After all the late-night flight bookings and hotel reservations, finally, you’re about to begin your most awaited travel escapade. Yes! And this time it’s even more exciting because you’re bringing your baby with you. But if you think you’re all set, think again. If this is your first time traveling with a toddler, here are 10 ‘unwritten’ rules to follow for a safe and enjoyable family vacation:
1. SAFETY FIRST – stock up on disinfectants and travel wipes
The moment you take on a seat in the airplane, you’re traveling with some hidden companion – well, thousands of them! According to research, bugs and microbes (such as MRSA and E. coli) enjoy making airplanes their home. Apart from skin rashes, these bacteria can cause diarrheal diseases too. And no – you don’t want your baby to be exposed to such a host of gross microorganisms! This is where travel and disinfecting wipes by SONO come very handy. It pays to spend a few minutes wiping down the germs on your seat, armrest, food tray, and even the seat pocket. Babies like to touch anything they reach. So make the surrounding surfaces are sanitized.
2. Make a checklist of nursing essentials.
Do you have enough diapers and baby wipes? How about formula and bottles, nursing shields and pads if breastfeeding? Have you packed enough baby clothes? You may need more than you think. Check if you’ve got the first-aid kid ready too with medications, vitamins, thermometer, etc. that she needs. It always pays to be prepared.
3. Travel light. Dress for security.
A huge part of your luggage is perhaps that of your baby’s. Even if you’re traveling with your spouse or some friends, it’s important to travel light – bring only the things you need. Carefully choose the clothes you’re bringing and eliminate unnecessary items. You want to dress simply and comfortably as caring the baby is hard enough. Wear shoes that slip off easily as you would have to take them for security check.
4. Prepare for takeoff.
The pressure inside the plane during takeoffs and touchdowns can bring discomfort and pain to your baby. Keep a pacifier or empty sippy cup nearby for your baby to suck. This alleviates popping ears and lessen the discomfort.
5. Bring her favorite toys.
The whole travel experience might be exciting for you but it may not be the case for your baby. She might get stressed seeing lots of faces or not having to lie on her favorite mattress. So make sure to bring a few of her favorite toys. This will make her feel secure and keep her out of boredom, which could lead to crying and tantrums. You sure don’t want that.
6. Of course, don’t forget her food.
A hungry baby is a grumpy baby. Make sure that she’s well-fed. Do pack some healthy snacks. Some food in the airport or hotel may not be suitable for your baby especially if she has dietary specifications or is a picky eater.
7. A portable bassinet is life-saving.
Relying on hotels to lend you a crib may not be a good idea. You never know if it has been cleaned and sanitized enough! A portable bassinet is a very handy, useful item during your travel. Having your baby sleep in a bed that’s comfortable and familiar gives you so much relief.
8. Insect repellants are a MUST.
Many travel-related diseases are brought about by insect and mosquito bites. It’s important to have your baby vaccinated first before planning about traveling with her. Don’t forget apply insect repellant on her exposed skin (except from her hands) before going out the hotel.
9. Practice food and water precautions.
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, it’s a relief. But if your toddler is already eating solid food, be extra careful. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 10 people suffer from food poisoning during travel. See to it that your baby’s teethers, pacifiers, feeding bottles and toys have been disinfected.
10. Check out baby-friendly destinations.
You want your child to enjoy the whole experience as much as you do. Wherever you are going – whether it’s in the beautiful highlands in Europe or adventure-filled tropical countries in Asia – you want to choose your destination wisely. Some destinations are less ideal for traveling with babies. Don’t make it too hard on yourself. Do check if the hotel you’re staying at have child-friendly facilities and recreation areas.
There is no concrete set of rules or guidelines that will make your travel experience with your baby fool-proof from all the stress and little mishaps that may come your way. Even experienced family travelers do encounter problems from time to time. But definitely, you will find this collection of unwritten rules greatly helpful in reducing the stress, anxiety, and risk that comes with traveling with a toddler. By planning and preparing ahead, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and memorable trip with your baby!