Baby on Board Tips
After the labor is all finished and families head home with their bundles of joy, the logistics of traveling start to set in. It’s a fact that traveling with a baby is a challenging scenario because of his or her unique needs.
Families can have a successful trip if they prioritize certain aspects, however. Get to know these simple tips that will improve any getaway with baby, including road trips and flights across the globe.
1. Decorate the Car’s Interior
The Child Development Institute suggests that families should hang colorful toys from the car’s ceiling. Use lightweight toys tied to ribbons and affixed with safety pins for this traveling tip. The swinging toys distract the baby as the ride carries on. They also turn the baby’s attention away from the window, which can have speeding trees and other objects flying past that are frightening at this point. Hang just enough toys so that there’s interest but not an obstruction to the driver’s view from the rearview mirror.
2. Darken the Seating Area
Whether parents are on an airplane or in the car, be mindful of the baby’s nap times. Try to maintain a normal schedule because the baby will be calmer as a result. Darken the car’s backseat or pull the window shade down on the airplane. Create a quiet time in this darkened space so that the baby will fall asleep. There may be some hesitation on his or her part because of the traveling situation, but the darkness and quiet will eventually win out.
3. Move Through Airport Security With Balanced Ease
Diaper bags are notorious for their bulky nature as they force parents to lean to the side as a balancing measure. As an alternative, try a basic backpack. This container perches on a parent’s back with the weight balanced by two straps. The parents are free to carry the baby and other accessories without any struggles. As the family waits in the airport security line, the entire process becomes easier as everything can be moved onto the conveyor belt and off again with little time lost to organization.
4. Empathize With Other Airline Passengers
Families should put themselves in the shoes of their fellow passengers if they’re traveling by plane. A confined fuselage makes a baby’s cries that much more noticeable. National Geographic reports that handing out earplugs is a clever way to stay in everyone’s good graces. If the baby cries, the passengers have some recourse to relax. The gift-giving process also ingratiates the family with everyone on board, which calms almost any crying scenario.
5. Always Bring the Car Seat
It’s illegal to drive without a car seat so apply this concept to flying. Although passengers under two years old are often free, splurge for a seat to secure the baby. A standard, car seat fits into airline seats, which gives the child a harness in those cases of extreme turbulence. The entire family will be relaxed too because passing around the child on a lap won’t be part of the traveling process.
6. Try the Hotel’s One-Bedroom Suites
The baby will inevitably sleep for most of the vacation. To make the getaway comfortable for everyone, consider a hotel room as a suite. These properties normally have a sitting area and separate bedroom. Place the baby in the bedroom with a monitor when he or she needs a nap. The rest of the family can enjoy the rest of the room without disturbing the baby.
7. Stop as Many Times as Necessary
Some families have a strict policy of only stopping a handful of times while on a road trip. These stops might be specifically planned so that roadside attractions are part of the experience. Although families can still try this strategy, there must be some flexibility. Stop when the baby seems fidgety so that he or she can be taken out of the car seat, suggests Alamo Rent-a-Car. Give the baby a rest from the car ride, which may be what everyone needs at the time too.
8. Prepare the Car’s Mechanical Parts
Travel safely with a baby on board by tending to the vehicle’s upkeep before the getaway. Change the oil, fill the tires with air and verify that every system works as necessary. As families hit the road, they won’t be concerned with a “check engine” light or a strange noise. They can concentrate on the road and enjoy the baby at the same time.
9. Be Aware of Stroller Limitations at the Airport
Moving the baby around on a stroller within the airport is the dream of most parents. Families simply gate check the stroller when boarding occurs. However, some airlines don’t allow gate checking with strollers that weigh more than 20 pounds. Families should prepare for this scenario by being aware of their stroller’s weight. Bringing a travel stroller on vacation may be necessary.
10. Employ Distraction at All Costs
Babies will become frustrated at some point during the getaway. New surroundings may be frightening at times. Distraction is the best way to deal with any upset babies. Always have a favorite toy ready to be pulled out for the child. Consider funny faces or other enjoyable activities that take the mind away from the present for the moment. Families will be much happier as a result.
11. Recreate the House at the Hotel
Babies thrive on familiarity so try to make the nursery a reality in the hotel room. Orient a crib in the same direction as its position in the home. Bring toys and blankets that comfort the baby. These details allow the child to fall asleep faster in almost any hotel room.
If families are bringing along older children, ask them to help out with some of the tasks revolving around the baby. When everyone pitches in, the vacation can be that much more improved. Looking back on the getaway gives it an affectionate tone as every family member remembers their involvement with the baby who’s now a teenager or grown adult.