Many parents these days are open to travelling with their children. If you’re one of them, you’ve probably had questions like when is my baby old enough for travel? What do I need to pack? How can I keep my baby safe? And so on. Here are some of our best tips and things you need to know when travelling with your baby.
When is my baby old enough to travel?
To be honest, your baby is travel ready as soon as they’re born. Yes- your baby is new to the world, so they can be trained however you like! If you’re a travel mum, or a travel dad, your bub can most likely be your travel bub as well! Give your baby 2-3 days to get used to the air, and the feel of things outside Mumma’s tummy, and you’re good to gallivant.
If you plan on any air travel, check with your airlines on their requirements first. Most airlines prefer babies to be at least 2 days old, but no doubt -the passengers would raise that bar higher! Admit it, you wouldn’t like your flight to be disturbed by anyone, or your bub to be disturbed either! It is also useful to know travel insurance requirements by your visiting country’s law, so getting an insurance is never a bad idea.
But it all boils down to if you are ready as a parent. If your baby has any complications, or you’re feeling overwhelmed with parenthood, or just not feeling right. Give yourself a few weeks to settle in with bub and feel safer until you want to travel.
By three months, you and your baby are more likely to be ready to travel. Your baby is no longer as fragile, but still small enough to not mind whether their bed is at home or in a hotel room, or being cuddled close to you. Young babies generally make good travelers if they feel cuddled and secure and are feeding regularly. The movement and activity often help’s them sleep, too!
The real challenge is as the baby gets older, and his/her preferences start to surface.
How can I transport my baby while on a trip?
We all know as mums, that it is impossible to keep bub in your arms every time they aren’t laying down. So choosing the right travel gear will help heaps you heaps in the travel department, and when exploring your new getaway.
If you are flying, a baby carrier or baby sling is an ideal way to transport your baby when they’re small. Being swaddled in close to you, or your partner will make bub feel safer and carefree. Using a sling keeps your hands free, and allows you to rummage around your backpacks or luggage for passports, tickets, money or your handkerchief to wipe that sweat while bub snuggles in.
On the road, your young baby would need a travel system that usually includes all the items and accessories that your baby needs to be transported from A to B; be it a pram, a seat, a bassinet, or a car seat. If your baby is very young where they still need many hours of sleep a day, it would be best to get a pram system that can accommodate a bassinet, a seat, and a car capsule without hassle. This way, bub can be out on a walk, sleep in your house, and back in the car, all without being woken up. One thing to remember is you travel, is to make sure you get a travel system that fits your car, or the airline cabin! Don’t forget to get a luggage tag for your stroller if you’re putting it in the cabin.
What should I pack for the baby’s trip?
- If your baby usually sleeps in a cot, make sure you ask the hotel if cots are available during your reservation. If not, use a pram bassinet that is suitable for over-night sleeping. Australia has some great options for over-night sleep friendly bassinets- like the Baccani Pletora and Cavallo prams. Remember to open the ventilation canopies to allow proper airflow for bub as they sleep!
- Pack along a mosquito net, rain cover and UV cover depending on the regions you’re visiting. You wouldn’t want bub to be exposed to insects and the elements if you go unprepared!
- You may also want to take a plug-in baby monitor or night-light with you, if you’re still new to this, and want to keep an eye on bub, and make sure bub is comfortable in his new space.
- Take along a couple of their favorite toys, or books, to keep them grounded to something homely and familiar.
- You might also want to take along your camera to capture your baby and the fun associated with the challenge of travelling with one!
- Apart from the above, you will also need to take the usual baby supplies which may include nappies, wipes, nappy rash cream, changing mat, sunhat and sunscreen, tissues, bibs, first-aid kit, breast pump, travel steriliser kit, clothes, bottles and formula milk.
Tips to keep your baby happy on the trip
A happy baby makes a happy trip. Being rested, fed, and calm is a good start for a baby acclimatizing to a new place. Make sure your bub gets plenty of sleep, and enough food, and treats that they like, to keep them happy. Toys that also keep them occupied will help keep bub working, as you tread that trek!
A few useful accessories for car travel
- A rear-view mirror to keep an eye on your baby as they’re at the back seat of the car!
- Car window shades to keep away the heat and bright light from your bub!
- Baby on board sign- you feel safer knowing that other drivers are aware of your baby on board.
- A car bin will come more in handy than you expect, when you have a baby travelling along. Baby wipes, snack wrappers, tissues, and anything else can sit neatly in a car bin instead of carpeting your car floor!
- A pram organizer is also a great investment to look at when travelling. You never know how much of stuff you’ll end up carrying in your pram, anticipating its need for bub in any instance during the trip! A pram with an extra-large storage basket can give you an unbelievable advantage here.
How can I feed my baby when travelling?
Breastfeeding is very convenient when travelling as you don’t need to pack any equipment. But if your baby is formula fed you need travel sized packages for most things. You should be able to find travel sized formula packs in supermarkets, or you can separate portions of formula powder to feed your baby whenever they need a feeding. Airlines may also allow extra liquid allowance if you’ve got a baby travelling. Be sure to clarify this before you pack for the flight!
If your baby has started their solid diet, you could also seal pack some jars and packets of baby food into your luggage until you can access the next stop to prepare their meals.
How can I keep my baby safe when travelling in the car?
Take the same careful approach to safety as you do at home.
- Make sure your baby’s car seat is properly installed and that the seat belts, if used, are correctly threaded. Australian safety standards require a safety harness in all car seats. You can check their website for more information of stroller safety here.
- Never smoke when your baby is in the car. It’s actually illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under 18 present, because of the dangers of second-hand smoke in such an enclosed space.
That’s a quick read on things you need to know when travelling with your baby. But the best we’ve got for you, is to go with your gut. A parent senses their child’s needs better than anyone else can!