Travelling with children can be a daunting experience, even for experienced parents. However, how do you cope if you are a first time parent? Travelling, in most cases is unavoidable and some unpredictable events can occur such as flight delays, a sudden illness or extreme crankiness. But, it can really be quite fun as a new parent; if only you tick all your boxes. And ensure to stay positive and think positive thoughts no matter what happens, you will be alright. Being prepared does make this a lot easier though.
Here are some practical tips to ease you into it and ensure you have the best experience with your adorable one.
1. TARGET THE 6 MONTHS MARK OR GET A DOCTOR’S OKAY
It is usually advised to wait until your baby is at least 6 months before embarking on a trip. mostly because by 6 months, your baby’s immunity will be more stable reducing the risks of infections. again, by this age, it is easier for them tofall sleep s they would have developed a routine. We get, there might be occassions when you cant wait till your baby is 6 months, in that case; ensure you speak first with your doctor to get an okay.
2. ENSURE YOU HAVE YOUR BABY’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE
For official and security purposes as well as proving legibility for some freebies or discounts.
3. DO YOU HAVE A TRAVEL BUDGET?
This is very crucial as it sets the tone for how pleasurable your trip will be. Your budget determines how you will be travelling (air, road or train), feeding, shopping,sightseeing and accommodation. Will you be using cash or a credit card? Liaise with your bank and align your fundings appropriately. Get this right from the onset and make sure you stick to it to avoid sticky situations.
4. DOES THE AIRLINE MEET YOUR NEEDS?
Ensure your airline is baby and child friendly and will contribute to a fun trip. Questions you should ask include their child policies, food served, toys availability, child-friendly movies, a baby bassinet, baby luggage, child discounts, etc. If you have more yes’s than no’s, then that airline should be your best bet.
5. HOW ROAD WORTHY IS YOUR VEHICLE?
If you will be going by road, whether in a private or public vehicle; do not compromise the state of the vehicle. Travelling in a less than par vehicle is a catalyst for breakdowns, which could worsen your experience with a baby. Crankiness and frustrations are sure to set in. Most importantly, they are a huge risk for accidents which could be fatal. Safety should be your watchword, then comfort a close second.
6. SHORTER TRIPS ARE THE BEST
Trips longer than 5 hours come with their own headaches. Sitting on one spot for a long time is unhealthy for children and adults alike. When driving, try to make regular stops and stretch your limbs. When on an aircraft, same can be allowed especially when the cabin crew has determined its safe to do so. Always make sure your children are chaperoned.
7. ARE YOU SENSIBLE PACKED?
The worst thing that can happen is discovering you have forgotten a very important item that you will need. Just as with getting your delivery bag ready, it pays to have your luggage fully packed with essentials days before date of trip. here is a list of what you MUST not forget
- non perishable snacks and drinks
- loads of extra clothings, diapers and baby wipes
- favourite toys or objects your child identifies with sleep
- baby carrier
- hand sanitisers
- fun activities and technology, do not forget the portable chargers as well as batteries
8. BE SECURITY CONSCIOUS
Never leave your child alone, even for a minute. Kidnappings, accidents and cases of lost children have been recorded on trips. Ensure that you always sit next to your child. Do not allow your child accept gifts from strangers and c-travellers. Apart from the security aspect, it gives your child a sense of comfort seeing a familiar face and makes him more relaxed to enjoy the trip. In the same vein, always watch your luggage and do not accept to help anyone with theirs.
9. BE HEALTH CONSCIOUS
There is that tendency to have total strangers walk up to your baby to admire him. Ensure you avoid physical touches. Most times communicable diseases are not obvious. If contact can not be avoided, do not forget the hand sanitisers that you packed.
10. DO NOT FORGET TO ENJOY THE MOMENT
It can be so overwhelming, tugging a baby that you tend to forget yourself. Take out time to enjoy the scenery or read a book, watch a movie or listen to music either with your child r alone when he is asleep. If travelling with your partner, find moments to connect intimately. After all, only a relaxed parent can be a useful parent to a cranky child.
With these practical tips, you are sure to have a swell time on that trip with your baby.