Written by Oliva Arrow
You’ve had a baby and now you want to plan that first family holiday abroad. If you’re thinking of taking an overseas holiday you should make sure you’ve done a little research. Travelling with a baby can be a rewarding experience for many parents, however without planning, your dream trip can turn into a nightmare holiday.
When travelling with a baby, you need to be aware that it’s not like how you travelled without your little bundle of joy. There are many challenges when travelling with a young infant and if you take into consideration their needs and plan ahead, you can enjoy a fantastic holiday with lots of beautiful memories to last a lifetime.
Because there are so many things to research, we’ve pulled together a quick guide for travelling with a baby to assist you with your planning:
How old does my baby have to be to fly?
This is a very typical question raised by new parents and surprisingly, it is sooner than you think. Most babies are permitted to fly if at least 2 days old, however there are some airlines that require babies to be at least 2 weeks old. There is no standard regulation so it’s best to check with your airline before you book.
Do you need to book your baby a seat on the plane?
If your baby is over 12 months and cannot use the bassinet provided on aircraft, it’s a good idea to get them their own seat so that you’re both comfortable for the flight. Additionally, you can look into purchasing or renting the JetKids BedBox® to turn their seat into a little bed so they can enjoy a first-class trip (you’ll need to check with your airline if they permit the use of this device).
Helping your baby adjust to a new time zone
You don’t need to wait until you’ve reached your destination to start adjusting your babies schedule. Depending on your destination, choose a flight time to help you with this task. Once on the flight, gradually start with adjusting their sleep pattern for your new time zone.
Baby-Proof the Hotel Room.
Request your hotels to baby proof your rooms. Take masking tape as a backup and if needed you can secure loose items and cover electrical outlets.
Pack lots of Snacks and Formula
Stocking up on your baby’s favourite snacks is a must. You should be able to buy most things overseas, however, they may be different. Pack enough of your baby’s favourite non-perishable foods to last the trip. Also, if your baby is on formula, you will need to find out if you can buy it overseas. If not, take enough with you to last the trip or alternatively let the hotels know in advance so it’s there when you arrive. Don’t forget to pack steriliser tablets to clean your baby bottles.
Plan your days
If you have a regular routine in place, try and stick to it as much as possible. Going out in the mornings to do your sightseeing and spending the afternoons relaxing is a great way to make sure you are not burning the candle at both ends.
Things to pack for your baby
- Pack their favourite sleep toy – bedtime can be a disaster when travelling. Take your baby’s favourite bedtime toy so that they have something familiar to assist with naps and sleep.
- Pack a stroller. Getting a stroller that has an adjustable back rest is ideal so they can nap when you’re on the go.
- Pack a Baby Carrier – Taking a baby carrier is great when you are visiting attractions that are not kid-friendly.
- Entertainment – pack a few items to help keep your child entertained. For babies, rattles, pop-up toys, shiny objects and musical toys. For toddlers, dolls or action figures, puzzles and paper and crayons are all winners. An iPad is also a great idea. Make sure you download some of your baby’s favourite lullabies and educational games to keep them entertained
Travelling with a baby takes planning. It doesn’t have to be hard though, take the time to do a daily schedule to keep you on track and tick all those “must-sees” off your list. Also, make sure that you have plenty of down time for relaxation so that you and your baby get the rest you need to enjoy your holiday. Don’t fret if you forget a warmer jumper or a pair of shorts – you can buy those things overseas. There are many things that you think you will need to take with you, but the essentials are all that’s needed to enjoy an exciting adventure with your baby.