I’ve compiled some tips for travelling with babies that I learned while globetrotting with my munchkin.
On the plane
Take lots of nappies. Take more nappies than you ever think you would possibly need. My baby held off on poo for a few days until we got on the flight and then unleashed a series of heavy deposits. You don’t want to get down to two nappies and spend six hours biting your nails and trying to figure out how you could fashion one out of paper towels.
Pack strategically. Separate clothes, food and toys into separate smaller bags. It will save you from the trouble of climbing over other passengers to rummage around looking for the teething rusks.
Bring plenty of distractions. The aim isn’t to keep baby quiet on a plane, it’s to keep him busy and happy. Books and iPhone apps are a great start (rules for limiting technology are null and void at 40,000 feet). Fun interactive things like pipe cleaners and hand puppets can work wonders too. For toddlers and older kids stickers, flash cards or little toys they haven’t seen before can help to fill the time on the plane.
Once you land
If you’re going from place to place, keep on packing mindfully. Don’t chuck things into your suitcase in a rush. Trust me, if you remember exactly where the wipes are at all times you will have a much less sticky holiday!
Be a day ahead of yourself in terms of washing clothes. You might think you have enough clean onesies to keep you going until you get to the next place with a laundry, but if you’re near a washing machine throw everything in anyway. Plans change. Outfits covered in puke are not a good look.
The same goes for baby food. If you’re only going out for lunch, pack something for dinner anyway. You don’t want poor bubs to end up having to suck on a 7Eleven slushie for his evening meal because you’ve ended up miles from anywhere.
On the road
Go easy on yourself. You’ve come a long way since that Contiki tour where you saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa during the day and leaned up against a towering Italian all night. Don’t squash a zillion activities into your schedule – it’s too much for the little one and it’s too much for you.
Don’t travel angry. If you’re me, you bottle up the pressure of coping with a baby and try to stay chirpy because you’re on vacation, then let it out right at the end, turning those happy memories into bitter ones. Chill, chill, chill! Make some time to do a few things on your own, even if it’s just a casual window shop or a massage appointment … after all, it’s your holiday too.
Travelling with kids is a whole new world but if you stay organised and on top of their needs they’ll have a blast and so will you.