Traveling with a baby can be a demanding time for many parents, no matter how much you prepare for it. If it’s your first trip with a baby, it can be especially worrying if you’ve never done it before. Whether it’s a weekend trip away, a staycation, a trip abroad, or even just taking your baby to stay with your family over the holidays, taking your baby into a new environment takes a lot of planning.
Traveling should always be a rewarding experience, however, whether you have a young baby or not. It’s an extra chance to share somewhere new with your baby and for further bonding in a new environment.
How, then, can you best prepare your baby for a trip?
How Are You Going to Be Traveling?
First things first: what method of transport are you going to be using? Knowing this far in advance will mean you can best prepare your baby’s trip based on the requirements of your transport method. Leaving this until the last minute will only cause further stress and may risk you missing out on packing helpful supplies.
So, deciding how you’re going to travel is the most important first step. Will it be a road trip? Will you be taking public transport? Or will it be a direct flight?
Make Sure Baby is Well Rested
The success of a trip can depend on how cranky your baby might be. Conversely, having a well-rested baby means less risk of disturbances and an easier trip. You’ll therefore want to think about making sure your baby is well-rested in the week leading up to your travel plans, as well as thinking about how they’ll be able to sleep or rest during the journey (such as during a car journey with you driving).
Invest in the Right Pack and Play
These can be essential pieces of kit for any parent planning to travel with a baby. Pack and plays are compact and can easily be folded for any sort of traveling, and they provide your baby with a comfortable place to sleep on the go. Not only that, but they’ll enable you still to change your baby’s diaper at a comfortable station, whenever you need. Therefore, finding the best pack and play for your trip is a great idea.
Think About Laundry Demands
You might be panicking about packing extra of everything for your baby, so they always have a change. While packing extra clothes and items is always a good idea, it could also save you luggage space and energy by researching laundry facilities wherever you’re headed. If you can easily wash and dry clothes at your accommodation, this can make it easier compared to having to take extra luggage.
Choose a Baby-Friendly Accommodation
If you’re preparing your baby for a big vacation trip, it can be a lot easier if you know the place, you’re headed to is a family-friendly place. Not only will this make it more likely to be socializing with other parents and children, but it also means that your accommodation and facilities will easily cater to any baby demands so that you can rest more easily.
You may even want to look at baby-specific vacation spots, such as those designed for new parents, retreats for babies, or places that put-on baby and parent classes or activities.
Book Flight Times Carefully
If you’re worried about your baby’s first flight, you’ll want to do everything you can to make it easier. To limit the stress around traveling to the airport, making it through security and the flight itself, think carefully about flight times and your chosen airport.
Choose a time that will be easiest for you and your baby’s routine, and one which tries to keep to their normal pattern, instead of waking them up in the middle of a sleep to get to the airport, for example.
Always leave yourself enough time so that you don’t have to rush, and think about times to travel when the roads aren’t as busy so that the traveling to the airport itself will be a lot easier for you.
A trip with a young baby can leave you with a lot of extra things to think about, but it doesn’t have to mean that your whole trip is put on a downer because of feeling anxious about your baby being happy and comfortable.
Trips with your baby can be fun and perfect for bonding, so as long as you prepare enough, you can make for a smooth trip you’ll both enjoy.