Organizing a trip for your family with the newest member on board sounds really fun, but it might be more challenging than you think. The jitters of a new experience, like taking your baby out for his/her first family vacation, can understandably be frightful—especially for first time moms. “Is my baby ready for this? Am I ready for this? Will my baby be alright?” As it turns out, you might not even be able to enjoy planning the trip! But before you psyche yourself out—take a deep breath and read these tips that will make your travel with a baby become much easier!
#1 – Create a packing checklist.
You wouldn’t want to be caught empty handed once you need to change the diapers. When planning for an extended trip away from home make sure that all the essentials are accounted for by listing them down one by one. In addition, try to pack supplies worth plus two more days, just to be sure.
Here’s a sample list that you can copy:
- Diapers and changing pads
- Plastic bags
- Baby wash, lotion, gel, etc.
- Some favorite toys
- Clothes, socks, hats, booties, shoes, etc. (Pack a lot of onesies and leggings. Changing diapers will never be this easy, trust me.)
- Baby food, milk, feeding set with utensils (Low-mess snacks, pureed foods sold in a tubes are great for travel)
- Bottles, nipples, and sippy cups if appropriate
- Breast pump (if you use one)
- First aid kit
- Sling or front carrier
Start preparing a few days before the day of your travel so can you think of the things you need to add on your checklist. Always be prepared for the unexpected like spit-ups and leaky diapers. Use travel organizers and baby bags available in mom and baby shops so you don’t have to struggle finding things. Also, always have your pediatrician’s mobile number, in case of medical mishaps.
#2 – Update your baby’s flu shots.
When you’re going to travel abroad, make sure that your baby vaccinations are up to date at least a month before. Ask your pediatrician about what kind of flu shots to take if you’re visiting a certain place overseas. There are some viruses that our baby’s bodies aren’t prepared to fight just because you’re from another country.
#3 – Wear your baby with you.
Strollers can be great for land or short distance travel, but it might be bulky for airplane trips, especially those with transfer flights. So my suggestion is to ditch the stroller on long flights and use a sling or front carrier. Less hassle, therefore you’re happy and when you’re happy, the baby is too.
#4 – Have your child registered for the flight or checked-in at the ticket counter.
Children, even infants, will need their own boarding pass on every leg of the trip. You can get this from the ticketing counter. You don’t want to run back and forth in tight transfer connections, and run the risk of missing a flight, just for a boarding pass. Also, bring your a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate, just like how you bring yours.
#5 – Choose a longer layover.
This might extend your travel time by hours, but your baby and your body will thank you for this. You’ll never know if you need more time to change diapers, buy snacks and eat, or just stretch and move around a bit. Also, not all airlines have a changing table in their lavatories.
#6 – Feed your baby on take-off and landing.
This has a very practical reason: your babies don’t know how to clear their ears on their own, even if it’s only as simple as swallowing. So what better way to get them to swallow than by feeding?
#7 – Don’t hesitate to fork over a few extra for welcome luxuries.
Get a hotel with free breakfast, such as one of the many hotels in Reykjavik Iceland, so at least one meal is taken care of. Pay extra for a bigger room with living area and bedroom partition. This will give you extra breathing room while leaving your baby or child to rest in the other room.
About the Author:
Blessed with 3 lovely children, Joanna’s love for her kids give her inspiration in sharing her parenting experiences with Afterschool.ae – the leading kids activities planning platform for parents in UAE.