Traveling With Your Baby - Create A Home Away From Home!
Continue to enjoy your life of travel, now that you've had a little one!
You can have wonderful experiences with your baby along with you. The
main key to help baby keep calm and soothed while traveling is to create
a routine and a home away from home.
Bring Comforting Items - Blankets and Snuggly Baby Toys
To help your baby feel safe and secure, bring along comforting items baby
is familiar with. Their favorite stuffed animal, special burp cloth, or
blanket can really help baby feel more at ease about being in a new and
unfamiliar place. While keeping track of yet another item may seem like
an extra hassle for you, your child will be happier, and thus more pleasant
to travel with, clutching something soft and familiar. Keep a replacement
blanket or snuggly toy on hand in case the original gets lost.
Food Items - Bring Baby’s Favorites
Small children are notoriously picky eaters, and it's hard enough
finding foods they like at home, let alone while you're traveling. You
may be looking forward to sampling the local cuisine at your destination,
but your child may be less excited about conch fritters and sautéed
snails. If you're going out to a restaurant, bring a supply of your child's
favorite foods to keep them satisfied and entertained while you enjoy
your own meal.
Develop a Routine - Start The Day Early, End The Day Early
Traveling with a baby is not about sleeping in or staying out late. Young
children are at their best earlier in the day, so plan to travel, sightsee,
or explore in the morning. Afternoons and evenings are a good time for
playing outdoors or relaxing back at your hotel. Respecting your baby's
inner clock will make him less likely to throw a tantrum in the car, the
street, or a crowded museum.
Baby's Bed - Bring Baby’s Familiar Bed and Bedding
There are a number of portable baby cribs available on the market today.
This is the most comforting, and likely the safest option for your baby
while traveling. Many hotels offer baby cribs, however, many hotels still
have older cribs that are not up to code with the most recent safety standards.
Also, bring your own baby crib bedding. If you rely on your hotel for
bedding, you may receive large sheets, which may be a hazard to your baby.
If you can, bring a bed and bedding baby is used to. A familiar baby sleep
sack may also help baby sleep well and will help keep them safe.
Keep Close To Your “Home Away From Home”
Baby's mood may be more unpredictable than usual when you're traveling,
so it makes sense to establish a home base you can return to quickly and
easily. Short jaunts away from your accommodations are less likely to
tax your child's patience. And if the weather turns foul, someone gets
sick, or your baby just wants to nap, you can quickly head back to the
Get A Routine – Then Stick With It!
Your baby has gotten used to their “routine” at home. Be sure
that, when you travel, you also establish and stick with a “travel
routine”. Try to keep baby’s eating and sleeping routine during
travel as close to their regular home routine as possible. This will make
baby more tolerant of other “non-home-routine” activities
that will occur while traveling. Eating meals and taking naps at the same
time each day may be all the routine your baby needs to feel comfortable
in their new environment.
Children get jet lag, though not quite the same way as adults do. Changing
time zones can complicate the adjustment process. Be sure to have your
entire family (you included) rest up before travel that includes a significant
time change. Well-rested children and parents cope better than tired ones
with time changes. To minimize the effects of jet lag, plan to arrive
at your destination in the evening and stick to your usual end-of-day
routine: Give your baby a bath, read a book, and put baby to sleep at
the usual bedtime in the new time zone. For example, if you are in London
and it's 7 p.m. there, put baby down to sleep even if it's eight hours
ahead of their normal bedtime. It will take a few days to adjust.
You can expect your baby’s adjusting to travel to take several
days. So, be patient and stick to a familiar routine, feed baby familiar
foods and give baby familiar toys. Be sure you stay nearby – you
are the most familiar thing to your baby.