Tips For Travelling With A Baby

Bubs Australia

The thought of travelling with a baby can be both daunting and exciting. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to see new places with your little one in tow, and on the other hand, plenty of unknowns. However, with careful planning and realistic expectations, exploring the world with your baby can be an unforgettable experience.

Preparing for the Trip

Whether you’re planning on travelling overseas with a baby, flying interstate for a weekend away or simply exploring a new part of the city you call home, you’ll need to do some preparation before you leave home with your little one. Read on to discover some tips to set yourself up for success and an enjoyable trip with your baby.

Making Travel Arrangements

While you may be excited to plan the intricacies of your holiday itinerary, getting the basics right can help make your trip run smoother. When booking your accommodation and transport, look for amenities that may make your travels easier. From mini-fridges in hotel rooms to in-flight bassinets and car seats in hire cars, these features can make travelling with your little one less stressful.

Packing Essentials

Figuring out what to pack when travelling with a baby may feel daunting, but with a few essentials, you and your baby will be ready for a fun time away together. Some items to add to your travelling with a baby checklist include:

  • Clothing – enough for the duration of your trip, with a few extras in case of any accidents.
  • Nappies – enough for the duration of your trip, plus a few extras. If you know you can purchase nappies on arrival, you’ll just need to pack enough for your time in transit, plus a few extras.
  • Baby gear – a stroller, car seat (if applicable) and a baby carrier.
  • Feeding supplies – bottles, formula and baby food.
  • Your little one’s comfort items – blankets, favourite toys and pacifiers.

Organising Travel Documents

If you plan on travelling overseas with a baby, it’s important to research which travel documents your little one requires. These can include a passport, visa and other key documents, but requirements vary from country to country. For more information, visit the SmartTraveller website or check entry rules with your destination’s local embassy or consulate. Other documents that may be worth packing include your baby’s immunisation record and any important medical records.

Depending on where you plan to travel, it may be recommended that your baby is vaccinated against certain diseases before leaving the country. Consult your healthcare professional for advice.

Tips for Travelling

However you choose to get from A to B with your baby in tow, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your travels are as smooth as possible. Read on to learn more.

Managing Transportation

Flying with a baby

Regardless of how long or short your flight is, travelling with a baby on a plane can sometimes be a daunting experience. To help make your next flight as stress-free as possible, here are some top tips for flying with a baby:

  1. Consider using a baby carrier to free up your hands when checking in and boarding your plane.
  2. Give yourself plenty of time to get through security.
  3. Ensure your carry-on bag is stocked with everything you’ll need, from snacks to nappies, toys and other essentials.
  4. To help your little one avoid ear pain during take-off and landing, consider feeding them as the plane ascends or descends. You can also give your little one a dummy to suck at this time, allowing them to better equalise the pressure in their ears.
  5. Dress your baby in layers to keep them warm. Consider dressing them in tops and bottoms to make it easy to remove them if required.
  6. If possible, select a flight time that aligns with your baby’s sleep schedule.
  7. Pack some toys to help keep your baby occupied throughout the flight.
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it.

Public transport

There are a few ways to make your trip more comfortable if you’ll be travelling with your baby via public transport. Some top tips for travelling with a baby on public transport are:

  1. Avoid peak travel periods in the morning and evening, where possible.
  2. Consider travelling during your baby’s naptime.
  3. If travelling with a pram, look to exit trains and buses backwards to keep your little one safe.
  4. Always apply your pram brake when waiting for public transport, whether on a train station platform or the side of a road.
  5. Look to arrive early, giving yourself ample time to navigate to the right train platform or bus stop.

Car travel

Ensure you have access to a baby car seat if you plan to travel by car with your bub. Some car hire companies provide car seats, but if your chosen company does not, you may be able to use your own or borrow a seat from family or friends. Before strapping your baby into a seat, double-check that the seat’s expiration date hasn’t passed and that it has been installed correctly.

Dealing with Time Zone Changes

If you are travelling with a baby across a time zone or two, try to keep their sleep and feeding schedules as consistent as possible. Young children find it difficult to adjust to new routines, and maintaining some consistency in your routine will make things easier for you and your little one. If, however, you will be crossing several time zones, consider adjusting their feeding or sleep schedules gradually before your trip.

