travelling with a baby

20 Tips for Travelling with a Baby

Here are my 20 top tips for travelling with a baby that have saved me untold stress! They are simple and easy to implement and will take the strain out of any trip – short or long haul.

  1. During the first few months after the birth many mothers find that a sling is very useful for carrying their baby whilst doing simple household tasks or shopping. Babies are calmed by the movement of their mother’s body and there is no doubt that sling-carrying does bring a special closeness between parent and child. In the early days, when a baby’s head is very floppy, a sling will need to be strong enough to support him. For walking excursions with older babies, a proper carrying frame will be necessary.
  2. Babies find movement soothing and will sleep in a car or stay peacefully awake. Whether awake or asleep, it is essential for safety reasons for a baby to travel in the back of the car in a carry-cot that has been secured by a harness.
  3. When a baby is too big for a carry cot, he will need to be secured in an approved safety seat and, later, as a child, in a seat harness. Either you or your husband may need to travel in the back with him.
  4. Never give way to the temptation to sit in the front with your baby on your lap. If an accident should take place, even at a very low speed, a baby could be hurled against the fascia or through the window.
  5. travelling with a babyWhen travelling with a baby or young children for long distances, plan the journey in advance, so that you can work out appropriate stops for letting off steam, picnicking, and nappy changing.
  6. Start the journey, if possible, a little before the children’s bedtime so that they will, with any luck, sleep on the way. If you are going by air, check what facilities are available so that you will know what you need to provide.
  7. Check the length of time that it takes to get to the airport.
  8. If you are going abroad, cheek what immunization is needed.
  9. Prepare a first-aid kit to take with you and include scissors, bandage, sticky plaster, antiseptic cream, pain killers, insect repellent, calamine lotion and sun-tan and sun-screen creams.
  10. Choose cotton clothes for warm climates. Cotton is cooler and more comfortable to wear than man-made fibres. Remember to include iong-sleeved tops and trousers to ward off nseets and a light but warm sweater for evenings.
  11. When you are travelling with a child, be prepared for travel sickness. A slow rolling movement upsets the balance mechanism in the middle ear more than a jerky up-and-down movement.
  12. Before setting out, do not give your child a large, greasy meal. Instead offer a light, simple meal about one hour before the start of the journey.
  13. Whilst travelling, avoid things like crisps and chocolate which cause thirst. Choose dry biscuits and glucose sweets instead. Take the wise precaution of having some plastic bags in a readily accessible place, plus a damp flannel, but do not put any ideas in the child’s head!
  14. You will need to have a good stock of suitable amusements to keep your child happy during the journey. Puzzles, pads and crayons, jigsaws, hand puppets and games that can be played on laps are all ideal and will help to pass the time. When boredom sets in, introduce songs, stories, jokes and I-spy games.
  15. When abroad, take care about the choice of food; however exotic it may look, avoid foods sold in street markets and ice-cream, too, if you are at all doubtful.
  16. If your child has diarrhoea, encourage him to drink plenty of fluids and add a little salt to the drinks.
  17. If the attack lasts longer than twelve hours, or if your child is obviously unwell, take him to a doctor. Take water-sterilizing tablets with you or drink only bottled water.
  18. Pale-skinned children need sun-screen creams for protection against sunburn; they should also wear a sun hat. Keep out of strong sunlight, and allow your suntanning programme to proceed very slowly.
  19. If children are bitten by mosquitoes, try to stop them scratching, for this will only infect the bite. The prevention and cure of prickly heat (distinguished by itching red spots and minute blisters on the face, neck, back and chest) is to bath or shower frequently and change one’s clothes often.
  20. If you are travelling with a baby who is at the mixed feeding stage, take some of his favourite foods with you. If he is given mashed portions of adult meals, avoid pre-prepared or reheated dishes and custards, cream and cold meats. All these are likely sources of food poisoning.