Planning Your First Trip with Your Baby

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Planning Your First Trip with Your Baby

Perhaps you thought that packing in the pre-baby era was a hassle because you couldn’t fit all your favourite tees and an extra pair of sandals? Now that your little nestling has arrived, you’ve learned that kids tend to occupy our every thought, decision, and needless to say our luggage space.

However, as a new parent, there are quite a few details to keep in mind before your first trip with your baby, and this can be your go-to list until you become a travelling parent guru yourself.

Your emergency kit

In addition to the basic set of bandages, fever medicine and sun protection for sensitive baby skin, consider visiting your family doctor to get prescriptions for those potential belly issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Then again, even non-exotic destinations have plenty of insects that can cause allergic reactions, so perhaps a Benadryl option for kids can do the trick, but it’s best to consult your physician.

Your carry-on essentials

No need to panic, but just in case your luggage gets held up or lost, your carry-on should contain enough baby food, breastfeeding essentials, diapers, snacks, an extra pair of socks, onesies and disinfecting wipes to have you covered until you find your first store. If there’s room, it’s a good idea to pack an extra top for yourself, there’s bound to be some spit or other lovely baby fluids.

The battle of the suitcase

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You might feel the urge to pack absolutely everything your baby owns, but it’s best to keep track of how much you’ll truly need for the duration of your travels. You can use an online service such as diapers.com to pre-order your supplies and have them waiting for you at your destination, saving up space in your bags and not worrying about losing your luggage.

Not counting your basics such as clothes and food, make sure to bring some soothing music or noise-cancelling headphones for those noisy airports. Even buses and trains can sometimes get noisy, and if your baby is fussy, some entertainment won’t hurt.

Breastfeeding on the go

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Quite a few things can go awry while traveling when you need to feed your little one. Bumpy roads and unplanned delays at airports are just some of them. So, it’s important to make sure that feeding time is comfy for you and your baby. It’s recommended to bring a sling or a pouch to keep your hands free, while wearing a breastfeeding Mammojo hoodie can make it even simpler for both of you.

Pro tips: make sure your breast-pumps and chargers are compatible with the voltage of your destination. Plus, if you use a pump to extract milk before the trip, make sure to label each bottle to ensure freshness and keep them in a portable fridge or a cooler. When you need to clean your breast-pump, use bottled instead of tap water or sanitation wipes.

Keep it consistent

Whenever possible, accommodate your baby’s sleeping and feeding schedule and adjust your travels so that your baby won’t get too fussy or uncomfortable. Direct flights are necessary for the baby to get used to your tempo, so do your best to avoid layovers. Babies like their routines, and changing time zones can be tricky enough on its own even without the added hassle of boarding a few times.

A different climate can also affect your tot’s sleep, but even an extra nap or two can help ease them into the new environment until they can completely restore their sleeping habits.

How about a babysitter?

If you’re going to your relatives abroad – lucky you! Maybe they’d be happy to give you a day or an afternoon parenting-free. But if you’re headed to a new place, making arrangements prior to your arrival is best. Check with your hotel for recommendations or in-house babysitters, and schedule a Skype interview just to be safe, because leaving your child with someone new can be very stressful, you want to be sure you’ve chosen someone reliable and professional.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support

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You might be new at this game, but you’re likely not the first hotel guest and surely not the first passenger traveling with a child. Whenever you can, ask the staff for advice and guidance, whether at the counter or when you’re waiting for the security check, and if they can do anything to make the transition as painless and comfortable as possible.

For example, if you’re flying and the plane isn’t fully booked, they might be able to allow you an extra seat for you and your baby. They can also help you board last, to avoid the crowd and prevent possible injuries, and choose a seat in the front of the plane because the back is much noisier. Ask the hotel whether or not they have baby-proofed rooms, but they might be able to do that before your arrival or provide you with the needed supplies, or at least you’ll know to bring your own.

Olivia is psychologist from Brisbane. She is passionate about writing and always inspiring her readers to be clever in their lives.

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