Travelling can be stressful. Travelling with a baby can be stress multiplied. Travelling alone with your baby? Well, that can be a recipe for a hair-raising experience. But before you decide to cancel your plans and stay home, relax. With a little extra planning, you and your wee one can have a successful and fun trip no matter where you travel plans take you. The key is to think ahead and bring along the essentials you’ll need to make things run as smoothly as possible.
First and foremost, don’t forget food for your baby! This may seem obvious, but don’t bring along only enough for the journey to your destination. If possible, bring enough formula or baby food for your entire trip. Don’t assume that your destination will sell the kind of food your baby is used to! If your baby is nursing full time, you may still want to bring along bottles of breast milk and an electric breast pump, in case there are times when nursing in public isn’t possible or comfortable, or if someone else needs to feed baby. If baby is snacking on solid foods, bring enough snacks to keep her happy on the trip. And don’t forget any sippy cups, special utensils or mixing containers you are used to using. The less you have to improvise feeding time on the fly, the more comfortable and relaxed both you and your baby will be.
The next big consideration is diapers. A good guideline is to pack one diaper per every hour of travel time, plus a couple of extras in case you experience delays (an all too common reality during busy travel times). Also be sure to bring along wipes, diaper cream and a changing pad to ensure you have a clean place to change your baby. Scented plastic bags are a good idea too, to house soiled diapers until they can be disposed as well as to keep any soiled or wet clothes separate from the clean items in your diaper bag. Once the basic needs of food and diapering have been met, it’s important to also take into consideration entertainment and comfort. Bring along a gentleweight blanket or loveys your baby is used to having and be sure to ease ear discomfort on a plane by allowing baby to suck on a bottle or pacifier during takeoff or landing.
A storybook to read to your baby and a few Holztiger wood animal toys for him to play with will keep them occupied on the trip. Once you get to your destination, it will be helpful to have a collapsible stroller and/or carrier sling as well as a portable crib for sleeping arrangements in a hotel or at grandma’s house. (As a side note, it’s usually a good idea to have baby sleep in the portable crib for several nights prior to the trip so he is used to the new environment when you are away).
Travelling with your baby doesn’t have to be stressful if you are prepared with every necessity such as those personalised baby blankets. However, it’s equally important to understand that no matter well you plan or how prepared you are, sometimes things aren’t going to go to plan. Babies will start teething, they won’t want to sleep or eat like they normally do – you can’t predict things like this. It’s important to just roll with the punches as best you can. After all, that’s what parenting is really all about, right?
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