Psychologists, doctors, family members – all of these people tend to agree that new parents should take a well-deserved vacation without their little bundle of joy in order to reconnect with one another, and enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t take your baby on your escapade if you’re feeling up to the task!
In fact, as daunting as it may seem at first glance, traveling with your baby can be an amazing bonding experience, especially if you take the time to prepare well before the departure date arrives. Here to make your trip as memorable and enjoyable as possible are the five expert tips for traveling with your baby and having a great time in the process.
Make a list of all your baby essentials
First things first, you need to make a comprehensive list of all of your baby essentials. Yes, that includes items you know you need, as well as the items you may or may not need. After all, oftentimes a single baby item left behind can ruin your trip, so make sure that you check and double-check your packing list before you leave.
Some of these essential items include, but are not limited to:
- Reusable or disposable changing pads.
- Skincare products such as lotions and rash cremes.
- Plastic bags. You know why.
- Plenty of wipes.
- Backup pacifiers.
- Clothes, an extra pair of everything.
- Extra bottles and sippy cups.
- First-aid kit.
- Inflatable baby bathtub.
- Sling or front carrier.
Choose your ideal transportation method
Consider what the best transportation method is for your journey, based on the distance from your home to your destination. If you’re going on an international escapade, then, of course, you will need to travel by plane, but if you’re heading out on a family road trip to a neighboring state or city, then you can avoid the hustle and bustle of the airport and take your car.
When you’re traveling by car, you can “optimize” your journey from start to finish and organize your vehicle for maximum comfort – this will prove to be essential for you as well as the baby. Most importantly, you will have all the space you need to put everything in the trunk of your car. If you can’t avoid a plane ride, then at least make sure to declutter your packing list of all cumbersome items, such as the stroller.
Pack light but don’t sacrifice comfort
The key to an enjoyable travel experience with your little bundle of joy lies in packing and organizing your luggage like a pro. Most importantly, it means eliminating all of the cumbersome items from your packing list, and sticking to more functional travel items such as a lightweight baby wrap instead of a stroller, because no matter how much space you have in your trunk, you don’t want to haul a stroller half-way across the country. Following the same mindset, you could opt for a travel crib instead of a full-sized one.
The key here is to travel as light as possible without sacrificing comfort or efficiency. You also want to have your hands free to handle the luggage or the map as you’re exploring a new city instead of having to navigate the stroller through the crowds. With your baby resting on your chest, and an anti-theft backpack in the back, you will be able to enjoy a full day of exploration with ease.
Go heavy on snacks and toys
If you don’t give your baby something to do while you’re driving or trying to sleep on the plane, you can be sure that she or he will make it their mission to grab your attention by screaming, kicking, and everything in between. If you want to keep your baby calm during a long voyage, be sure to prepare plenty of healthy snacks, have their favorite toys at the ready, and don’t forget that a pacifier can be a lifesaver in these situations.
Check the destination with your physician
And lastly, never plan a trip with your baby before running your plan through the doctor. The baby’s physician knows best where your baby should or should not go, according to her medical history. Leave nothing to chance and instead be sure to visit your doctor to check whether or not the destination is safe for your baby, and if there are any preliminary treatments needed prior to the voyage.
Traveling with a baby can be a stressful experience, or it can be a memorable one filled with joy and positivity – the way you prepare for the journey will be the deciding factor. Use these tips to organize yourself a wonderful vacation with your little bundle of joy, one that will create lifelong memories spent in love’s embrace.