Don’t let motherhood hinder you from pleasure. Baby nurturing is, overall, a blessing, Moreover, with enough planning, you’ll realize that it’s not impossible to enjoy life and go to those places you wished to go before you got pregnant. We are going to unpack this idea below. Let’s get started.
TRAVELLING WITH BABY. AN OVERVIEW
Perhaps the most stressful part of travelling with a baby is the journey itself. The time spent between the starting point and destination can get very tiresome for both the baby and the parents.
Babies are not known for being patient. They tend to demand immediate satisfaction, and while it’s our role as parents to inculcate this virtue, it doesn’t happen overnight. This is only achieved after weeks, months, or even years of struggle, through a process which, oddly enough, also requires patience on the part of parents.
Now that we know that’s the case, we can start preparing that trip. Here are 9 tips that I have found very useful for travelling with a baby.
This requires knowing your baby well, his favorite toy, things he likes and hates, his allergies, his medical condition, etc. This is important even when not travelling!
Also, stay updated with the travel regulations regarding infants, both those of the destination and of the airline, train or bus. If you plan on renting a car, keep in mind that in some countries it is mandatory to carry a booster seat or infant seat, according to age, weight or height.
- NAP TIMES ARE KING
Timing your baby’s naps is very useful for scheduling your trip, since disrupting your baby’s sleep schedule can easily ruin, not only your travel experience, but your daily routine as well, potentially leading to depression.
According to British Columbia professor Wendy Hall:
“Parental thoughts about infant sleep influence whether they are comfortable with helping their children learn to soothe themselves back to sleep. These thoughts also influence whether parents feel they are neglecting their responsibilities if they are not consistently getting up at night to respond to their children.” (Taken from the article: Children’s sleep weighs heavy on parents’ minds).
- DON’T OVERPACK YOUR BAGS
Managing your resources is key to making the journey less stressful. Try to come up with a list of items which you consider to be essential for the trip and for the baby. Leave out the baby gear that he/she doesn’t need.
As a way to exercise moderation, imagine yourself in stressful situations at the airport or train station, having to look over your luggage, with all the commotion going on around you, while also carrying a non-stop crying baby. Then, plan accordingly!
Also, consider shipping stuff ahead if you plan to be gone for a prolonged period. That would save you a lot of luggage space and you don’t have to spend more time and money buying things for the baby once you arrive.
- RENT A CAR, IF POSSIBLE
If you are travelling without a guide and want to take a self-guided tour, I can only recommend that you rent a car. First of all, not all countries or cities offer good public transportation, and even the good ones can’t replace the comfort of a particular vehicle under your control, especially when travelling with child.
- DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BREAT PUMP!
Breastfeeding is wonderful and has numerous benefits on a baby’s growth. It can become understandably tedious, though, especially while travelling. That’s the reason you should consider getting yourself a breast pump,
Ashlee Neuman, Deputy Editor of TheBump.com, recommends a Hands-Free breast pump, particularly the Willow Wearable Breast Pump, which, while a bit on the expensive side, is a good investment if you plan on travelling with your baby frequently (for business reasons, for example).
A hands-free breast pump has several advantages: it fits directly into your bra, it has no attached cords or tubes, you don’t need to take off any piece of clothing and you can pump discreetly wherever you are.
- RENTING APARTMENTS OVER HOTEL ROOMS
Apartments are better than hotel rooms when travelling with children, as they can provide that home environment that you and your baby needs to feel more comfortable. Airbnb or Home Away are excellent portals that can aid you in finding apartments which can offer that type of family-friendly environment.
- DON’T OVERSTAY
Even if you are in the most amazing place on earth, an unhappy child and unhappy parents can spoil what is supposed to be the perfect moment. Before things get ugly, head back to the hotel reschedule for another day.
- YOUR PHONE IS YOUR BEST ALLY
A mobile phone is an amazing tool for nurturing, especially in the context of travel. Take advantage of all the benefits of owning a phone. Download relaxing sounds to soothe your baby with.
- BABY CARRIERS CAN SAVE YOU
Literally! You don’t want to expose your baby to accidental falls and its consequences. Carriers allow you to strap your baby in your chest, leaving you with two free hands to do other chores or browse things in your purse during boarding, for example. They’re also perfect for when you have to visit sites where strollers are not allowed nor encouraged.
There are also other medical and psychological benefits of “baby carrying” which are not going to be fully detailed in this article due to scope, but you can find disclosed in this medically-reviewed article from MomLovesBest.com
Perhaps this article was a bit overwhelming to you, but it’s really not as hard as it might seem. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be the most comfortable trip you’ll ever take, as it’s obviously far more convenient to travel alone. Nonetheless, travelling with your baby has a lot of benefits that you can’t obtain when going on your own. In the end, it’s the experience of motherhood which overcomes any bias people usually have in this regard, and any apparent hindrance you may encounter.
Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comments section!