If you used to love travelling before becoming a parent, you will definitely want to travel with your baby as well. However, you may brood over how fun or easy or fulfilling it will turn out to be while travelling with your baby. Often, unavoidable situations like a destination wedding, an illness, or a sad demise need you to travel with your newborn in tow. But if you want to make the most of your maternity holidays, you should choose to travel with a newborn. The four primary considerations that you need to keep in mind are that of Eating, Playing, Sleeping, and Getting Around.
1. When can you travel with a newborn?
The first instance is when you are travelling home from the hospital with your baby if you are not having a home birth. Now the real question is how long a new parent should wait to travel just after giving birth. One may also wonder how old a baby has to be for flying. It completely depends on the airline as well as the parent(s). According to the policy of most airlines, you need to provide a physician’s note if your infant is younger than seven days. It can vary from three days to three weeks. Therefore, you should consult with your chosen airline in case you are planning to fly with a very young infant.
If you are opting for pleasurable travelling, you need to think about whether you should wait till your newborn has completed the first vaccination round. It is essential because travelling will expose the baby to a lot of germs. You will pass along a specific immunity level to your infant if you are breastfeeding them. It is pretty easy to bundle the newborn and prevent the attack of germs. However, older babies are always seen grabbing every object and sticking their hands in their mouths, which exposes them to more risks.
2. Where should you travel with a newborn?
Whenever you are choosing to go on a trip with a baby, you have to choose a safe and clean destination that provides great access to healthcare as well. It is much easier to go on city trips with your newborn. Since they are fairly small, you can carry them without causing them much disturbance. Even they are contented if you cart them about in their travel crib. However, as your baby turns into a toddler capable of moving on his own, city trips involving immense sightseeing or/and exploring museums become more difficult.
3. Feeding while traveling with a newborn
Besides refraining from messy snacks or finger food, you have to eliminate bibs and feeding implements from the list of items to pack. The easiest option while travelling is to exclusively breastfeed your baby as long as both of you are nursing well. Bottle feeding is quite complicated with cleaning and sterilizing nipples and bottles. While en route to your destination, you have to travel with formula and heating bottles as well. If you are uncertain regarding the availability of the particular formula brand where you are heading, you can pack as much quantity you will require. In case you want to switch to a powder, you should do it much before your trip.
Before your journey, prepare the bottles with pre-measured boiled water and mix them as required. The liquid restriction rules will not be applicable if you are travelling with a baby under two years of age. However, airport security checks will be much easier if you keep all the bottles and formulas in one place. To avoid the hassle of heating the bottles, get your infant to accommodate room temperature bottles. You can also resort to travel bottle warmers if there is no issue regarding the number of things to pack in your carry-on bag. Now, hotels have sinks that allow you to sterilize the bottles. Therefore, choose a place to stay with your newborn where you can get access to a kitchen or a microwave at the bare minimum. A compact travel kettle comes in handy.
4. How to get the newborn to sleep while traveling?
The bonus of travelling with an infant is they sleep anytime and anywhere. It implies that there will be no messing up of sleeping schedules. You can try and modify the process while you are away on the trip. It refers to the process of “vacation routine”. Most often, a newborn does not have a fixed sleep schedule, and time changes, as well as jet lag, will affect him the least. However, you should be ready with strategies to manage baby jet lag.
Depending on your choice or the situational necessity, you might be a co-sleeper. Doing this while travelling with a newborn must be carefully thought about in advance. Though you can create a suitable atmosphere at home for co-sleeping safely, you may not be able to do so while staying at a hotel, or someone else’s home, or an Airbnb. Rather than using more pillows or rolled-up blankets, using travel bed rails and getting rid of excess bedding will act as a safe choice to ensure that the baby stays in bed safely.
5. Investing in a Baby Diaper Bag and Travel Crib
It is not of paramount significance that you buy a good Diaper Bag and a Travel Crib. Diaper Bags with multiple pockets help you organise baby’s essentials quickly and without forgetting them. You can invest in a travel crib if you are intending to do a lot of travel with your baby. Moreover, the baby will fall asleep quite easily once they gain familiarity with their travel bed.
6. Playing with your Newborn while travelling
The greatest perk of travelling with a newborn is that they do not engage in much playing. Hence, you can save money to purchase travel tech instead of inexpensive travel toys. The baby will get to see several new faces and hear various strange sounds during the trip. They might even get to spend a lot of quality time with people who love them. It is akin to the newborn travel version of playing.
7. Travelling and getting around with a Newborn
There are lots of options that enable you to get around while you are on trips with a baby. These include supportive carriers or slings, infant carriers or car seats, strollers with flat recliners suitable for young babies, and so on. It is always best to travel with a stroller. As long as you can manage both the baby and your belongings, there is no predetermined method to travel with a baby. Ensure that the infant car seat carrier can be installed without the base for use both in cars and planes.
8. Flying with your Newborn
It can be more stressful for the parents or even certain grumpy co-passengers. You should keep your baby snug in their infant carrier seat or a sling so that coochie-cooers do not pester them. Thus, you can also save them from being prone to germs given that they have not yet had any vaccination. A newborn should be facing the rear and to avoid any hassle you can bring a printout of the FAA policy.
For lap infants, you can opt for the option of aeroplane bassinets. Though they do not charge extra, you have to book them well in advance. To make things easier while you are mid-air, you can place the baby in a comfortable sling or carrier. However, you cannot use such items during the process of take-off, taxi, or landing. The crucial thing to note down is to hold on to the baby throughout the flight, particularly during turbulent moments or when the sign indicates the fastening of the seat belt.
9. Going on a Road Trip with the Newborn
Perhaps, it is the perfect method of travelling with a newborn. You will be able to put every other item in your car. However, you might not want to opt for a road trip if the baby does not like their car seat. You can also consider taking turns sitting in the back seat to provide them company while your baby is placed rear-facing in the car seat. It is not a good idea to feed a newborn while they are in the car seat.
Most cities do not consider it illegal if you are riding in the back of a taxi with a baby in your arms. It entirely depends on your comfort level if you can manage some quick jolts with the baby being on your lap. What you can do is book a private shuttle or choose Ubers that have car seats installed in them. A word of caution is that you should not put your child in a car seat without knowing its history.
While travelling or flying with a newborn, you should be patient. Though the first trip may appear scary and daunting, you will undoubtedly gain confidence in the future once it is done. It serves to develop your confidence levels both as a parent and a traveller.
This article has been written by Madhurima Bhadra and the opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of 9HappyMonths. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org