Yes, we all want to be that lucky parent whose child sleeps like an angel all through a long flight without so much as a whimper. Though we can’t really promise you that (because babies have a mind of their own), we can give you some amazing parent-approved tips that’ll make travelling with your little one so much easier and a whole lot of fun.
1. Always check airline rules: The key to making sure everything goes smoothly is to do your research and plan in advance. If your plans involve plane travel, you need to plan ahead. Airlines do have different rules when it comes to travelling with babies so make sure you call your airline in advance and ask all the right questions. Some of the things you should ask are if you need to purchase a ticket for your baby (most airlines let babies under the age of 2 travel for free), what kind of documentation you need to carry (a birth certificate to prove your baby’s age is often required), what your baby’s baggage allowance is, whether the airline has facilities for diaper changing, storing your carry cot/stroller, availability of baby meals, food and milk restrictions and anything else that you think is relevant. Once you have the necessary details, you’ll be strolling through the airport like a pro!
Your baby must have a valid passport and visa.
2. Make them feel secure and cozy during plane travel: The best way to make your baby feel secure is by holding them to your chest with a sling or front carrier. Babies tend to feel uncomfortable during plane take off and landing due to cabin pressure. To make this easier for them, it’s better to feed them during take-off or landing. Or you could even give them a bottle or pacifier to suck on. Another useful tip is to try and book your flights to coincide with your baby’s bed time so that it increase the chances of them sleeping through the flight, which is truly a huge victory for any parent.
3. Go hands-free: Unless you have some amazing circus tricks up your sleeve, it can be pretty hard to juggle a baby, your luggage and other belongings all at one time. So make sure you keep your hands free for convenience. A sling or a front carrier for your baby is the best way to do this. Take along a foldable travel carrier that you can use on board or even at your destination. If you prefer using a stroller, make sure you have a travel system that snaps into your stroller and can be removed when necessary. You can then stow away your stroller in the cabin hold (during plane travel) and secure the carrier to the plane seat.
A front carrier will keep your baby comfortable and secure.
4. Look for family-friendly destinations: Choose a destination where the entire family can have a good time. Pick hotels that are family-friendly too as they will be well-equipped with baby care products and baby gear to help you with all your needs. Look for things like inclusive breakfast, buffet meals and children’s recreation areas while booking. However, if you do decide to travel off-the-beaten-track, then make sure you carry enough baby products for your trip.
Pick a relaxed, family-friendly resort!
5. Always dress them for easy access: Diaper-changing whilst travelling isn’t the easiest thing to do. Make it a little simpler by dressing the kids in such a way that you don’t need to remove their pants, socks and shoes every time you need to change them. In this case, a onesie with leggings underneath will keep them cozy and make diaper time faster and easier. During plane travel, try changing them at the airport itself rather than on the plane as space is always limited onboard.
6. Pack enough entertainment: This is your holiday too and you don’t want to be stuck with making sure your child is constantly amused and entertained. Pack a few of their favourite books and toys for recreation.
7. Factor in enough time for rest: Of course you want to make the most of every minute of your holiday, but a holiday by definition is a time for rest & relaxation. Squeezing too many activities into one day can make your little ones cranky and tired. Make sure to rest enough..
Avoid extremely hectic schedules and get enough rest.
8. Try and stick to regular feeding times: Even though your schedule is totally different, try and stick to your baby’s regular feeding times to keep them content and comfortable. Whether you are breastfeeding or using formula milk, make sure you carry the necessary items. If your baby is already having solids, carrying snacks in a zip-lock bag is always a good idea.
9. Baby-proof your hotel room: Create a safe environment for your baby even in the hotel room. Make things easier by designating a place for diaper-changing, storing all your baby-food and even a small play area.
Don’t forget to take tons of pictures!
10. Be flexible: The most important thing is to simply relax and enjoy every moment. Even though there may be a few hiccups along the way, keep an open mind, stay relaxed and go with the flow!