Travelling with babies can be challenging, whether it’s a simple drive to the seaside or a long haul flight to the other side of the world! As the holiday season is almost upon us we thought that it would be helpful to compile our favourite travel tips from the web to help make your trip as relaxing as possible.
• Making sure you are both feeling calm and rested is a good start. Try to make sure you and your baby get plenty of sleep before you set off.
• Put together a basic first-aid kit with supplies of plasters and infant paracetamol for relieving a fever. If you are travelling overseas or going to an area a long way from shops, you may want to consider taking other items, such as a colic treatment, saline nose drops for stuffy noses, and teething gel.
• For easy nappy changing en route pre-prepare several nappy sacks with a single nappy, small packet of wipes and cream.
• Stick to your normal meal and nap routine as much as possible. Make long journeys, particularly by car, coincide with nap times.
• Invest in a lightweight folding pushchair, which will not take up too much room in the car, or is free to take on a flight – make sure that it lies flat and is suitable from birth.
• Adorn the pushchair with sensory toys that will keep baby happy while you’re sightseeing, eating lunch or waiting in a queue.
• Pack a toy bag with some of their favourite items, as well as new ones for novelty value!
• Take baby’s bedding from home, to help them settle in an unfamiliar bed.
In the car
• An activity centre will create a stimulating environment for your baby while you drive, relieving boredom and encouraging them to move their hands and legs.
• Install removable window shades for your car to shield your baby’s skin and eyes from the sun.
• Babies can get hot and sweaty in their car seats so don’t overdress them – take a cosy blanket just in case they do need it.
• Make sure you have an easily accessible bag with nappies, drinks and snacks for roadside stops.
• Load your iPod with nursery rhymes and kid friendly music to play in the car and be prepared to sing along!
• Plan to have several rest stops along the way to allow for feeding and nappy changes. If your baby is crawling, take a clean picnic blanket which you can put down and let them have a little crawl around wherever you stop.
On a plane
• Feed your baby during take-off and landing to ease any earache.
• If you have to sterilise things regularly, consider taking a portable steam steriliser; they work well and with minimum fuss. For sterilising small items on the move - for example dummies or teething toys - you can use sterilising tablets in a watertight screw-top container.
• If you'd like to be met at check-in and helped with the children and the bags all the way to your plane, ask for 'meet and assist' services when booking your flight. This is generally provided by the airport and not the airline, and whether or not you get it depends on the availability of staff - but if you're travelling as a single parent with more than one child, you'll be given priority.
• The low humidity of cabin air can cause mild dehydration as well as dry and irritated nostrils, so it's important to get kids to drink regularly.
• If you are flying, a front carrier or baby sling is an ideal way to transport your baby when they’re tiny. Being carried close to you or your partner will make your baby feel safe. Using a sling keeps your hands free, so you can delve for passports, find money for fares, and carry bags – all while you hold your baby snugly.