Travelling with a small baby is not easy. Here are a few tips that will help smooth out your journey.
Make your child’s packing checklist from before. Among others, this would include things like a medicine bag with the list approved by your pediatrician, warm clothes, wipes, diapers, garbage bag, baby food and milk, shampoo and soaps etc
Although tough, try and keep your luggage light. For example:
- If you are travelling to a place where diapers are easily available then resist the temptation to pack excess.
- Pack soap, shampoo etc of smaller pack.
- If you are visiting family then cut down on number of clothes, because she is sure to get a lot of them.
- Keep your hand baggage to a minimum. For example: instead of carrying a baby bag a hand bag for yourself, keep your bare essentials in the baby bag itself.
Dress down while travelling with a little one. For example:
- Avoid too many layers on you unless you are fine taking them off during security check while balancing your baby
- Avoid shoes that you have to tie and untie especially on international flights where they ask you to take it off
- Keep a change for yourself in the hand bag. If the baby decides to soil your clothes you will have an alternative at hand.
Travel According To Your Baby’s Schedule
Make your journey during the time when she is most likely to sleep through it. If this is not possible, then keep a few of her toys and picture books in hand, so as to keep her engaged. Familiar objects will also keep her ‘stranger anxiety’ at bay to a certain extent.
Life will be a lot easier if you have a stroller with you. Also the airlines allow the stroller to be taken right till the gate, from where they add a tag and keep it in the cargo hold, which you can immediately claim after the flight. Do remember when you are choosing a stroller that it should be one that folds easily and is not too bulky
In most airports, there are separate queues for those travelling with kids during immigration check, security check etc. You will also stand first in line when boarding is announced
Protect Your Baby’s Ears
During take off and landing:
- Breastfeed your baby
- Ask her to yawn
- Get her to suck on something – for example: a lollipop, chewing gum, or even a pacifier, if she’s used to it.
- Use cotton wool to plug her ears during travel, which will prevent her ears from popping.
If your child is still on breast-milk, then don’t get nervous about feeding in front of a stranger. Carry a few safety pins with you and pin the receiving blanket to the seat in front, and one on your own seat thereby creating a curtain. Else carry a ‘dupatta’ with you for protection.
If she is formula fed, then instead of carrying the fully prepared feed (too much liquid is not allowed, and the feed may spoil after a while), just put the required amount of the powder into the empty bottles. You can always add the water when required.
This said, remember that she is just a baby, and it is but natural that your journey will not be a smooth sailing, no matter how much you prepare. So don’t get jittery.