So, I just came back after a very hectic travel schedule with my ten month old. 16 days and 6 cities – yes indeed a crazy plan but then it had to be done. This is the third trip we have done with our little one, two to homeland and one vacation in Goa. And I must say that with each trip I’m learning to be a smarter mommy traveler.
Now those who have been travelling with infants know what a herculean task it is especially the packing which itself is as good as running a marathon. And if you have to travel by flight then you don’t even know how many times you have to pack and unpack just to ensure that you’re carrying the right weight of luggage. Phew, one needs another vacation to get over the trauma of packing & unpacking when travelling with a baby! But like many other things, even the art of travelling with baby is something that we are mastering slowly with time.
Just thought to share few quick tips with fellow parents which worked for us during this trip.
1. Travel light
This is something that me and my husband have always believed in but ‘how’ is the question when you know that you have to pack almost a mini household when travelling with a baby. Sigh, gone are the days when our whole luggage used to fit in just a backpack. We realized the difference when we packed for our little one the first time we were going outstation, from diapers to medicines to milk powder to toys – gosh everything had to be taken along with us. Medicines could not be risked and said brand of milk powder was not available at the places we were travelling to. Three long trips and now we know how to reduce some of our luggage weight.
This time we pre-ordered necessities like diapers, formula, baby-food & wipes online and got those delivered at our relatives’ addresses. Thanks to the booming e-commerce industry, you can actually get anything delivered to any part of the country at a minimal or zero shipping cost. With majority of necessities ordered online, we needed to carry only clothes, medicines etc. in our luggage this time.
2. Pack smart
Yes, considering the variety of small items you need to fit in a small suitcase it’s very important that you put some thinking behind packing baby stuffs. If you keep all of it together like we do it for our clothes then even before you realize, those tiny pair of socks will enter the trouser pocket only to be found out when that trouser goes for laundry and despite carrying hundreds of hankies in your bag you will never find one when you really need it.
I segregated his different types of clothes & accessories in different stacks, packed each category in separate cotton bags and then placed them inside a suitcase. Not only this made my task of locating smaller items like bibs, hankies and socks quicker, it also helped me avoiding the hassle of rearranging the suitcase again and again during the journey.
3. Prepare well
Prepare for the journey duration. As your infant grows, just feeding during take off and landing is not sufficient to pacify the baby. I remember during my first journey, after the initial effort, little one actually slept peacefully throughout the flight. But not anymore! Now, this curious, socially active ten-month old smiles at others, jumps from seat to seat, gets cranky, does not want to sleep, wants food, and what not. So, as the baby grows we need to plan better to keep the baby engaged throughout the journey.
In our case, we loaded both our mobiles with his favorite videos, kept his favorite small size toys in diaper bag, carried smaller boxes with variety of food options and some games to keep him occupied. Gone are the days when I used to read or sleep in flight, now the whole time is spent in managing the little one so that others get to read or sleep during their journey J. But thank god for our planning and preparedness; by the end of journey, we were greeted with smiles and ‘such a cute baby’ kinda compliment instead of those nasty stares that are typically given to a howling baby and accompanying parents.
4. Dress up easy
This is applicable to both mommy and the baby. No matter how cute that dress is but if it’s not easy to change or if it’s not very comfortable for the baby, don’t experiment with it during travel. You never know when the diaper leaks or when the baby spits and you would be required to change the dress in a jiffy. Ensure that you have spare clothes handy and clothes are convenient to change. I have seen this diaper leak mess with a fellow passenger and I better not get into describing it! So, comfy and convenient it is for me while dressing up the baby for travel.
5. Be cautious
Be careful of what your baby eats and drinks outside. No matter how many relatives were there to take care of the little one, I was always very cautious of what he puts in his mouth. Babies are so prone to infections, one stomach infection and lo your whole holiday could go for a toss. Despite all kinds of help available, I ensured that I supervised his hygiene related activities like cleaning, bottle sterilizing or boiling of water myself. Little bit of alertness and precautions just helped me to have a smooth holiday throughout.
Overall it was a fun vacation with family and relatives, little one enjoyed and didn’t face any health issues despite visiting different places with different climates and surroundings. And the mommy in me does a virtual touch-wood while writing that 🙂.
So, what are your special travel-tips when going out with a baby? Do share your travel related pearls of wisdom in the comments section. Hope these suggestions would help new parents have a better travelling experience.
A mother, a marketer and a blogger, Kanupriya currently is enjoying her life as a full time mom and a part time working professional. She loves to read and her favorite lines these days are – “New Mum, New Fun. So Blessed, This One. Long Nights, Short Days. Go Back, No Ways ~ Author Unknown“. Connect with Kanupriya on Twitter.