There’s a theory that traveling with a baby is a bit like traveling with a rock band, and if you’ve ever been on a long journey with a baby then that probably rings a few bells. Demanding, loud, and very focused on their own fun, babies and rock bands aren’t actually too dissimilar! However, traveling with a baby can actually be a lot easier than you think and as long you remember to do some preparation beforehand, you might find it’s actually fun! All travel is about prep, but if you have a newborn or a toddler with you, then your preparation needs to be at optimum levels. Here are the best baby travel tips that will help you to prepare, plan, and enjoy your journey even with a child in tow.
Drinks and Snacks
No matter if you’re traveling by car, boat, plane, or train, you’re going to want to make sure that your baby is well-hydrated and fed at all times. Make sure that the foods and snacks that you pack are non-perishable, and remember to bring the sippy cup or bottle. This is especially vital if your journey involves a flight, because sucking on a bottle can reduce and relieve air pressure, reducing the chances of baby discomfort and tears.
Pack Extra Clothes (and Diapers)
Depending on the time of year, you should make sure that the baby is wrapped up well. Having layers will help for when the kid gets too hot, and can be thrown back on if the cold starts to become too much. Obviously, you probably don’t go anywhere without a stack of diapers close to hand these days, but they can be very easy to forget when you’re rushing around, so make sure that they’re packed and close to hand. Traveling in an enclosed environment will become much more stressful if you’ve forgotten the diapers. Your packing is going to be an important element of your journey when you have a baby with you, so get it right before you leave the home.
Getting Them to Sleep
Whether it’s a fluffy bear or a Barbie doll, whatever your child sleeps with at night, bring it along for the journey. You can even bring baby’s own home pillow with you. Anything that will help them to sleep is a good idea. Bringing the things that your baby associates with bedtime will make it much easier to get them to nod off during your journey, and are a much better option than drugging them with sleeping medicines. Make sure that you have blinds on the rear windows if you’re traveling by car, and you might just make the whole journey when your baby is dreaming.
Break the Journey Up
Ideally, you want each stretch of your journey to last no longer than six hours. It’s easy to forget that even the youngest of children is still a little human, and they’re just as prone to boredom as any adult is. Plan your route, and schedule in rest breaks, toilet breaks, or even sights to see along the way. This is one of the best tips for traveling with a baby. You could even go a step further with your route planning, and try and get the travel elements of your trip to coincide with your baby’s nap times. Get them in the car in their pajamas, and they might sleep the whole way!
If there are two of you traveling with the baby, then you have an advantage. If you’re driving, don’t stick the baby in the back seat and carry on your way. It’s much better to have one of you driving and the other sitting in the seat next to the little one. Not only is it easier to make sure that they’re coping well with the journey, it will also mean that at least one of you doesn’t have to keep looking over their shoulder. Having an adult that they know sitting next to them will make your baby feel much more comfortable.
Get Some Entertainment
If you’re flying or driving, the key to a smoother journey is entertainment. Keeping your baby entertained with music and games is a great way to prevent them being bored, which will reduce the chances of them screaming and feeling sorry for themselves. Sing their favorite songs, tell their bedtime stories, whatever it takes to keep them distracted from the boredom of traveling. Make sure that any technology that you bring is fully charged, and bring those extra chargers as well.
Plan your journey well and take the time to get prepared, and your journey with the baby will go much more smoothly. Make sure that your baby enjoys the experience as much as possible, and they’re much more likely to start enjoying the idea of traveling. You might even notice that there are some benefits to traveling with a baby that you hadn’t even considered: they can’t run off, they sleep a lot, and they don’t weigh very much! Better still, people are very accommodating when it comes to babies, so you can expect a lot of help at those much-needed pit-stops.