“Did you drug her?” The man sitting across from us on the plane asked as we gently woke Audrey after landing. No, we did not drug her. Traveling is old hat to this little one! She has been all over the world – Sydney, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Mackay, New York city, Toronto Canada, Albuquerque, Taos, Los Angeles, Chicago, the list goes on and she hasn’t even turned one yet!
Have you ever traveled with a baby? For anyone who has ever traveled and been seated near a baby, the idea of taking your own baby on a flight can seem a bit daunting! In fact, before her first flight we had actually asked the paediatrician if there was a drug we could give her to knock her out! The answer, of course, was NO. Here are my 4 top tips for traveling with a baby that make it a bit easier.
4 TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH A BABY
1. Don’t pack too much stuff.
I can’t stress this too much. On our first trip overseas we packed WAY too much, and it made our trip quite uncomfortable. Think about what you really need – especially on the flight – and pack any extras in your packed baggage. Have you got stopovers or airport transfers? Pack even less! The best flight we’ve had so far (a short one, mind you) I just took a handbag with a change mat clutch (see below), a packet of baby food, a bib, spoon, some milk, a rusk, a small toy and my wallet. Everything else went in the packed luggage. I brought a travel stroller, but no port-a-cot – as you can request them in most hotels and it is too much for one person to take. Some people prefer taking a baby carrier rather than a stroller. I’ve tried it and it was tricky to get her in and out of it but I know a lot of mums who swear by them!
2. Always feed him/her on takeoff and landing.
Give baby’s ears a chance to pop while they are sucking. Not all babies need to pop their ears, but it’s a good idea to get into this habit anyways. Audrey now sleeps through landings so we don’t wake her up for it, but if she is awake we either feed her or pop the dummy in her mouth.
3. Use a change mat clutch to keep some nappies and wipes in an easy-to grab spot.
We brought so many nappies with us, and those big wipe containers take up so much space! Now I use a change mat clutch (here is an example of a very pretty one from Isoki). Instead of taking a whole packet of wipes I put the number I think I’ll need in a plastic nappy sack and zip it into the clutch. The one I have has a snap so that you can easily clip it to a stroller or you can just pop it into your bag.
4. Don’t plan to do too much (i.e. not a good idea to plan a big sight-seeing tour!)
Don’t feel let down if you make this big trip and don’t end up seeing a whole lot.
Plan a few choice landmarks to see and be happy about it. There’s nothing worse than carting an irritable baby from one stop to the next.
Plan your holidays to be a bit more relaxed and you’ll all be happier to get some quality nap time in.
These tips are all from my experience. Have you traveled with a baby? I would love to hear your thoughts on traveling with a baby. I’m particularly interested in hearing from parents who have traveled with a toddler – a new challenge to keep a running, talking little person occupied during a long flight!