Summer has arrived, mother nature has cranked up the heat, and everyone’s planning their vacations all around the world. Whether you are looking to travel half an hour away or a few countries away from home, you have to go through a list of things you’ll need for the time you’re gone.
While the summer season is a fun and exciting time to adventure out and seek new places to visit, it can become difficult when you insert an infant into the mix.
On top of your own packing list, you now have to account for theirs as well since they can’t make decisions for themselves yet, which can make your life feel more stressful and hectic. I’m here to tell you today that traveling with a baby can be a lot less stressful, and hopefully by the end of this you’ll have a few new tricks when it comes to tackling your summer excursions with a little one.
The first decision with traveling is figuring out where you want to go. The second is how you’re going to get there.
Depending on how old your infant is can be a determinant of where you end up traveling because you ultimately want to feel comfortable bringing them along with you wherever you go. It’s recommended that you not travel with an infant until they’re about three months old since they don’t have the strongest immune system. That and they are harder to travel with during this younger age due to needing constant attention. I’d say if your baby is in this age range, try and travel locally where you can stop when you need to, or even travel with someone so that you can make sure the baby is getting everything they need. If your child is more than three months, your destination can really be anywhere your heart desires. I’d even suggest going somewhere you know you’ll have plenty of shade and activities to bring them along to!
The next hurdle, like I mentioned above, is how you’re going to get there. In all honesty, anyway you’d like to is the best option whether that’s by car, train, or plane. Each type of transportation has their own rules and regulations when it comes to traveling with infants, and you can usually find all this information on their websites (I know this doesn’t seem like much help, but it’s good to know that the information is easy to find).
The bigger subject within how to get there is how to keep them occupied for the time being since many people don’t like to hear babies screaming, and you don’t want to have to worry about that either. Here are a few of my suggestions:
- Travel around their sleep schedule. If you can manage to work it out to travel while they’re down for a nap or for the evening, you can make a trip without worrying about them being fussy the entire time.
- Bring some of their favorite toys/blankets/stuffed animals/etc. This can help them stay distracted or even help them fall asleep. These items can also help to keep them calm if you find that they get freaked out while traveling.
- If you are wanting to fly, bring a pacifier or a bottle nipple to have them suck on. I know this sounds crazy, but this will help their ears to not hurt. It’s a similar thing to us swallowing or chewing gum to keep our ears from getting clogged up from the cabin pressure.
Overall, the number one thing to remember about traveling, in general, is to always be prepared. With an infant, this turns into being extra prepared because, like I always tell myself, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” When I talk about being prepared, I mean:
- Pack all of your usual essentials for your infant.
- Now take those and bring extras of everything – especially diapers, clothes, pacifiers, wipes, etc. because you never know what will end up happening (i.e. bad weather, accidents ruining the current outfit, spit-up, etc.) or if you’ll accidentally lose something along the way.
- Pack an umbrella for extra shade if you’re planning to be out in the sun or if it happens to rain.
- With that, pack a hat for them to keep the sun off of their face and loads of sunscreen. You don’t want the sun’s rays shining on your baby too much.
- Always have a way to change them in case you end up in an area that doesn’t have one.
- Finally, like I mentioned above, never leave without packing some of their favorite things (blankies, toys, teething rings) because those will help get the both of you through any trip.
So, as the summer approaches, take the time to plan out a vacation knowing full well that you’ll be a pro with traveling alongside of your infant. Ultimately you know your baby better than anyone else, but it’s always nice to have some tricks up your sleeve when it comes to wanting to have a smooth transition from home to your destination. With this, you should have a less stressful summer!