As we head into the holiday season, travelling with a baby in tow might seem daunting to parents, making them potentially hesitant to do so.
There might be more families than usual considering an escape to the sun this year now that Covid-19 travel restrictions abroad have finally lifted and travellers can explore the globe far and wide once again.
Parents can easily be put off taking that family trip of a lifetime due to worries around lugging nappies, bottles, sterilisers, swimming nappies, travel cot, car seats and dummies to a unknown destination.
To help ease these fears and make life easier for parents planning to travel with their little one, baby brand Micralite created a handy guide for families travelling with children under one-years-old.
Micralite spoke to parents and experienced jet-setters Paula and Matt, who both regularly travel with their little ones and have agreed to share their top tips for travelling with a baby.
Manage Your Expectations
If you are used to travelling alone, Paula and Matt share that “it can be incredibly difficult to realise that you won’t be able to do everything or even what you had planned to do on days.” They enthuse that slow travelling is the best way to enjoy a place and recommend families “plan to visit one thing each day and schedule in some daily baby fun, or downtime too.”
Research Ahead Of Time
Ahead of your holiday, spend time planning places to visit whilst away. Paula and Matt recommend to “not overdo things in one day and spread activities throughout the time you are there”. Moon also advises to “stay in a place longer to ensure you can do everything you want.”
Book Suitable Accommodation
Choosing where to stay when travelling with a baby can be tricky. To make sure your accommodation is suitable, Paula and Matt suggest booking “an Airbnb or a house rental rather than hotels because they have more amenities that are useful, like a kitchen or washing machine, as well as trying to book somewhere central to walk to attractions.”
Moon also recommends that ahead of your trip, “speak to the place you are staying about what they can offer so you’re not overpacking items you don’t need as they might already have them there.”
Fly Around Sleep Times
Flying with a baby can seem daunting for parents. To try to make the journey go as smoothly as possible, Paula and Matt recommend “flying around sleep times as having them asleep during the flight makes for a more relaxed journey, especially if it’s their first one as it’s less overwhelming.”
They also add to be aware of the air pressure and suggest having “something for them to suck or chew on during take-off and landing. You can also massage their ears and the side of the head for extra comfort.”
Be Weather Prepared
Depending on where you are going on holiday, you must ensure your baby is at a safe temperature and protected from the weather. For a sunny destination, Moon advises “to try and keep your baby cool and keep them covered in the shade. Make sure they are wearing a sunhat and drink enough water.” Paula and Matt also add to “avoid being in the sun completely during the highest sun hours and sun cream (preferably 50+) should be applied every half hour to an hour.”
For cold destinations, Paula and Matt advise that your baby is wearing “enough appropriate layers, with a snowsuit, waterproof boots and gloves essential for snowy locations. They should always have at least one more layer than yourself.” They also advise that no matter the location, to be all-weather prepared, so “if you are going to a warm destination, always pack a jacket and if you going to a cold destination pack a shirt just in case of a sudden weather change.”
Keep Sleep Routines The Same
Navigating the challenges of getting your baby to sleep is challenging enough, and to help with this whilst away, both families recommend keeping your sleep routines the same as at home. Moon shares that “even if it is hard or you don’t want to miss out on something, learn to love this new (kid-friendly!) type of travel!”
Don’t Overpack Nappies
When travelling with your baby, having enough nappies can be a worry but Paula and Matt advise to “plan enough nappies to at least settle in a place before struggling that you don’t have any left, so enough to last at least three days and then just buy some where you are to help not to overpack.”
Babies can be unpredictable at home, so expect that when you are away too. Paula and Matt advise that having “the ability to adapt to a situation and roll with it, whether you need to change plans or cancel something, it will save you from disappointment.”
Riccardo Baldoni, Head of Micralite commented: “Having a child doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you love. Despite what people might say, it is possible to travel with your baby and enjoy it at the same time. Whilst it will require more planning and some adjustments, whether you’re jetting off to the sun, snow or just planning a family staycation, you can continue to explore with your baby in tow.
“An important element to making baby travel life easier is to make sure you have suitable baby products. Items such as strollers should have practical features such as being compact and lightweight, as well as having suitable wheels that can handle all terrains. Items like this are designed to make life better – more fun, more adventurous, and easier for parents.”