New parents are hesitant to take their baby on a vacation because doing so has its own set of challenges. Some of the worries that might stop you from planning a vacation would be - if the baby will sleep in an unfamiliar place or if he will hate travelling by airplane, or you might even have concerns about breastfeeding in public. You need to take care of the baby’s health, safety and make sure that your baby is well-fed and comfortable. Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning a vacation with your baby:
Health and Safety
Health and safety come first when you are travelling with a baby. Try sticking closer to home when you are travelling in the first few months or have a doctor on call wherever you travel to. Babies from 4 months of age are grown well enough to travel. Do carry your baby’s medical files and medicines with you when you travel. Also, take comfortable cotton clothes, a sun-hat and sunscreen for the baby if you are planning a holiday on the beach. If you are travelling by an airplane, breastfeed or formula feed the baby during takeoff and touchdown. Change your baby’s sleeping patterns to suit the new time zone if you are travelling overseas before you leave for travel. Keep bugs/mosquito repellent tools handy.
Food and Comfort
Carry additional water for hydrating yourself if you are breastfeeding. Carry enough food for your baby on the flight. If you are flying to a place where it is difficult to get the kind of food your baby eats, you can pack full meals and ingredients in your cargo luggage. It is however best to only travel to a place where food is suitable for the baby. Carry extra diapers, diaper- rash lotion, clothes for you and your baby in your carry-on luggage. Travel with his blanket and toys so that when you reach your destination the baby has something familiar in unfamiliar surroundings.
Do ask for comfortable seating on the flight when travelling with your baby. If you aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in public, you can pump breast milk in advance or opt for formula feeding when in public. Another way to continue breastfeeding without being conscious is to carry a feeding cover.
Carry your baby’s regular toys. But at the same time carry something new, so you can keep your baby occupied when you are on the flight or when you are having your meal.
If your baby is used to sleeping in a cot, you can carry the travel cot with you to make the baby feel at home. If there is a lot of walking to do, do carry along your baby carrier / sling or the pram with you. Research if you need to take your baby around in a car seat when you are travelling to your holiday destination. Rules might need you to take your baby around in a car only in a car seat. You could make arrangements for a car seat on rent in advance or carry your own. Carry along some diaper bags for temporary storage of messy diapers, so that you can dispose them off when you arrive at your destination.
Travelling with your baby need not be a chore. Things can be under your control if you take care about the interests of your baby first and being receptive to his needs. While travelling with a baby has its challenges, there are none that cannot be worked around with.