By Yashy Murphy
Before she was three months old, our jet-setting baby had travelled with us to London, Paris and India. We not only survived, but we had thrilling adventures soaking up Parisian culture, marvelling at the stunning Taj Mahal, and even breastfeeding in a chapel in Westminster Abbey. Two years later, and now with two babies in tow, we have travelled to eight countries and 33 cities, and continue to quench our thirst for touring places near and far.
Travelling with an infant can be daunting, but know that you can enjoy a peaceful journey as long as you are well prepared. Anticipate delays and ensure you have plenty of sleep the day before your trip. With summer around the corner, don’t let the fear of vacationing with a baby keep you from exploring the world and enjoying amazing adventures!
In the air:
Request a basinet (if available), or if the flight isn’t fully booked, ask if you can bring your car seat onboard.
Stay calm and don’t stress out—babies feed off your energy.
As soon as you board, ask a flight attendant if any of the lavatories have a change table.
Airline restrooms are a good quiet spot to calm a crying baby.
Travel with extra earplugs that you can offer to neighbours during your wee one’s catastrophic crying sessions.
If breastfeeding, travel with a bottle or two of pumped milk. If formula feeding, travel with your own water source. Airline water may not be safe for baby to drink.
Keep milk bottles cold in an ice-filled airsickness bag. They’re waterproof.
Put in any requests for hot water or additional needs well before feeding time to give the flight attendants time to fulfill your request.
Ensure your diaper bag is well stocked with snacks and toys.
Offer babies a pacifier, bottle or finger to suck on to avoid the effect of cabin pressure changes during takeoff and landing.
On the road:
Ensure the car seat is comfortable, clean and properly installed.
Bring along a variety of dry snacks and place them in a spot that can be easily accessed.
Bring your baby’s favourite toy and blanket. Ensure toys and pacifiers are securely tethered onto the car seat so nothing falls on the floor.
Don’t forget entertainment. Whether it’s an iPad or a DVD player, ensure it’s well-stocked with pre-loaded cartoons and age-appropriate games.
Carry milk in a travel-sized cooler. Pack enough ice for the journey.
Invest in a portable bottle warmer and ensure milk bottles are warmed well before feeding time.
On long journeys, plan pit stops every four to five hours. Choose spots where your baby can stretch out.
Never take a break if your baby is sleeping—it’s a sure way to wake them from quiet slumber.
Ensure change pad and diapers are accessible, and have a spot cleared in the car for emergency diaper changes.
If possible, divide and conquer—have one person driving and the other in the back seat to attend to baby’s needs.
Yashy Murphy Travel Writer , Lifestyle Blogger and Social Media Consultant, Baby & Life www.babyandlife.com