to rush through security because people are waiting. Most people are super understanding when you’re traveling with a little one (and those who aren’t can expect!).
Find A Balance
When you’re enjoying an exotic adventure in a beautiful destination, it can be tricky to find a balance between going with the flow and sticking to the routine.
But once you find that balance, the whole trip will go much smoother. Most parents and babies have some daily routine when they’re at home. And although it’s unrealistic to try and recreate the same method when you’re on holiday, it’s still important to establish some routine. (Even if it’s far more relaxed than the one you had at home.)
For example, your baby may have an extra nap during the day. And that’s nothing to worry about. Travelling can be incredibly tired.
Similarly, it’s OK if your little one is going to bed a little later than usual, so long as their bedtime routine is the same. For example, it may include a bath, storybook, and feed before bed.
If you are heading for a beach holiday with your baby, it’s imperative to bring along a beach tent with you. Check our list of top 10 best baby beach tents