Traveling with an Infant

Have you been dreaming of a nice vacation while traveling with an infant? So, you’re starting to become anxious on how and what to prepare for that vacation. And, your anxiety is something every new mom experiences. No matter how prepared you are, (and I have provided a list of things to remember below) you should keep in mind that anything can go wrong and probably will, so just always remember a smile is your best travel companion, and whatever does happen, it will certainly make a long time memory.

Traveling with your baby - Pre-Travel Prep Tip To Make Your Life Easier

One of the best things I ever did was to get my baby used to sleeping on a quilt on the floor. I know this sounds crazy - but if your baby is used to, say, napping on the floor on a quilt, then your baby becomes instantly portable. When you are in a strange location, a friends home, or a hotel, breaking out that familiar quilt and putting your baby to sleep on it will be easy and your baby will be happy because it is familiar. And of course the added bonus is you can do this anywhere, no special travel crib, etc., needed.

Where to Begin Your Vacation: Planning

Start with doing research about the place that you are heading to. This will arm you with ideas about the important things you need to consider, like the weather, store accessibility, hotels, etc. And always plan to pack ahead of time. This saves unnecessary stress, so that when the baby spits up all over you at the last minute, or ends up with a leaky diaper (these things always happen at the most inconvenient times), you do not end up in a rushed packing situation, forgetting something important. Okay, so here are some basic things you need to bring.

Things to Bring:

● Cash /credit cards/debit/ATM cards - and put a small amount of cash away from your wallet, in a shoe or pocket, for just in case scenarios.
● Passports
● Drivers’ license
● Consent letter from non-traveling parent if traveling solo
● Photocopies of passport & driver's’ licence – packed separately, in case ID is lost or stolen
● Calling card & number for out-of-country calls
● Health & travel insurance documents
● Vaccination documents if needed
● Address/phone book
● Trip itinerary
● Airplane tickets, or confirmation number for e-ticket
● Hotel and/or car reservation numbers
● Smartphone & charger
● Camera and batteries & charger
● Camcorder or digital recorder & charger
● Tablet/Laptop and/or DVD player and DVDs and/or portable game device, and charger
● Pen & paper

Things to Bring for Baby:

● Formula or powdered milk if you are not nursing
● Baby food/Baby Cereal - at least enough for a full day - you know how crazy air travel can be these days with unexpected delays, etc.
● Eating utensils
● Bottles & Nipples if you are not nursing
● Sippy Cups
● Extra Pacifiers
● ‘Special’ items like blanket, toys, etc.
● Crib bedding
● Changing Pad
● Diapers (how many depends on type accessible at your destination)
● Swim Diapers
● Wipes (lots)
● Diaper Cream
● Baby Toiletries
● Bath Toys
● Bibs
● Swimsuits
● Sun hats
● Sweater
● Socks
● Shoes/Sandals
● Travel crib/cot
● Stroller
● Carrier
● Car Seat

Now That I’ve Panicked You - Relax!

Okay, now you are panicking after reading the things you need to bring for your baby. Actually you don’t need to bring them all if your destination has places to get these when you get there (and most do). Whatever happens, be sure to bring enough or even more than what you need.

Always try to take a rest or enough sleep a day before you travel. But also consider that traveling will be a new thing for your baby.Your baby will be seeing new things and will be in new surroundings, probably on a different schedule and way over-stimulated. You won’t be the only one feeling exhausted; so will your baby. Your baby’s sleeping schedule might change and expect a change in mood.

And, don’t forget to entertain your baby with his favorite toy or even pacifier. If your baby turns into a “monster”, always have patience. Don’t think too much about what other people think because they really do understand your situation. Speaking about other people, always keep an eye not only on your possessions, but also on your precious one. I know this is obvious, but it is easy to get distracted while traveling.

Flying with an Infant - Air Travel and Ears

Air travel is tough on your little one’s ears so you need to be prepared when flying with an infant. If your own ears get plugged up, you yawn or swallow, almost automatically, to clear them, but your baby does not know to do this. The best thing you can do is to nurse or give your baby a bottle, both on take off and on approach and landing. Don’t worry what time it is, or that he just ate. If he is really not hungry, he won’t really drink as much as suck. And it’s the sucking that will help his ears. So don’t forget this! You know those screaming babies on planes?? 90% of the time, this is the problem and sucking is the remedy.

Finally, have fun on these early baby vacations. Take lots of photos. The memories are irreplaceable.