5 tips for school holiday and Easter getaways with a baby

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"Holidays are for you to come back rested, not more exhausted." Photo: Getty Images

“Holidays are for you to come back rested, not more exhausted.” Photo: Getty Images

Holidays are for you to come back rested, not extremely exhausted but traveling with your little one can leave you worn out, with many regrets.

To avoid this, here are some helpful tips to make traveling with your baby a more pleasant experience.

1. Check in with your doctor

First, it is essential to go to a doctor for a health check-up for babies under a year old to be up to date with vaccinations and weight-curve follow-ups. Verify if your paediatrician has recommendations or red flags about the trip.

A chat with them will alert you to things you may not have thought about, like a change in altitude and how to navigate it for your child’s comfort.

Read: How to ensure your child is safe in your car

2. Prepare your baby for a long-haul trip

Before your long-anticipated holiday, introduce your little one to short trips, by car and plane, if possible. This will give you an early indication of how they will fare on longer trips. Covering the basics before leaving the house will give you peace of mind.

Make sure that your little one’s milk bottles are ready for the trip to avoid surprises, considering which liquids are allowed on a plane and in what quantities.

Ensure that on-the-go nappy change essentials, set of clothes, the unforgettable pacifier/teddy bear combo are all packed. Planning a bit of a buffer in terms of stops along the journey is a good idea.

Have a change of clothing for you as the parent to cover milk leakage if the time between feeds is too long or the baby has an accident.

3. Choose your destination wisely

Stick to warmer temperatures – minimum clothes needed, just the usual sunblock and lotion. Should you opt for colder climates, pack appropriate clothing or check online for shopping/renting opportunities upon arrival.

Also, consider the time difference – when your little one is younger than three months, they can’t tell between night and day. From four months, they are more aware and will need adaptation.

But each baby is different, some can nap anywhere anytime, and others need specific sleep rituals and time. So as a parent, you will know what works for your child.

Must-read: Traveling while pregnant? Here’s how to avoid a bump in the road

4. Pick resorts that are baby-friendly

Consider establishments with professional caretakers that can attend to your baby’s needs to ensure they have a great time without you.

For example, you don’t have to travel with baby gear when you book a baby package at an all-inclusive resort like Club Med. Bed, changing mattress, tub, bottle warmer, veggie-purees (processed and home-made), strollers and highchairs are available 24/7, making traveling with a baby easier.

Some resorts offer clubs for children as young as four months old with age-appropriate activities such as paddling pools, crafts and plenty of toys.

Happiness to a parent is enjoying your day with your partner or friends, knowing your kids have the best time with others their age, and gaining autonomy and confidence among professionals.

As a parent, you should use this opportunity to book yourself well-deserved “me time”: a massage at the spa, sunset yoga class at the gym, reading that book you have been meaning to. It is too easy for parents always to carry the whole world on their shoulders and forget about themselves.

Must see: Protecting little ones on the move

5. Night flight is the right flight

As mentioned above, from three months old, babies start differentiating night from day, meaning it is easier to travel long haul by night with babies over four months old, since they will sleep most of the night/flight.

It is also highly advisable to breastfeed or bottle-feed during take-offs and landings to limit the impact on sinuses due to fast altitude changes.

Did you know?

A cute tip parents swear by during flights is preparing gift bags for surrounding passengers containing earplugs, sweets and a note saying, “Hi, my name is XYZ, and I am X months. This is my first flight, and I will try to be on my best behavior. Still, my parents and I apologise already for any inconvenience if I have trouble adapting to the pressurized environment of the cabin. I wish you an enjoyable flight”.

This creates an empathetic bond between surrounding passengers and parents.

It is easy to postpone travel until kids are older, but what will you remember in two years? You will vaguely remember teething and night feeds, but babies grow so fast!

You may as well occasionally take these opportunities to give them space to learn and have fun on their own while you do those things you love and haven’t been able to in a long while!

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