Whether it is a road trip of an air trip, traveling with a baby can be distressing. If your baby is not comfortable, you will not be either. Most people prefer to wait till their babies become toddlers before they even consider any long distance trip. But what happens when you can’t avoid the trip? The fear of dirty looks from fellow passengers is very real. And the threat of a sick kid in the baby seat paralyzes many. But as challenging as it can be, there are a few things you can do to make it easier on you and on the tiny tot.
Have a Checklist
It can be really frustrating to reach for the diaper rash ointment in the middle of a change only to realize that it was forgotten on the changing table back home. This can be avoided if there is a checklist you go through just before you leave home to make sure that you packed everything. The checklist can contain things the baby would need for changing time, a favorite toy, food and snacks for babies that are old enough for those and formula for those who are not. If you are traveling by air, these should be packed in your hand luggage and not checked in.
Use a Car Seat
It is essential to always travel with a car infant carrier or an infant car seat. These are also known as car safety seats. While it is possible to hold a baby below 2 years of age in the lap, it is still advised that where possible, a separate seat should be gotten for the baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies should be strapped in infant car safety seats. For babies below 2 years of age, a rear facing car safety seat should be used. This is relevant for both road and air travel.
Get the Baby to Suck
During air takeoff and landing, the best way to prevent ear pain for your baby is to get the baby to suck. This could either be on a bottle or for nursing mothers, breastfeed. A pacifier might also come in handy here.
Practice Crib Safety
It does not matter that you will only be staying for a couple of days, be sure to check the infant cribs provided by the hotel or motel you are staying in to ensure that they meet safety standards. If you are in the US, find out if the crib is Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certified. Make the same check for certification from the relevant bodies if you are in another part of the world. A top tip: if the slats are more than 2 3/8 inches apart, don’t put your baby in that crib.
Pack a First Aid Kit
If you are traveling by air, First Aid will be provided for you. Nevertheless, you should pack some form of first aid like basic Tylenol for instance. If you are traveling by road this is something you cannot afford to neglect. Wherever you are traveling to, make sure you have a First Aid kit on hand. Before you travel, have a checklist to be sure that you have packed all you need to in your First Aid kit.
Keep Extra Clothing on Hand
You should know the temperature of where you are traveling to but while on the road it would be necessary to regulate the temperature. This can easily be done in the car but when you make stops, you would need to either take off some clothes or put some on. It is a different matter entirely in airports and on the plane. Even if you are going to a tropical climate, it is necessary to hold some extra clothing just in case the air conditioning gets too cold. A cold baby is an uncomfortable one and when a baby gets uncomfortable, everyone around gets that way too.
Some simple precautions and measures can make traveling with a baby less stress than it can be.