The Ultimate Checklist For Travelling With A Baby
If you’re a new parent, then let me tell you – gone are the days when you could plan a spontaneous getaway and just stuff a pair of jeans, 2 shirts, and a toothbrush into a backpack and be on your way.But being a parent, especially one that has to travel frequently with the little one, can mean a heck of planning. I highly doubt if even the US intelligence planned their operation so painstakingly for Osama bin Laden’s execution. Travelling with a baby is like the plot of ‘Inception’, the genius of MI5 and the almost-flawless creative implementation of Google – all combined.
Just to be clear, I don’t mean to scare you…okay, maybe a little bit. But mostly, I just want to mentally prepare you.
On that note, here are the 9 ultimate checkpoints for your checklist when travelling with a baby:
- When travelling with an infant or toddler, be mentally prepared to be stepping out of your routine and perhaps your comfort zone. From changing diapers on a plane to walking 2 kilometres uphill with the baby in hand, mental preparation is half the battle won.
- Carry healthy, home-made snacks, if you can, since sometimes if the baby doesn’t feel comfortable and stays in a bad mood throughout, you will not get the time to have grand meals. I always carry some ghee and dry fruits, wherever I go.
- Dress for the weather. The last thing you want is to fall sick when you have your little one to take care of.
- When travelling with one infant, it may seem like you’re packing for five! Amidst all the things you must pack, the most important one is the medicine kit. This should include:
- diaper cream.
- medicines for nausea, diarrhoea and other common illnesses.
- Keep contact numbers handy for immediate help, wherever you’re going. This way, nearby hospitals and clinics, pharmacies, baby-friendly restaurants, supermarkets will be a click away.
- Use technology to your advantage. I know that some parents are completely anti-screen, and that’s understandable, but in my personal experience, when travelling with a screaming infant with just 2 hours of sleep, a little screen time with educational games and shows, can be a lifesaver! Make sure you download the shows in advance, in case you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi.
- When living in a hotel room, sometimes small amounts of baby proofing can be required.
- You may call in advance and request a travel crib for the daytime.
- Pin or tape up the drapery cords, since they’re strangulation hazards.
- Place outlet covers on electrical outlets.
- If your room comes with a balcony, move furniture away from the railing, so the baby cannot climb or lean over, dangerously.
- Try and take night flights, so most part of the journey can be covered while the baby is sleeping. Babies get jetlag too, but the good thing is that they recover faster than us, adults. Ensure that they’re hydrated and snacked up on healthy foods, and keep your schedules fairly flexible for the first few days, till the jetlag wears off. This may seem obvious, but just to reiterate - the more sugary, unhealthy the food that your child eats, the higher the chances of jet lag worsening.
- Diapers, wipes, baby carrier, blanket, pacifier, changing blanket, sunscreen, breast pump, nose aspirator, and hand sanitiser and wipes are a must carry in your easy-to-reach handbag.
Bonus tip: When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, active and happy, like there’s no tomorrow, keep the lights dim and let them stay in bed. Maybe read a story to them or sing a lullaby, but avoid anything too stimulating. The goal is to encourage them to fall back asleep.
Most importantly, just hang in there. ‘Vacationing with your baby’ is not an oxymoron- and trust me; it’s not as dreadful as it sounds either. A beach getaway or a road trip with your baby can quite easily be achieved with a little bit of planning and a tiny bit of extra effort. I know you’ve got this!