Have Baby Will Travel‘s mission is to help new parents realize that, once you have a baby, international travel is not out the window. It’s entirely possible to travel and still have a great time! You need to make like a boy scout, and be prepared.
Here’s a few things you need to consider when taking baby abroad for the first time…
Before taking Baby abroad…
Age is an important thing to take into consideration. Babies with established routines, or those who are already walking, need more consideration than really young babies. But, travel with newborns often means you’re much more tired.
When taking baby abroad, you’ll need to decide where you want to go. And baby should have a big say in this! For example, you might want to avoid certain countries that require immunizations. Breastfed infants get a certain boost in their immune systems thanks to their mama’s antibodies. But, destinations that require anti-malarials or travel vaccinations can be visited when your little one is not so little. Active holidays can still be enjoyed with a baby in tow. If you want to scuba dive or ski when your baby is still really young, you can sort out childcare for your vacation.
Babies used to be able to travel on their parent’s passport, but this is no longer allowed. Make sure your baby has their own passport before going away. Having the correct travel insurance is also important. You’ll want to be certain you’re covered for any and all emergencies while you’re away. If baby gets sick just before you leave and is unable to travel, you need to make sure you also have cancellation insurance.
Flying with baby? This can be the most stressful part of your trip.
Since the Eustachian tubes in baby’s ears are much shorter, they can be that much more affected by air pressure. To help relieve pain, try nursing your baby during take-off and landing, or giving a bottle, pacifier, or snack. It’s the act of swallowing, not sucking, that helps alleviate the pressure.
Your carry-on bag is your lifeline while you’re on board. Make sure you’ve packed enough snacks and distractions to last the duration of the flight (and then some). Don’t skimp on diapers and wipes. And make sure you have a change of clothes for yourself, as well as for baby. Use a detailed carry-on packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything.
What to take when taking Baby abroad…
Let’s face it, gone are the days of traveling light. I once traipsed through Europe with one bag strapped to my back. Now that same said bag would barely hold all the diapers.
Feeding on holiday while breastfeeding is undoubtedly the easiest way to ensure your baby is fed. Parents of bottle-fed infants will need to determine if they should bring all the formula they’ll need (or if they can purchase their brand at their destination). And also? How to sterilize bottles in a hotel room.
If baby is over three months, you can mix formula with most bottled water without boiling it first. Check to see that it has less than 200 milligrams (mg) per litre of sodium (also written as Na) and no more than 250mg per litre of sulphate (also written as SO or SO4).
If baby is eating solids, you need to determine if packing pouches will work and baby foods are available at your destination. Maybe you can make your own by mashing available grown-up food.
Use a detailed packing list for travel with baby. You don’t want to overpack, but you also don’t want to forget anything or spend your entire trip managing laundry. The one thing you don’t want to forget is a first aid kit, any medications baby needs, and pain reliever (for baby and for you!)
Safety when taking Baby abroad…
If your destination is a sunny one, make sure you’ve packed or have access to sun protection – whether that’s sunscreen, SPF swimwear or both. Hats are a necessity, as is some time away from the sun in an (ideally) air conditioned room – babies can easily overheat and dehydrate. Make sure you’re all keeping up your water intake, and also make sure you’re taking care near the water. Beach, sun, and pool safety are all things we need to brush up on. Especially if your day to day lives don’t involve them much.
Mobile babies require a quick babyproof of your accommodation. Choosing main-floor rooms give your back a break when lugging kids and gear around. Also, while the utmost in vigilance must be taken to secure and lock doors, a main floor room also eliminates any risk of a fall. A roll of tape thrown in your suitcase can be used to cover electrical outlets and manage cords that might dangle and tempt your baby.
If you’re thinking it all seems like a lot of work… Well, it is! But so is being a new parent. Exploring new places together while baby is still small makes it easier to do it when they get bigger. And then you can really go on some great adventures together!
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I write a travel blog and love exploring the world. My husband and I are expecting our firstborn in January, and are hoping that by November of next year we’ll be able to take little Peanut to Costa Rica with us (hubby’s family owns a house down there). This article makes me hopeful that we can pull it off! I don’t want to give up my travel dreams and become a stay-at-home Mom holed up in the house all day long – I want to have my cake and eat it too! Thanks for the helpful tips and the great links to the packing lists!
Thank you, Im going this summer to Sweden (from Iceland) with my boy who will be about 1 1/2 years old 🙂
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