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Want to make that overseas trip but worried about taking your baby along? Here’s help. Use these handy hacks and enjoy a comfortable and happy trip.
Having a baby puts our life upside down. When I was pregnant my friends and relatives used to tell me to enjoy my free time as fully as possible. Now I get it, they were absolutely right. Things change, but mothers can continue doing what they used to do, such as travelling, with a baby.
Though it may be a different experience, travelling with your baby can be extremely enriching for both of you!
Many posts claim that “travelling with a baby is not an easy task.” Of course, every experience is different depending on the baby’s personality, the type of trip, and the place where you go. In every situation, the key elements are predictability and organization, which will allow parents to cover all the baby’s basic needs, thus being able to enjoy every second of the trip. You need to know, for instance, that your baby will eventually be hungry, so you must be prepare for that. Planning will allow you to enjoy and to avoid difficult moments
The good news is that you start the journey before you even depart by preparing your luggage. It’s better to make a list beforehand and do some shopping!
One way of planning a first-time trip with a baby is being acquainted with the destination you choose.
I have always gone to new places when I started off a new trip, but the first time I travelled with my baby I decided to go to a place I have already visited. This way I knew what to expect. I was relaxed, so I trasmitted that feeling to my baby and I could tell her what was about to happen. We both felt secure. We must be aware of the fact that a baby spends a great amount of energy in adapting to the new smells and noises, and every other stimulus that surrounds her.
In the past, I have never booked my accommodation beforehand when travelling. Things have changed with the appearance of apps and websites that allow you to see pictures and reviews of the hotels. These are great tools when travelling with a baby. It allows us to plan our trip much better. We don’t want to get to our destination with a hungry, sleepy baby and not know where to stay.
I usually choose rooms that also offer a kitchen, or hotels with a shared-kitchen, so as to be able to continue with a healthy diet for my baby. Besides parents are able to rest in the room while the baby sleeps at night. This way we don’t have to leave the room to have dinner, and stress the baby with a night out.
Another important element to consider is asking for a cradle in advance. This way we can give the baby as much comfort as possible, so that when she sleeps we are sure she is really resting and recovering energies to face the following day.
Flights must be previously planned as well. Usually, airlines offer a small cradle for babies under 22 lbs, but these must be booked beforehand. If the baby is over that size, she can travel on the lap of her mother or you can choose to book another seat for her. This last option might be more expensive, but it is the best one if you are having more than 8 hours in-flight. This way you are sure you will rest, and get to your destination with some energy to continue moving.
If your flight is of around 12 hours, the best decision is to travel day-time, so as not to turn the schedule for your sleep and the baby’s upside down.
Surely, you have heard the phrase ‘travel light. It’s a good piece of advise for life in general, be a minimalist. This is the key to travelling as well, mainly if you are doing it with a baby. Nowadays, there is massive consumerism of baby products and we are bombarded with merchandising, so mothers want to have it all.
Everything seems indispensable at home, but the feeling changes when we need to carry the burden of backpacks and suitcases. It is recommended to take a suitcase of no more than 26lbs and a middle-size backpack to wear throughout the day. This should have internal divisions so as to organize the objects to feed the baby, another to change the baby and a third one for our own personal belongings. This amount of luggage should be enough for the baby’s and your stuff, both for a weekend or for a month-long trip. In the last case we should only add some more clothes for our baby considering that she has at least three nappy and clothes change a day, and sometimes more!
You don’t need much when travelling, but you need to be space-efficient and predict what may happen, such as moments in which your baby might be hungry or bored. It is advisable to have little bags so as to put in the used diaper after being changed, as there may not always be a dustbin around when you need it. Your baby may get sick, so you should also have some medicine and a thermometer at hand.
In addition, you should carry some elements that will help your baby to feel at home, something she is used to, such as her security blanket.
In case your baby is fed with formula and you need to travel by plane, you need to know that Airlines allow no more than 3 or 4 cartons of 200ml milk in the hand luggage. Besides, if you are carrying any cream, it should not be larger than 100ml and should be packed and presented in a clear plastic bag. You can’t bring any sharp-pointed objects, so that if you usually have a pair of scissors to cut the milk cartons or trimmers for your baby’s nails, you will have to put these elements inside the check-in luggage.
It is good to plan this in advance, so as not to have more delays at customs controls.
Regarding the baby trolley, I have a clear position: I always take it wherever I go. Airlines do not charge extra for dispatching it and you are allowed to use it both at the check-in area or when you are about to get on the plane. I believe it is an important element to make your baby feel comfortable if she wants to take a nap during a stroll in the city. She will have to face many changes, and we don’t want to add any more stress.
It seems all this plus your stuff is not going to fit together, but I promise it does!
You are ready to start this adventure with your baby, now it’s time to take the first step.
Image source: pixabay
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