A newborn baby is a little bundle of joy, but travelling with them can be stressful because babies are not always happy sitting still in vehicles (who is to be honest). To help you through the pressure, we have compiled 13 tips for travelling with a newborn.
Travel can be challenging even without a baby, so you need to be extra prepared when travelling with a baby. Following these tips helps you will ensure a stress-free journey and the safety of your baby. Here you go!
Get your sanitizer handy
Babies are accustomed to putting their fingers in their mouth, and because their immunity is not fortified enough, it is safe to take sanitizer wipes around, so you can disinfect surfaces around you—armrests, seats, and items that your baby may have some contact with. You definitely don’t want to expose your newborn to germs.
Take more clothing than you need
Unlike older children, you need to change the clothing of newborns regularly. Assuming that a few clothing items would suffice may not be a great thing to do, as you would be shocked at how often you may need to change them. It is better to have excess clothing than not have enough.
Take enough diapers
Like clothing, you will need to change diapers at least four times a day. You don’t want to interrupt your trip to look for diapers. It’s safe to budget for at least 10 diapers a day, just in case. If you are at a stopover or your destination, public restrooms should have changing areas ― even male bathrooms. So whether you’re a female or male parent, it should be convenient for you to change diapers wherever.
Get a partner
If you’re traveling in your car, it would be great to have someone tag along. While one drives, another can sit in the back with the baby whenever the baby needs some company. This way, the caretaker in the back seat can take care of the baby conveniently and the driver doesn’t have to contend with a screaming baby while trying to drive safely. It is better to go with someone who can drive so that you can switch roles if there is a need for it.
If you will be the sole driver, it would be wise for the caretaker to get some sleep when the baby does, so they can be refreshed enough to take care of the baby.
Drive at night
Driving at night may not be convenient for you as a parent. However, it is better for your newborn because they get to sleep more. You also get to drive for a longer time without breaks, as the roads are relatively freer during the nights. You also need to ensure that it is safe to drive at night on the route you’re taking. Again, this is better when you have a partner with you. This way, you can always hand over the steering when you need some sleep.
Prepare for emergencies
Anything can go wrong on a road trip — a flat tire, food poisoning, bad weather. Do all the preparation you can to make these situations less stressful if they occur. You might want to travel with a spare tire and some thick clothing if the weather is too cold for your newborn. Also, ensure you have a first aid kit for every trip you make.
Secure the pacifier
Ensure you secure your baby’s pacifier, feeding bottle, and every other thing that goes into their mouth. You may do this by clipping them on to something firm. This keeps them from dropping and attracting germs which could impair your baby’s health.
Let your baby have fun
If you’re traveling on a commercial bus, for instance, it’s okay to let your baby face outwards sometimes, so they can see goings-on around and be engaged. That way, they should cry less and can be entertained by other travelers. This rapport makes you and your newborn get accommodated better, and when your newborn eventually cries and throws tantrums, there are higher chances of tolerance. If you’re traveling in your own car, also stock up on some fun baby stuff like toys they can play with.
Massage your baby
Learn how to massage your baby. There are various techniques, different from how adults are massaged. The massage is necessary because your baby can become uncomfortable from sitting for long hours. Occasional massages are a great idea, especially if you’re not the one driving, or if you’re aboard an airplane.
Ask for help
It is natural to feel shy and not want to disturb others. However, feel free to ask for help if you need it. You may need some help lifting an item or getting your baby’s feeding bottle warmed up if you’re on a flight. Speak politely to anyone who’s in a position to help.
Traveling with your newborn can feel like enough risk and worry. You can easily get distracted when you’re driving. If you’re on public transportation, you may also have to deal with grumpy passengers who react every time your baby cries. If you’re not traveling with your partner, this may be even more frustrating. Try not to give in to frustration and discouragement. These things are bound to happen. Encourage yourself and relax!
Do something for yourself
If you have taken on the challenge of travelling with a baby, you deserve an award, but until someone starts handing out awards for that the next best thing may be a bit of retail therapy. Treat yourself to a gift, perhaps a spa treatment, or a new gadget - something like that can give you that little bit of motivational boost to get through it with ease. We've previously compiled a list of gift ideas for frequent travellers, maybe you'll find inspiration there?
Rent an apartment
If accommodation is not provided at your destination and you need to make a choice, choose an apartment, not a hotel. A short-term rental is ideal for parents travelling with a newborn. Hotel environments may not be healthy for, and conducive to your baby’s wellbeing. For instance, you need access to a kitchen where you can wash feeding bottles in a sink, not a washbasin in a bathroom. So, when next you travel with your newborn, get yourself an apartment.
Locate the nearest pediatrician
Either before you travel or when you reach your destination, one of the first things you should do is check online or ask around for the nearest pediatrician. Have some options, and make choices based on your preference and significant measures. It is easier to know where to find them before you need them — if you ever do.
Knowing what to do when traveling with a newborn increases your chances of having a smooth traveling experience. You should take care of newborns delicately, and that is why it is essential to follow these tips. The immunity of newborns is not as built up as older children. You should skip trips when you can until the baby comes of age. But of course, if you can’t, these tips for travelling with a newborn should be helpful to you.