Traveling with family is a mixed bag—in particular when you've got an infant. Of course, we all want to imagine the relaxation and bonding that happens when you're away from home. And there certainly are moments of that—even when you're traveling with kids. But there can also be stress. And that's probably an understatement! Luckily, we've got some some strategies to ease the hassle. Here's what to think about when you're traveling with baby.
Infants are inherently unpredictable—which means it's important to plan in advance. Before thinking about baby, make sure you've got yourself under control. Having all of your outfits, your travel documents, your snacks and water organized and ready to go will keep your stress level low, and allow you to focus on your little one. Always look after yourself!
Flights with newborns can be surprisingly calm. Sometimes the younger they are, the easier it is! They don’t wriggle as much, they don’t get bored and they tend to sleep a lot. Still, there are some technical things to consider when you're planning travel with a young baby. “Airlines will turn you away if you try and fly anywhere with a newborn who is less than 48 hours old and you’ll need a strong reason and a doctor’s note to be flying any time in their first week”, explains Marco Firmino, travel writer at BritStudent and WriteMyx. And don’t forget travel documentation which may take several weeks to be delivered after birth.
Newborn babies are much more vulnerable to the world around them than children of other ages, something you need to take into account when planning travel. This is especially important when it comes to vaccinations. “Vaccinations for travel are a big consideration for grown adults, let alone newborn babies. You not only want to be looking for vaccinations for areas with particularly bad diseases, you also need to look out for common flu outbreaks, MMR spikes, anything that a baby will be especially vulnerable to if they were to contract it”, explains Dwight Stroman, lifestyle and health blogger at 1Day2Write and NextCoursework. Do your research and make sure you see a doctor if there's any doubt about what your baby needs.
Travel insurance probably doesn’t always leap off the page as especially necessary. However, if you have a baby it’s a must. Babies are so much more of a liability when you travel, drastically increasing the risk that ‘something can go wrong’. Mostly it will be useful if your baby gets sick, which is always stressful (but a reality of early parenthood). Insurance will mean that you won’t be left vulnerable right when you need help most.
Planning a trip is a whole different ball game when you’ve got a newborn in tow. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable by failing to prepare for your trip. Similarly, don’t let the extra stress put you off. Traveling with children can be rewarding and fun!
Helen Spade teaches English in Portland, PA. She is also a top writer at AcademicBrits and PhDKingdom. Her writing centres largely on marketing and entrepreneurship and she contributes blogs on the topics at OriginWritings.