There is an old saying that goes ‘babies are a blessing’, and most new parents agree, right up until they realize functioning on two hours of sleep is near impossible. It is ‘ah’ moments like that, which convince some new parents that there is no fun with a baby in tow. Most just assume vacations and the like will have to wait. This keeps mommies and daddies locked to the homestead like children on a very long snow-day, without the snowballs and snowmen.
Going on a vacation is a time of excitement for the whole family. When the family has a young baby or a newborn, some complications can arise due to the needs of the child. Fortunately, vacationing with a baby can still have the enjoyment families come to expect even with the minor challenges. All it takes is preparation and flexibility. There is a simple checklist that can make any travel plan go smoothly.
Do Not Under-pack
Diapers galore is the number one rule, baby wipes, a wash-cloth, a couple of receiving blankets and at least two changes of clothes and bibs re a must. Food, for babies who are starting solids, must be packed with the anticipation you will miss 2 more meal stops than you plan to. With that said remember you are feeding a baby. Keep containers small and bring your own spoons. A baby carrier and front harness or sling will make or break your trip.
Do not over-pack.
Really, little Bobbie does not need 5 stuffed toys, a selection of rattles, eight books, two teething rings and four pull and shakes for his baby carrier. Stick to a few well-chosen selections that are age appropriate. Remember that your interaction, the excitement of the change in environment and all the new faces will already be a little over-stimulating for a baby. Jiggling a rattle in a baby’s face or pulling out a whole arsenal of gadgets may send him or her over the edge.
Take a Baby Carrier:
Baby carriers are useful when trying to move around and see the sights on a vacation because it keeps the baby strapped to his or her parent without requiring the use of hands. This is particularly useful with a newborn that is not yet in the crawling or walking stage of life and needs carrying or pushing in a stroller. Baby carrier allows a parent to move around freely without worrying about the baby or cumbersome strollers that might be difficult to take on the plane or might not be allowed in some sights.
Designate a Changing Area:
Staying a hotel can seem challenging, particularly when it comes to changing a baby’s diaper. Fortunately, it is easy to get through the challenge by selecting an area for the changing station and setting out a changing pad in the area. Having everything set up for changing the baby in one area will make it easier to avoid complications when it comes to changing the baby in a hotel.
Take Several Diapers:
Parents should always have as many diapers as they expect to need on the entire trip and some extras packed in the bags. Babies can go through several diapers and delays can occur that make it difficult to keep up with a baby’s needs. By having enough diapers for the trip and extras, it is easier to ensure the family is prepared for even the most unexpected situations.
Taking a direct flight is ideal when traveling with a baby. Newborn infants and young babies are not likely to enjoy changing flights continuously on the trip. That can lead to fussiness that is better avoided when traveling. A direct flight will make the trip less complicated for parents.
Stick to the Home Routine:
One of the best ways to ensure a baby gets his or her nap time, sleeps well at night and is the perfect angel that is seen at home is sticking to the normal routine. Ensuring that the baby nurses or eats at the same times, takes naps at the same time and is in the crib for bed at the same time as a home schedule will make the transition much easier for the whole family.
Vacationing with a baby is not only about the potential problems. It is a matter of preparing in advance to ensure the vacation is enjoyable despite the potential challenges.