Top tips for travelling with babies
By Kate Nicolle, Parenting Consultant and founder of Kidology
The thought of going on holiday usually fills us all with excited anticipation; the reality of travelling there with babies however can often push our stress levels so high we need a holiday to calm down again. But in reality it usually turns out much better than we feared. To ensure you are not put off family holidays forever here is my advice for surviving travel with your children.
Be Prepared. I can't stress the importance of this enough... Be Prepared!!
Whatever your personality type, this is not the time to be laid back about what is in your nappy bag. Nothing instils panic into a mother like being 30,000 feet up in a plane with only one nappy left or the details of the hotel neatly written out but still on the kitchen table!
Think through the journey and make sure you have everything you might need to avoid any issues. Stock up on essentials like baby wipes, infant fever medicine, snacks, lots of nappies, water, a change of baby clothes, little story books/toys, essential phone numbers. Philips AVENT has some great travel solutions, especially when it comes to feeding. Express milk directly into portable containers and store in fridge or freezer prior to departure for a simple feeding solution on the go. Insulated bottle carriers will keep milk cool for several hours. Make sure you know all the details of your journey, where, when, how and always be truthful about the answer to 'Are we nearly there yet?'.
I would advise against trying to make your baby tired for the journey the day before. Some mums try this in the hope that it will boost the chances of them sleeping a lot on the journey day itself but it never really works, especially if they proceed to get over tired which can mean you have a hysterical child on your hands.
If you are travelling with your partner or another adult I would highly recommend talking about your expectations of the journey together beforehand. I say this because if your partner strolls onto the plane with a newspaper tucked under their arm in anticipation of a few hours catching up on the world's news while you're desperately trying to stop your baby from grabbing fists full of another passenger's hair, tensions will run high!
Agree a plan of action. You drive for two hours then your partner does. You read the paper for an hour then your partner does. In reality your baby might want to be with mum more as they need to nurse or just gravitate to a parent for some quiet time or sleep. Whatever actually happens if you have both shown that you have good intentions of 'doing your bit' then all is more likely to be well.
If your baby is crying with impressive volume, try to ignore the inevitable tutting and eye rolling from fellow travellers... Remember, the time will come round sooner than you think when your child will sit quietly and read a book and you can sit smugly, reading the paper feeling sorry for the mother behind you who is trying to stop her child from pulling your hair.
For information on Philips AVENT baby and toddler travel solutions www.philips.co.nz/AVENT
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