We all love to travel. Don’t we? Be it for official purpose or personal, exploring new places has taken the fancy of all. While traveling alone is absolute fun and thoroughly exciting, the joy doubles when you are traveling with your spouse, family or friends. But traveling with family and that too with babies, especially if it is your first trip with your newborn, it can be exhilarating and daunting. Frequent jet-setters might get jitters when they think of exploring the world with babies. But we suggest that you should ignore the naysayers. Thorough planning can make traveling possible and enjoyable with your tiny tot. Zoom through the dos and don’ts, what to pack and list of essentials that will get you started and once you reach your destination, everything will fall in place and it will sure be a memorable getaway.
How soon can you travel with a baby?
It is advised that you should wait for your baby to turn four to six weeks old before you make plans for your travel. But if there is no other option and you have to travel, then you should consult your doctor prior to making your bookings, especially in case of premature babies.
In some Asian cultures, like India, new mothers confine themselves for first 40 days after childbirth and do not prefer to travel with their newborn for few weeks initially.
How do you travel with a baby for the first time? (Tips for traveling with a baby for the first time)
It is true that traveling with a baby can be a trouble, but it also can be a wonderful experience if you go with the flow. There are chances of your baby getting bored while sitting still or sightseeing for long periods of time. As such, it is advisable to keep your itinerary simple so that your toddler can run around and explore at his own energetic pace. It would be best if you could limit yourself to one activity a day as it will be less tiring for your baby.
Choose a Family-Friendly Destination
One important suggestion for traveling with babies is to choose a relaxing destination that is favourable for family travellers. It is advisable to skip the crowded and over-stimulating tourist destinations, as this can be a cause of concern. The congested and stuffed place can irritate and annoy the baby. Choose a destination that is relaxing and tranquil, but interesting and attractive at the same time. Book a room in a family-friendly hotel or resort that provides all the necessary facilities for you and your baby.
Plan for Safety
Whenever you are packing for your toddler, be sure to include a basic childproofing kit to use at your destination. In case of road trip or when you are driving, make sure your child's car seat is properly secured. Removable window shades will be helpful in keeping the sun off your child. It is advisable to dress your toddler in a brightly colored outfit so that it can be easily spotted in a crowd. Putting a small card with identification information on it in one of the pockets of your toddler's dress can be very helpful in emergency situations.
The Traveling Bag
Traveling with a baby is quite different from traveling alone and your packing has to be different too. In your traveling bag, don’t forget to carry enough supply of food and milk. Also, carry first-aid supplies, along with good stock of nappies and diapers. Carrying scented nappy sack and plastic bags for garbage will be a smart move from your side. Don’t forget to carry spare clothes for you and your baby. Your packing should also include spare dummies or pacifiers, and disposable bibs. Carrying a goody bag filled with toys and doodads can also be a great option. You can include an array of puzzles, dolls, action figures, puppets, brightly colored paper, nontoxic crayons and books.
Do a Little Research
It is better if you do some intensive online research on the area you are visiting. Knowledge about the location of the nearest grocery store or pharmacy will come handy in case of shortage of diapers or baby-food. It is also recommended that you should know the name and address of a local paediatrician before traveling. Also enquire about nursery or babysitting services and ask for license information and credentials. There are several resorts that offer good childcare programs, but for your own satisfaction sake, ask them to send you some information, about what they offer.
Let Your Hair Down
What is the use of going on a vacation if you are in a grumpy mood from the beginning till the end? Remember, you have taken an off from your regular schedule to enjoy and relax. So, keep the same in mind and never let it go off. You might face some fussiness or your baby might feel uncomfortable at some point but remember you are spending quality time with your little one and your family and that is all that matters. So, enjoy these precious moments and bring back memories to cherish.
What food to carry while travelling with a baby?
While you travel with your newborn or a toddler, there is no harm in stocking up foods that are handy and have a shelf life. While traveling with babies it is always advised that you should carry some food items that will help you if your little one gets fussy or cranky. You may consider the following eatables –
- Formula Milk
- Baby Food – Premixes
- Carrot Cake
- Fruit Purees
- Granola Bars
- Roasted or Bakes Puffs
- Yogurt – This should only be carried if you are able to store it in a cool environment.
- Hummus – This should first be stored in a refrigerator and carried only if you are able to store it in a cool environment.
Baby Travel Essentials While Traveling By Train or Bus
While traveling with your little one make sure you keep all the essentials that you might need while you are away with your baby. We suggest that you should make a checklist of the essentials especially when you know that your journey might take longer.
