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TRAVELING WITH A BABY: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Traveling with a baby: tips, plane, bus, train and own car

Many new parents want to know when it is safe to travel with a newborn baby. 

The newborn babies are prone to fatigue as their body takes some time to adjust to their new environment. Bottom line, unless it is essential, you should put off travelling until your baby is a least few months old.

Vaccine-preventable diseases are also a concern at this age, as babies haven't had time to get vaccines and be fully protected against these illnesses. The most probable concern is that your baby might fall prey to sickness as they get exposed to a large number of people all at once while traveling through a train, bus, or airplane. Due to their health conditions in the early stages, most parents prefer to stay at home until the baby is few months old.   

Below are some tips that will help you organize for traveling. 

Essential items to pack while traveling with a baby:

For a newborn baby, it might be hard to adjust the traveling routine. You will need to prepare for every type of necessity that your baby might need including wipes and diapers, depending upon how many hours it takes during traveling. Besides this some other items for your baby's need might include: strollers, adjustable front, and back chest straps to hold the baby.

Essential items for long-term travel with your newborn:

Things might be a little different for you and your newborn during long-term travel. Make sure that they feel comfy and peaceful by bringing the following items along with you during the trip:

  • Sling or baby carrier.
  • Traveling baby cot.
  • Stroller or pushchair.
  • Sun protection lotion to protect your baby’s skin.
  • First aid box.
  • Formula milk.
  • Snack and treats.

Medicine kit for traveling with babies:

Ensure that you are well prepared to deal with your baby’s chronic or acute illness while you are traveling. The medical kit should contain all the relevant medicines that your baby might need when they face a runny nose, asthma problem, diarrhea, coughing, and so on. The main items that the medicine kit should include consists of:

  • Anti-pain medicine to relieve the baby from any type of pain suffering.
  • Fever reducer medicine like ibuprofen.
  • Drug for itchy skin or rashes.
  • Antihistamine product to deal with skin allergic reactions.
  • Medicine to deal with runny nose or coughing.
  • A nebulizer is mandatory if your baby has an asthma problem.
  • Antibiotic medicine to deal with bacterial infections during travel.

You also should learn how to deal with emergencies like CPR, when a baby is choking, and so on.

Traveling by plane with a baby:

Traveling with a baby through an airplane requires vaccination and passport verification for travel permission. Here’re some tips and points that give insight about traveling with your baby by plane:

  • Get your pediatrician's opinion before you go
  • Most of the airplane facilities allow you and the baby to stay in a play area until the boarding starts. Some of the airplanes let you use the stroller right before boarding.
  • Make sure that the bag which contains your baby’s luggage is by your side all the time during the travel.
  • Before leaving your house, check the weight limit of your luggage to avoid problems later.
  • Take a blanket or a cushion with you on a plane as babies under two years are supposed to sit on the parent’s lap.
  • If you are traveling a long-route journey, then you can request a bassinet or small crib to put the baby inside. It will help your baby to sleep through their routine without disturbance.
  • A sling or chest wrap is an important item if you want your hands free of holding the baby. You can carry the baby on your back or front through the sling while moving on the aisle.
  • Many planes put restrictions on bringing food items on board therefore it is necessary to clear out the problem beforehand whether you can bring your baby's items on board or not.
  •  If you have a problem with moving down the aisle to reach your seat, you can request a better available seat.
  • Bring a sound system with soothing music as the baby might get uncomfortable when the plane takes off because the building pressure will bring discomfort to the baby.
  • Try flying during off-peak time and get a non-stop fly.
  • Bring the birth certificate as proof of age.

Traveling by bus or train with a baby:

Traveling through the train or bus might also be uncomfortable for newborn babies due to rush or crowded areas. Some of the tips and tricks to travel with a newborn include:

  • Ensure that you travel in fewer rush hours to avoid unnecessary crowded areas and avail most of the empty seats by your side. It will not put the baby in discomfort while you avoid crowded areas.
  • Ensure that the train stations or bus stations have trolleys to carry your luggage while you help your baby.
  • Try finding a seat in a quiet area of the train/bus to avoid disturbing other travelers if your baby is crying.
  • Sling is the best way to make you feel at ease while carrying your baby without any problem. Sometimes it will become overwhelming while you carry your child and luggage side by side therefore chest wrap or sling is the best option.
  • Try finding seats nearby the toilets in case your baby needs emergency services of diaper changing or so.
  • Select the train or bus service that will drop you at your destination directly without you having to change at the intervals.
  • A window seat is the best choice while you are traveling on local transport with your baby. Make sure you pack all the essential requirements that the baby might need.

Traveling in your car with your baby:

Traveling by your car is the most comfortable traveling mean if you are taking your newborn along with you. In the other hand, driving can still be stressful for both, parents and baby. Especially on a longer trip, you will have to stop every few hours for feedings, diaper changes, and simply to comfort your baby. Furthermore, parents of a newborn are likely going to be a little sleep deprived, which may be dangerous to drive a long distance.

But additional points and some tips are to be kept in mind if you want to reach your destination without any problem:

  • Ensure that you map out your schedule of traveling not to disturb the baby’s nap and make stops at random food and rest areas to relax during your travel.
  • Use a baby seat that is comfy and would not irritate your child during the route.
  • Stock your car with essential and mandatory requirements including a soothing music system as well.
  • Ensure the safety of the baby is not compromised by checking all the requirements before loading the car.

Enjoy the trip:

Avoid heavy traffic and rush hour. This way, the journey itself is a reward already.

Once you arrive at your destination, take it slow and give your baby a chance to acclimate. Keep in mind that it’s an entirely new environment for your baby and he/she needs time to adjust because everything’s new and the whole place could be overwhelming. But given enough time, your baby will surely enjoy the new environment.

Final words:

Traveling with your baby is risky if your child is less than one month of age. Doctors recommend new parents stay put while their child's immunity enhances during the period. At most the child should be around two months of age at the minimum for you to travel along with them.

⚠️ Important to remember: ask your doctor advise before travelling

⚠️ Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

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