Summer travels can be so much fun and a well needed break from the monotonous routines throughout the year. However, parents with young babies can often feel  worried about how changes to their babies routine and schedules can affect them. The most common concern is how to most easily travel with baby without disrupting their norm too much. Here are a few great tips to keep in mind when travelling!

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.

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

 Happy and safe travels!

Debbie Fazo 

If you can imagine the worst tooth ache you have ever had, coupled with a headache and ear ache and times that by 3…that’s what your tiny little baby is feeling when teething. Teething can cause so much distress for baby and parents alike. The common signs of teething are biting and drooling but unfortunately that’s not all your baby may feel when going through active teething.

Active teething is when your baby’s teeth are cutting through the layers of their gums. Once you see the teeth break through the skin, the pain will usually start to subside. A great way to tell if your baby is teething is to put your finger on his gums and rub for a minute. Babies are born with an instinct to suck so if your baby sucks on your finger, then he’s probably not feeling much pain from teething. However, if your baby tries to bite down or grind on your finger while it’s pressed on his gums, then he is probably actively teething and experiencing some discomfort.

If your baby is actively teething he may show signs of being agitated and grumpy and this is common for a teething baby and…this is common for any adult who is feeling discomfort! Your baby will drool much more than usual, sometimes causing little pimples or a rash on his face. Some parents will notice baby tugging at his ear or hair and commonly mistake this reaction as an ear infection or headache. Pain from teething can travel up the face to the ear and the head and cause baby to react by tugging and pulling in those locations. Some moms have noticed babies refuse feedings when teething and again this is common because baby is experiencing pain in his mouth and will often associate anything near his mouth as the reason for the pain

My favorite way of helping a baby through teething pain is by tossing a wet facecloth in the freezer and letting baby chew and bite down on the cloth for a few minutes.  This will not only help wear down the skin faster and allow the tooth to break through sooner, but it will also numb his gums to help relieve some pain. This is great to do before feeds and sleeps to help baby feel less pain. Teethers and traditional medicinal methods will also work but it’s important to always check with your doctor before offering any medication to ensure you are treating the right problem.

Usually teething happens for a few days and then will give you a break before the next tooth starts but sometimes you do get back to back teeth, and the teething process can take a few weeks. Comfort your baby, offer him relief and be understanding that his mood may be different until the pain subsides.

Debbie Fazio 

In my travels I have come to realize that parents are a bit confused about what cry-it-out means. Cry-it-out is not a method in itself. There are so many different types of sleep training methods that use cry-it-out but there are so many different ways and variations of it. Cry-it-out simply means that with whichever method you have chosen to use for your sleep training process, that there will inevitably be some crying involved. 

There are 3 major training methods that all use a form of cry-it-out. The first method is the Pick up/Put down method. This is when you pick up your baby every time they cry and put them down when they stop. The second method is gradual distinction. This is when you start off on the first night by being right at your babies side, patting and shushing him till he falls asleep. Then each night after that, you move further away from the crib and shushing progressively softer and less often. The third method is Guided Training. This is when you check on your baby for a few minutes and then leave, returning into the room at greater intervals to console your baby. An example of this is you would check on your baby in 5 minutes and then in 10 minutes etc. 

Each method of training involves crying. Each method also involves the parents offering consoling at some point to their baby. The crying is NOT because your child is being neglected, starved or abandoned. They are simply being given the opportunity to figure out what your baby needs to figure out to fall asleep. Some babies may discover their fingers where as some may stare at a light on the ceiling. Allowing your baby the opportunity to learn how to soothe himself is vital to learning great sleep skills. If you are a parent that is not happy with your child's sleep habits and feel that training of some sort is necessary for the happiness of your baby and your family, then it is important that you find the right method for you. If you are a parent that is content with your baby's sleep habits, then there is no need for change as your family is happy.

In retrospect, it is important to understand that a crying baby doesn't mean bad parents. This is quite an unfair statement. Allowing your baby to learn how to self soothe, which involves some crying, is a very hard thing for a parent to do. If you have a family member or friend who is currently sleep training their own baby, please remember this and offer them your support, not grief.  

Debbie Fazio
President & Baby Parenting Coach
Precious Moments Babeez 416-508-4406