- Baby lotions
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizers
- Diaper rash cream
- Old newspapers
- Diaper disposable bags
- Small rug
- Extra warm clothes
- Changing pads
- Nursing cloth
- Mosquito repellent
What should I carry while traveling in bus or train with my newborn?
If your baby is breastfeeding, you are good to go, but for the babies who are on formula, we recommend that along with those bottles, pack some extra nipples and extra bottles because washing bottles in a train or bus might get tough. Keep that sippy-cup in your bag as well; it might help your baby when she gets fussy. You should also pack -
- Baby’s food jars and ready to mix cereal
- Breast pump (if required)
- Water flask filled with boiled water in which you can make your formula.
- Burp clothes
- Breast pads
- Extra pacifiers
- If your baby has started having solid food you may carry your baby’s favourite biscuits, banana, cheeku or yogurt.
- Bibs – Carry both washable and disposable bibs with you.
- Travel toys that are non noisy, obviously nobody likes co-passengers eyes rolling.
First-Aid Packing Checklist
Before you head for your journey, make sure that you get your baby’s vaccinations done ahead of time so that when you are about to travel there is no reaction. You should always carry a small basic first-aid kit while you travel with your baby. The kit should contain –
- Antiseptic solution, bandage and cotton
- Baby’s medicines for cough, fever, cold, vomiting and lose motion
- Vitamins and tonics
- Nail clippers to trim baby nails
- Calamine lotion
Tips For Traveling With A Baby On A Train Or Bus
Make reservations in advance
When you plan to travel with your baby on a train or bus make sure that you make reservations in advance keeping in mind your baby’s schedule. If your boarding time clashes with your baby’s feed time then make sure that you feed your bundle of joy in advance to avoid fussiness. Avoid shuffling your baby’s schedule before your journey and try to stick to the routine as much as possible. Also try to plan the most direct route in order to avoid train changes.
Arrive at the station early
Be it bus or train; make sure that you arrive at the station early. This will reduce a lot of last minute hassle.
Packing of essentials
While you travel by your car, it becomes easier for you to stop at your will. That flexibility is not available while you travel on a train or bus. So grab all the essentials that you baby might need especially during the journey. But also avoid over packing as too much luggage is bound to make traveling difficult for you.
Make sure you keep a small basic first-aid kit while traveling with your baby.
Dressing baby in layers
Depending on the weather you may try dressing your baby in layers so that you may add or remove clothing or two if it gets too warm or too cold for your bundle of joy.
Speak To Your Paediatrician
Before making plans for your travel, it is always advised that you have a word with your paediatrician. Your doctor can advise you better about any necessary vaccination and medicines that you should carry.
Baby carriers might come handy while you travel with your tiny tot. You may try baby sling for a train journey instead of carrying your stroller. Wearing your baby in a sling will help you through the crowded stations, platforms and elevators where rolling the stroller can become tedious.
Make sure you pack enough food for your baby. A hungry stomach is sure to spoil your traveling experience.
Baby Toys and Books
While you travel with your baby, the tiny tot is bound to feel the change in its environment. In order to avoid fussiness it is advised that you should carry your baby’s favourite books, toys without noise and picture books to keep them distracted and entertained during your travel.
Rude Passengers might upset you, do not worry about them
Usually co-passengers are not rude because they have experienced what you are going through at some point in their life. However, chances are that your co-passengers might give you few glances when your baby gets fussy, please avoid that negativity. Babies do cry, that’s the only way of communication they know. So do not get worked up because of the coos and cries of your teeny-weeny, it is quite normal. Just relax, it is just a matter of few hours, and all fussiness will settle once you reach your destination.
Much unlike how it was while traveling alone, traveling with a baby requires advance planning. Last minute arrangements can make your holiday topsy-turvy. If you have a newborn, you might want to stay put for a while. However, if you plan to head off and if all this sounds way too off-putting, know that traveling with the baby isn't all that bad. With a few ideas in place and the plan set right, you can evade all the unpleasantness and get set for a memorable holidaying experience with your little one. So grab that baby bag because having a baby doesn’t mean you have to halt your traveling plans. A bit of planning and patience is all that you need for a smoother and memorable journey. And even if your baby gets a bit fussy and cranky, it is just a matter of time. You will soon hit your destination and will be out of the woods. Have a pleasant journey. Adieu!