Baby on Board – What to Do When Traveling with an Infant
For many new parents who are thinking of embarking on a journey with their little one, the task looks daunting. How do you keep the little children happy when their attention spans are so limited? It is even more challenging when you are trying to keep children of different ages occupied at the same time. Fortunately there are lots of wonderful way to travel in peace.
Flying with infants can be really challenging. You want to check with the airlines to see if they require that the child be in a car seat. If that is the case, please be sure that your car seat is certified for use on an airline. Check with the airline to find out if they provide car seats that you can use. Some international flights will provide a bassinet for your convenience. You can get the numbers to the different airlines here. British Airways offers a special Skyflyer activity pack for all international flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Barbados. You can also pre-order your kid’s meal at least 24 hours in advance. Each seat has an individual screen so that you don’t have to suffer through 5 hours of the Cartoon Network and the Disney channel but can catch up on all the movies you may have missed. The air pressure when taking off and landing will hurt infants’ ears so start them on their milk just as the flight is getting ready to leave. This will help keep their ears from hurting. The older ones can also drink a little personal juice box , chew gum or suck on a piece of candy. Before the trip (especially the extremely long ones) purchase some new toys and books. Once they get bored of the first toy, provide a new toy to help hold their interest for an hour (hopefully). Engage them in little verbal games that will keep their minds off the length of the trip. Carry a small package of wipes to clean their hands with. Pack extra clothes just in case they spill food or drink on their clothes. Some major airports now provide nursery facilities for parents to take their children.
Automobiles and buses can all be family-friendly modes of transportation for you if planned right. If you are driving, try to leave late at night or very early in the morning while the children are still sleepy (get your coffee so that you are definitely awake) so that you can get a couple of hours of travel before you have to stop. Find out where the rest-stops are along your route so that you can maximize on potty-break time. Go City Kids has many child-friendly locations to choose from, along with tips on how to make the most of your time together. Stop at picnic areas so that the kids can stretch their feet by running. Carry snacks like carrots, apples, nuts, and bananas which are less likely to be messy. You will find information on the quality of restrooms in your neck of the woods on the Bathroom Diaries’ Website. This is a great resource when planning a trip out of town or internationally. Again, take lots toys and games to keep the young ones occupied. If you have the portable DVD’s you can pack a few movies that will guarantee at least 1 hour or peace (if they don’t start fighting over which movie they should watch). Pack light if traveling by bus and put as much of it in the cargo space as possible. This will leave you unencumbered and comfortable. Take bottles with the lids that pop up so that you don’t have to pour anything into cups. This will minimize spills. Let the children carry their favourite music to listen to. They can have their personal CD or tape players or, listen to it as a family. Try some traveling games or go to Mom’s Minivan and browse through their 101 travelling games for the road. Some of them are really fun
A trip well planned will provide a relaxed, fun experience for the whole family. Go ahead, the baby may actually join in the songs. It will be memorable, and the whole family gets to know each other better.