Who says travelling can’t be fun and easy with your baby? Traveling with babies and toddlers can be a test of patience, but travelling as a family can also be very rewarding and calming. Despite the possibility for irritability with proper planning, flying with your baby can be an easy and definitely a different experience.
Here are some things to do to make travel interesting and less stressful with your little ones
1. Choose the right airline: Some airlines like are very baby/ child-friendly and offer a range of things like games for children, and for babies - sky cots, bassinets, baby meal, baby luggage allowance and even sky nannies. So be sure to research properly and take advantage of these freebies airlines provide.
2. Packing the Luggage: When travelling with your baby, it is very important to pack what your children will need for the trip. Always consider the weather condition that you are travelling in. Pack sweaters and onesies for cold and light textured cloths for a warm weather. However always have it at the back of your mind that you should only pack the nappies and clothes that you will need for the journey and few extra, take versatile and comfortable clothes and colour-coordinated separates so if something gets dirty you only have to change part of the outfit. This way your luggage remains light.
3. Proper Documentation: Proof of age for your baby. Your children under the age of 2 can sometimes travel free or in some cases, you get to pay a minimal charge. All you need to do is provide a proof of age. So why not travel with your baby? And take a copy of the birth certificate.
4. Keep Breastfeeding: If you are still breastfeeding on breast milk; make sure to feed your baby frequently so he doesn’t become dehydrated. This is vital because breast milk is the only way to compensate the loss of fluids that come out of your breastfed baby’s body in the form of sweating. In case you are concerned about nursing in public, be sure to use a nursing cover to maintain your privacy and comfort.
5. Set a Family Travel Budget: Travel with kids does not have to be expensive. Decide on a comfortable budget that works for your family and includes items such as souvenirs, entertainment, and a few unexpected activities. Once again involve your kids to make sure they feel comfortable with your travel plans.
6. Bring a Few Comforts from Home: Allow your children to bring along a few home comforts such as a stuffed toy, books, or a portable music player for the older kids. Activity packs can be a lifesaver on a plane and car rides. Also take items such as colouring pencils and books, card games, board games, handheld electronic games, puzzles so you and your kids can engage in fun activities at leisure times.
7. See Your Doctor: If you’re going overseas and have little ones, see your doctor at least two months before you leave to discuss your plans. Mention the ages of your children and bring everyone’s vaccination records, and ask the doctor to note down their blood groups for you. If any of your children have a pre-existing medical condition, ask for help in identifying a doctor in your destination who specializes in the same condition.
8. Seat Confirmation: It is important to book the right seat when you decide the time you are flying. To avoid the noise of plane engine being a cause of your baby’s disturbance, always book those seats that are in the front, rather than those which are located at the back of the plane. The seats in front usually come with extra legroom, which is comfortable for both you and your baby.
9. Try To Schedule Your Flight during Bed Time: Scheduling your flight during your children’s naptime or bedtime makes your flight a lot easier because the baby is asleep during the flight.
10. Use your Baby Carrier: Do not forget your baby carrier; this will help you and your baby a great deal. It will make your baby fall asleep for a longer period of time as you rock your baby to sleep easily. It also makes them feel closer to you. If you prefer backing your baby the African way that’s even better.
11. Dress Your Child In Layered Clothing: This prepares you for any kind of temperature on the plane. If the plane is hot, all you need do is to remove the outer layer cloth your child is wearing. If it is cold, then your child is safe and won’t catch a cold.
12. Wait for a Little: If you can, it is advised that you wait until your child is at least six months old. At six months, babies are used to sleeping and napping. They are now more familiar with the weather and not as tender and fragile as they were. In a nutshell, travelling is a lot easier when your baby is six months and above.
13. Extra Clothing: Take extra comfortable clothes for you and your Baby onboard just in Case of Spillage or Baby Burps If you’re a Nursing Mother. This will also help if you have breast milk stains on your cloth and help keep your baby feeling fresh after a change of cloth.
14. Prepare your baby for Sleep: Have your baby sleep in her portable bed for a few nights before you leave so she can get used to it before you go on the road.
15. Keep your baby healthy: Enjoy all the gushes and admiration your baby inspires, but do your best to keep your baby away from people with cold as well as from those who are smoking. To be on the safe side ensure that anyone who wants to carry your child sanitizes their hands with either a hand sanitizer or baby wipes. Best to be safe
Travelling is not always easy and travelling with kids can be tough. So just treat your trip like one big adventure. Plan for occurrences such as flight delays, illness, and homesickness. If unforeseen events happen, stay positive. Your children will learn important life lessons from watching you on this trip.