Getting yourself together for a trip to the supermarket can be quite a performance if you have young kids.
It’s no wonder planning a holiday can make some new parents quiver in fear. However, travelling with youngsters doesn’t need to be scary. Check out our top tips for travelling with young ones.
When can we start?
You can pretty much travel as soon as you’re ready. Most airlines prefer babies to be at least two days old, but after that you’re good to go. You might want to wait ‘til around three months, as your baby will be more settled, and you will have figured out a routine.
If you’re travelling by car, make sure you have window shades to protect your baby’s skin and eyes from the sun, and of course, make sure you have a car seat fitted correctly. If you’re hiring a car, be sure to book a car seat in advance. Make sure you have toys and snacks to keep them busy.
Many parents shudder at the thought of travelling with young kids. We’ve all been stuck on a plane where a child won’t stop crying – and we all worry it could be us next. To reduce the chances of that happening, feed your child on take-off and landing to ease pressure on their ears.
Keep toys and snacks handy, and allow them to watch TV if they are old enough and the programming is appropriate. Request baby or kids meals before you fly, and also think about breaking up long journeys with a stopover in a hotel.
Be sure to pack a first-aid kit with all the essentials, such as infant paracetamol for reducing fever, band-aids, teething gel, and any prescription medications. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat.
Visit a doctor before you leave home to find out if you will need any vaccinations, and also fill out an emergency sheet with all your child’s medical information on it, such as your doctor’s name, and any medications.
What to Pack
Apart from the usual – clothes, nappy bag, bibs and toys – there are a few other things to think about when packing. Consider taking a lightweight pram, or a carrier or sling if your baby is small. You may need a travel cot, and remember to take a blanket or pillowcase that has been slept on at least once and smells like home. You may also want to take a baby monitor and night-light, and a plug adapter if you are going overseas.
Childproof your hotel room as soon as you arrive – it can be a good idea to get down on your hands and knees so you can survey everything your baby will see and find. Think about the safety of balconies, bathrooms, electrical outlets, and move bins with plastic liners out of reach. You can visit the HBF website here to search child friendly hotels.
Find out if the water is safe to drink – be careful when brushing teeth and try to stop young ones drinking the bath water. For toddlers and older kids, it’s a good idea to put your hotel’s card in their pocket in case they wander off.
With a little bit of planning, travelling with young ones doesn’t need to be something you dread. Just plan ahead and be flexible!