Things to consider when vacationing with babies
Holidays are just around the corner, and you may want to take advantage of some days off to travel, and show your precious baby some wonders of the world! Lots of moms (and dads!) however, find it challenging and stressful to plan out a trip with that very special passenger. Although there are many things and moving parts to consider, it doesn’t have to be all that bad. Here’s a few tips on making it as easy for you as possible.
Do your research and plan ahead
This is really a crucial point – you don’t want to be caught at the airport with a crying baby in need of a diaper change and realize you’ve missed something! Make sure you:
- Have taken care of all the necessary paperwork – baby’s passport, any visa requirements if traveling abroad (these things can take some time, so make sure it’s all done well in advance).
- Have researched your destination – is it stroller friendly, or are the streets too narrow, or too bumpy with cobblestones? You might end up having to carry both your little angel AND the stroller.
- Have acquainted yourself with the culture and customs of the country you’re visiting – for instance if you are breastfeeding, some countries’ traditions of modesty would require you to wear a cover.
- Make digital checklists you can always easily find on your phone or tablet – it’s so easy to forget stuff when you’re juggling a hundred things.
Pack lightly and smartly
- Your instinct might be to bring everything but the kitchen sink with you, just in case you might need it, but that could create endless bouts of unpacking and repacking that will wear you out and waste precious time. Only bring the essentials for the trip itself and buy (or rent) everything else at your destination. It might add a bit to your trip budget but it will be worth it.
- While traveling, put your most precious cargo in a baby carrier – the closeness of your body will comfort them and you will have your hands free!
- Always make sure that you have easy access to diapers (accidents can happen anywhere), and perhaps your baby’s favorite toy tied somewhere with a little string so it doesn’t fall on the dirty airport or airplane floor.
Flying with babies
- Generally, most doctors don’t recommend flying until your baby’s immune system is developed, at about 3-6 months of age. However, if need be, many airlines will let you take your baby on board earlier than that – it’s a good idea to call ahead and ask what their policy is.
- Also while you’re at it, you might want to reserve a baby bassinet, especially for a long-haul flight. If it’s first come first serve, it is definitely worth showing up at the airport early to secure it. For shorter flights, reserving an aisle seat should be enough.
- When checking in, always ask if there is an empty seat on the plane, and if you could be seated next to it – a little extra room can go a long way!
- During the flight, it’s very useful to have an extra device (like an old phone or tablet) loaded with some soothing sounds and fun videos for the little one to enjoy when they’re not eating or napping.
Stay calm and have fun
Perhaps the most important ingredient in any trip is to have fun! And what a lovely thing it is to share it with your sweet bundle of joy. Some crying on the plane or a tantrum in a restaurant may happen – it’s perfectly normal! Remember that the calmer the parent, the calmer the baby, and that most people will be understanding when they see you trying to remedy the situation. And just in case they aren’t, a sweet gesture perhaps as simple as a bag of ‘I’m sorry’ chocolates might help soften their disposition.