Tips for Traveling With Infants
Travel can be a rough undertaking for an adult. From packing to planning to hitting the bricks, you will no doubt find yourself beset by stumbling blocks and snafus from start to finish. And when you throw a baby into the mix, a procedure that was merely complex can turn into outright chaos, especially if you’re new to the parenting arena. And yet, it’s not as though you can leave your newborn untended while you trip the light fantastic in a foreign locale. So for those of you who are facing the prospect of travel with a newborn, there are a few things to keep in mind that will lower your stress level and make for smooth sailing.
1. A stitch in time saves nine.
In short, preparedness is everything! You probably have a baby bag packed with everyday necessities like diapers, blankets, formula, and so on. So you just need to add a few additional items that may come in handy, such as baby aspirin, a favorite toy, and maybe a collapsible mobile to dangle over their head for amusement on a long trip. If your child takes any prescriptions, make sure to refill them before you leave. And don’t forget to write down your pediatrician’s number and stick it in the bag (just in case you forget your phone charger).
2. Babies can’t chew gum
Since your child will certainly feel the pressure as your plane climbs in altitude, try to time a feeding for takeoff and one for landing. This way you can ensure that their ears will pop (as they swallow) and reduce the risk of a painful tantrum.
3. Buy an extra ticket
Most airlines allow parents to hold small children in their lap rather than buying another seat. However, toting bags and trying not to jostle a sleeping infant in your arms may a bit too much to handle. If you can afford an extra ticket, you will make the endeavor easier for everyone involved because you have the luxury of allowing your newborn to slumber undisturbed in a car seat for the duration of the trip.
4. Expect the worst
Illness and injury can occur at any time, and while you have a medicine cabinet full of cures at home (and the doctor’s number on speed dial), it’s simply not feasible to bring everything with you. Instead, exercise due diligence ahead of time by finding a suitable interim doctor wherever you’re travelling (or at least contact your insurance provider for a list of candidates in the area) and noting locations of nearby pharmacies and hospitals.
5. Adjust for jetlag
Getting yourself on a sleeping schedule for a different time zone won’t do you any good if baby isn’t on board. So start getting your newborn on a new schedule a few days ahead of time if you don’t want to reach your destination only to spend the entire time sitting up with your child for half the night and sleeping the day away.
Sarah Danielson writes for Tour Dust, an adventure travel website for independent travelers who are looking to book holidays and tours like walking the Inca Trail from expert local tour operators.