Travelling with a baby is not as bad as you think! Let’s face it, if you start while they’re young it will get easier as they grow. Unfortunately, it just gets more expensive as they grow with full airfares after 2 years of age. So why not make the most of it now!
If you have a positive attitude and expect some good parts and some more challenging parts, you will be prepared and you will survive! I recall travelling to Europe when Jacob was 2 ½ and Em was just 6 months old – what an adventure! I slept most of the way from Singapore to London with Em sleeping on my chest, she didn’t like the car seat contraption the airline provided for babies to sleeping in – I don’t blame her either!
Here are some simple tips I’ve learnt along the way to make travelling with your baby easier.
On the plane
- The trick is to remain calm and positive and be prepared. Your baby can sense when you’re stressed – they can smell the fear. I’ll say that’s easier said than done when the airline loses your luggage and you have a distressed baby on your hands (yes this actually did happen to us on a flight from Madrid to London. Our luggage never was found!)
- Pack some of babies clothes across different suitcases so if one suitcase is lost, you’ll still have some clothes available. When our luggage got lost all of Jacob’s clothes were in that one suitcase and then some of my things including my old trusty hair-dryer!
- If you’re breast feeding ensure you drink plenty of water as plane travel is dehydrating. Take a generously sized empty water bottle on board and get the flight attendant to fill it once you’re settled.
- Sitting in the aisle seat makes it easier to get to the locker overhead for nappies and supplies and to go for a stroll if your baby is unsettled.
- On the plane keep the blinds shut and if your baby wakes try to not overstimulate with play and too much food.
- For long haul flights request a bassinet seat early. Your baby will be close by but it’s a saving grace to have hands free for a meal or so they can sleep in their own sleep space.
- Try to keep your rituals and sleep associations the same as at home. Take bub’s favourite toys, books and Bubbaroo Joey Pouch Swaddle, Joey Pod Transitional Swaddle or Joey Swag baby sleeping bag with you on holiday and make sure that you try to follow the same routine even when travelling in the car, or on a train, ship or plane!
- Everything may not go according to plan but a positive attitude will mean you will have a greater chance of keeping your baby as relaxed and as comfortable as possible.
At your destination
- Daylight helps your body clock adjust to the new time zone. So get out and about early and also be out at dusk so that it may help your baby recognise the difference between night and day in their new time zone. The dark helps stimulate the production of melatonin, conversely when it’s light the production of melatonin decreases.
- Try to get meal times in line with the new time zone and make sure your children eat well during the day. The body will adjust to the new time zone more quickly.
- It will probably take four or five nights to fully adjust to a new time zone so plan your trip around this. Make sure that the first few days are relatively easy going.
- It does help to offer lots of exercise time to crawlers or toddlers as this will help promote naps and in turn promote a good night’s sleep.
Here are some tips from the Bubbaroo team for plane travel with youngsters;
- Both my kids had glue ear and had a dummy for their first year of life. Having the dummy for take-off and landing helped with their ears and adjusting to the pressure. I always made sure they were in their PJs had their Joey Pouch, Joey Swag baby sleeping bag or favourite blankie for the flight.
- Be prepared not to sleep then if you do get some sleep you will feel better. Make life easy for yourself – let them get a little distracted with a TV program or bring some toys or books along to entertain them. I try to give them as much attention as possible so they don’t disturb the other passengers.
- I was advised to breastfeed on take off and landing to prevent them getting pain from the pressure change. It seemed to work, although on one flight I started too early and by the time we took off Sam had finished feeding! I also found that when I couldn’t get the seat at the front where the bassinet goes (they are booked quickly by men with long legs), get an aisle seat close by and then don’t be afraid to ask to swap – no one wants to be near a crying baby on a long flight! Also, don’t let your husband get the upgrade he requested and leave you with a baby and toddler! Happened to a friend of mine, he regretted it!
- Pack plenty of spare clothes including warm clothes/baby sleeping bag for the baby and a spare top for Mum or Dad. You never know what might happen and you’ll feel better if you can clean up any mess. I always take hand wipes and Panadol in my hand luggage. On our first trip with our 6 month old son he developed a temperature mid-flight on route to Brisbane. Remember to stick to liquid size restrictions for international flights. Make sure you get a few good night’s sleep yourself prior to the trip so that you can feel alert and energised enough to handle anything that comes your way!
Finally remember, as parents we worry about what travelling will do to the baby’s routine, but babies are very resilient and far more adaptable than us adults! You’ll be back to normal in no time.
I hope this helps all our little Bubbaroo travellers out there and we hope you all have a safe and relaxing Christmas.
We’d love to see your travel pics with your baby in their favourite Bubbaroo product! Follow us on Instagram, post your pic to Instagram and be sure to tag #bubbaroobaby.
Safe travels & may the force be with you!