1. If travelling to a destination where there may be a time change, it’s a good idea to start moving your baby’s schedule towards the new time. Altering their schedule by half an hour each day over a week can be much easier than trying to change your baby’s schedule by 6 hours in one lump. Follow this same suggestion when returning home. You can find a more detailed description of schedule shifting HERE
2. If flying or driving, always try and schedule your trip during baby’s nap or sleep times. A sleeping baby while travelling to your destination will make it a much more comfortable ride for baby and parents. If flying, try to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby on the ascent and descent of the flight to help prevent baby’s ears from popping. For parents travelling alone or looking for extra help, there is an interesting company that links families with Nannies that may be on your flight, helping to make your flight less stressful. What will they come up with next? Check them out and let us know if you have used them. www.nannyintheclouds.com.
3. If flying, most aircrafts will allow parents with small babies and opportunity to sit in the seats with extra leg room so that you can have your baby sleeping cozy in their car seat. Make sure to inquire about this well in advance as these seats go quickly. Also, keep in mind, flight attendants and staff will do whatever they can for parents travelling with a baby. A happy quiet baby means happy passengers. If there is anything you need to make your baby more comfortable, don’t hesitate to ask.
4. If flying, you can wheel your stroller right up to the aircraft doors. The crew will then safely stow your stroller underneath the belly of the plane and have it right outside the aircraft door for when disembark.
5. If flying with a toddler, have 1 wrapped gift for every hour that you are flying. This can simply be dollar store items but make sure you wrap them and sometimes even twice. Not only will they love playing with the new toy for a while but you can waste some time as they excitedly unwrap it.
6. Once you get to your destination, if possible, the best situation is to have your baby sleeping In his own room. If this is not possible, then it’s important that you have a separate sleeping area where baby can’t see you. An ingenious suggestion passed on to me from a previous client is something I like to share with every family who travels. Pack 2 thumb tacks and a fish line which you can string across your bedroom and hang a sheet over to make a very simple but sufficient room divider.
7. Where ever your travels take you, try and keep your baby as close to schedule as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to go back to your room at nap time but you can allow your baby to nap at the proper time in his stroller or on a beach lounger with you. Keeping to a schedule will prevent you from having an over tired or hungry baby on your trip.
8. Most hotel rooms will have cribs or playpens that you can ask to have brought to your room. This is a great idea but I often suggest for parents to bring their own sheets and bedding for baby as we have no idea what the sheets and bedding were washed with and could cause a rash or skin irritation.
9. Make sure that you bring lots of sunscreen, a hat and umbrella for baby and even a beach tent or dome in case you have no luck getting a chair.
10. Have fun! All in all if you are off schedule and everyone’s having a great time, that’s what’s important. Enjoy your time together and you can always get back on track when you get home.
Special thank you to my husband Joe Fazio who is a travel consultant with Travelonly and contributed to this article.www.jfazio.travelonly.com
Happy and safe travels!