Travelling with a child is a very different experience from travelling alone. One of the main differences is that everything needs to be planned appropriately and well in advance. One of the most common concerns most people have is usually the comfort of their kids. An infant should be settled into a routine some weeks before the trip. Most children are used to a specific routine and can easily adapt to a new one. As a result, they will feel secure whenever it is time for them to sleep.
In case of flying, to avoid surprises, book a private taxi when arriving at the airport or train station. Depending on your mode of travel, you have several options that you can choose for your sleeping arrangements. If you will be using a travelling cot, your new baby needs to get accustomed to it for a few days before the trip. This helps to lessen the effect that a new environment can have on your child baby.
Travelling by Road
If you intend to travel a long distance by road, it is advisable to begin the journey at around the same time as your baby’s sleep time. This should coincide with your baby’s last meal for the day. An ideal time would be at around sunset and he/she will be asleep for most of the journey. The driver should have taken a sufficient nap before you begin your journey.
Long trips should include stop overs at a hotel for the night. When a baby is already familiar with their sleeping cot, falling asleep in this new environment will not be a problem for them. Another alternative is to start your journey early in the morning and driving all morning and during your baby’s daytime naps. For those who prefer this option, you can opt to stop when it’s time to feed your baby or during your lunch break even though this is not necessary. However, try to keep it within one hour of the intended scheduled lunch breaks. Also, safety is your first concern. When on the road, always have a small utility pack that contains everything you need at an arm’s length during the journey instead of having to stop to look in the trunk for something. It is generally easier to travel by car, van or motorhome than by any other means since you can carry a lot more with you to keep your baby comfortable and happy.
Car Seats for Babies
Car seats are compulsory every time you have a baby in your car irrespective of the length of the journey. You should never attempt to put a safety belt directly on a baby which is beside illegal in many countries. In case of an accident, no matter how minor, the pressure exerted by the safety belt can harm the baby. Car seats for kids are sold depending on the weight of the baby irrespective of their age. Double check your child’s weight as well as the guidelines on the baby’s car seat. Car seats are commonly fitted incorrectly and it is advisable to have a professional fit them for you.
Travelling by Air
Travelling by air needs a lot more planning than travelling by road. Make an effort to call the airline in advance to arrange for special seats for your baby. It may be necessary to make extra arrangements in case this is not available. Airlines frequently change their schedules in the last minute and this is always a risk when going on a trip with infants. Please remember to keep your child warm during the flight as this will help them to sleep better in the airplane’s air-conditioned environment.
When it comes to the baby’s feeding schedule, give them some milk two hours before the flight so that their next meal can be fed during the flight. It has been proven that a baby is more at ease if they are suckling during take-offs or landing. Travel experts recommend that you check your pram with your luggage where younger babies are involved. Having your baby in a backpack or sling frees up your hands and makes it easier for you to get organized when boarding the plane. If your baby is on formula, carry what needed separately since it is not always possible to keep the prepared formula at the right temperature. If your baby is still breastfeeding, don’t forget to take some extra food and water for yourself.
Travelling by Railway
Travelling with an infant by train more or less entails the similar guidelines with travelling by air and by road where appropriate. Once you board your train, the environment is quite similar to travelling by air so make sure you keep this in mind.
Irrespective of the mode of travel that you used, it may be necessary to keep your baby awake when you get to your destination. If he/she slept comfortably during the journey, it is important that you maintain this routine so that they are able to recognize when it’s their cue to sleep. When staying with relatives, try to keep their interaction with the baby scarce for the first few nights so that the child is not over-excited or over-stimulated. On the first night, irregardless of whether your baby adapted to the journey’s sleeping pattern, put them back to their old sleeping routine even if you moved to a different time zone. Giving your baby some water and a loving cuddle can be settling if he/she is restless but only for the first few nights. After that, you can wait a little longer before you go to them.
Here are a few tips you should consider when travelling with an infant:
Help your baby adapt to their new sleeping environments while you are still at home so that the journey is less stressful for your baby.
Use a baby carrier
Do not carry unnecessary luggage
Travel Insurance is important since babies are more prone to fall ill with changes in climate
Ask for help when you need it
If you will need to sterilize, carry soluble sterilizing tablets and a small bucket that can easily be disposed.
Finally, do not let it bother you if your baby is off their routine when you get back home. It is perfectly normal and may take a couple of days before your child can adopt her old routine again. A safe and successful trip is dependant on how well you have planned for it. From the moment you board a taxi to the airport to the moment you get back to your home, planning for the safety of your child is important. Good preparation is key to a successful holiday. If flying we recommend TaxiLeader.net for your peace of mind when travelling to and from airports, you can use the form below to get a free quote for your trip.