Travel Made Easy: 7 Tips For A Fun Holiday With Infants!
Now that you know why you must travel with your infants, Elizabeth Oommen George goes a step ahead and gives you tips on how to actually have a great holiday with them!
After being isolated for a year with my premature baby, I was itching to put on my travelling boots and head out. But when we finally got the ‘all clear’ from our doctor, I was left with equal parts of excitement and dread at the idea of travelling with my tiny infant for the very first time. Despite my misgivings, we took the plunge and I’m so glad we did, because it showed me that there’s nothing to fear! So for those contemplating a holiday with their infants, here are 7 tips that can ensure a fairly fun, meltdown-free holiday all around.
#1 Choose Comfort Over Style
When you’re stuck with extra-large baggage for an extra-small human, it’s important to dress for comfort. Flights and air-conditioned trains can get cold, so it’s best to use light layers and avoid heels for the journey. Pants, socks, and a button-down top will keep you and your baby warm, and also allows you to nurse your infant.
Travel Tip: Carry a stole, jacket or shawl for added privacy and warmth.
#2 When It Come To Babies, Pack Smart
When it comes to babies, a well-stocked diaper bag can be your best friend. Depending on the length of the trip, pack extra diapers, baby wipes, a couple of toys, extra outfits, baby food, water, and emergency medicines. Keep these basics in an easy-to-access travel bag to cover for all possibilities, which in turn ensures smooth transitions.
Travel Tip: Carry or buy a new toy to keep baby entertained for longer! Plus, a clean, satiated and happy baby = a happy travel experience!
#3 Keep Important Documents Handy
One thing to always have at hand is your baby’s birth certificate. Not only does it serve as a proof of age, it also establishes you as the parents. Keep this document with your tickets as they’re needed for both flights and on trains. Another critical item, is your baby’s medical file. If you have a preemie like I do, you’ll need to be careful about the medicines, dosages and possible medical issues that could occur. I found that carrying my baby’s medical notes, with correct dosages, made it easier to get the right treatment when my one-year-old was ill.
Travel Tip: If your baby has regular medicines, ensure you carry enough for the entire trip.
#4 Be An Early Bird & Beat The Rush
Most flights don’t allow Web check-ins when you’re travelling with an infant. However, you can request an airline to hold a particular seat for you. Ensure you board first, especially if you’re carrying a lot of hand luggage. When it comes to trains, or even buses, being early gives you ample time to stow away your bags and settle in before other passengers arrive.
Travel Tip: On flights, grab the bulkhead row, an open row or a window seat for more room; window seats work best on trains.
#5 Distract Your Baby From Changes In Cabin Pressure
While trains can be soothing for babies, changes in cabin pressure during flight take-offs and landings can be a nightmare. This discomfort can be scary for babies, who can’t understand or control this pain. The recommended solution is to feed your baby, either breast or bottle, during altitude changes as the suck-swallow motion eases the pressure and distracts them from loud noises or turbulence.
Travel Tip: As a safety measure, start feeding your baby just before take-offs and landings.
#6 Cut Your Baby Some Slack
While sticking to a schedule may work at home, it may not always be possible on a holiday. Also, being too rigid with a routine could be counter-productive and stressful here. Your baby is likely to go longer without feeds and naps, with so many new things to explore, so the best solution would be to follow your baby’s lead. Feed on demand and let your infant sleep when tired to keep everyone happy on a holiday.
Travel Tip: While a flexible routine works well, don’t ditch your schedule completely or you may end up confusing your baby.
#7 Rest Your Eyes To Rest The Troubles
The entire point of a holiday is to have fun, relax and bond with your family so get some rest before and during the trip. Unpleasant surprises, such as seat changes, delays and an ill baby, seem more bearable on a good night’s sleep. Also the travel, new places and new rooms can disrupt your baby’s sleep schedule, so ensure they get some extra rest for a smooth trip.
Travel Tip: Carry a favourite toy/blanket as something familiar the baby can rely on amid all the change.
Despite all the planning, you may still have to deal with tantrums, loud screams and bitter stares from irritated co-passengers. Here, it’s important to remember that babies and life can be unpredictable and, try as you might, you cannot control everything! So plan for surprises, stay calm and remind yourself that this too shall pass.
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Elizabeth loves travel, movies, music, books and observing life’s oddities. A self-confessed cynic with expert-level sarcasm, she’s not a morning person and cannot survive without her coffee! When she’s not binge-watching her favourite shows or trying out new food, she pens down her crazy experiences and lessons learnt as mom and wife at PreemieBootcamp.blogspot.inView more articles