To help minimise the effects of jet lag, try to get your baby out and about in the daylight to help their body adjust to the new time zone. If they are tired, allow them to have short naps, but limit them to around 90 minutes to avoid impacting their nighttime sleep.

Keeping Baby Comfortable

Dress your baby appropriately for the climate

Whether you’re flying to the other side of the world or simply heading to another part of Australia, it’s a good idea to research what the weather will be like during your trip and what type of clothing is appropriate for your little one. Consider packing lightweight clothing made of natural fibres like cotton and linen when visiting hotter destinations and plenty of layers if you’re heading to cooler locales.

Ensure proper hydration and nutrition

Travel can be dehydrating, especially if you’re travelling by plane. If you plan on travelling with a baby on a plane, it’s important to keep their hydration levels in check. For younger babies, consider feeding them more often, if needed. Encourage older children to take more sips of water.

Once your baby has started solids, consider travelling with some fruit and vegetable puree, like Bubs Organic Plant Burst pouches, on hand. By doing so, you can ensure your little one receives proper nutrition wherever your travels take you.

Provide opportunities for rest and play breaks

However you choose to travel with your little one, try to factor in some rest and play breaks. If you’re travelling by car, make frequent stops to allow your little one to feed and stretch. If you’re travelling by plane, try to walk up and down the aisle a few times with your bub. Books and small toys can help pass the time for older babies, especially if you’re on a long-haul flight.

How to Handle Challenges

Even if you’re the most organised traveller, it’s common to experience a few bumps in the road. While you can plan and schedule all you want, it’s important, especially when travelling with a baby, to be prepared for all eventualities.

Dealing with Unexpected Situations

It’s natural to feel stressed when your transport is delayed or cancelled, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t your fault. It can be frustrating, but It’s best to use your energy to find a solution that will help you get where you need to go. Take a deep breath, ensure you and your little one are safe and contact your transport provider to find a solution.

Another common challenge parents encounter when travelling with a baby is illness. When children are young, their immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to sickness. Throughout your travels, ensure you wash your hands well, using hand sanitiser where appropriate. It can be a good idea to pack a basic first aid kit to help you tackle any health challenges as they arise.

Handling Baby’s Needs in Different Environments

Finding baby-friendly facilities

If you’re travelling overseas with a baby, finding baby-friendly facilities can sometimes be challenging. If you know you’ll need to use changing stations or nursing rooms in a certain area, do your research before you leave home. Knowing where local facilities are located can give you peace of mind and one less thing to worry about. If you’re heading to a non-English speaking country, it can also be a good idea to learn how to ask for these facilities in the local language or at least have a translation app on your phone to help you communicate with others.

Adapting to new sleeping arrangements

When you’re away from home, it can be harder for your little one to settle into a new environment, especially at bedtime. To help your baby relax and get the sleep they need, consider packing a comforting toy, playing white noise and trying to keep your pre-bedtime routine as close to normal as possible.

Managing Your Own Stress and Fatigue

When travelling with a baby, it’s important to take some time to care for yourself, helping to manage any stress and fatigue. Some self-care steps you can take include:

  • Ensuring you drink enough water throughout the day, especially if you’re visiting warmer climates.
  • Taking the time to feed yourself good, nutritious meals and snacks.
  • Not feeling pressured to spend all day, every day, sightseeing. Downtime is just as important as exploring.
  • Asking for help when you need it.
  • Trying to get as much sleep as possible.

Whether you’re travelling with a baby on a plane on your own, heading overseas with the support of a friend or partner, or navigating public transport with your little one in tow, don’t be afraid to ask for support from others. Plenty of people travel with babies, which means resources are often available to help make your experience easier. If you’re travelling with a friend or partner, lean on them to share some of the mental and physical load of caring for your bub.

Ready to see the world with your baby? With some planning and an idea of what to expect, you can make your trip one to remember. Enjoy the journey and have fun forming lasting memories with your little one.

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