Tips for traveling with a baby
Let us be honest – the idea of going with a baby on a long journey, regardless of whether it is flying or driving, is not the most interesting idea. You have to focus on the journey while keeping them entertained, and then you need to think about continuously changing their diaper and feeding them every few hours.
Similar to the feeling of traveling with a rock band, traveling with a baby is a measure of how well you can carry the child while balancing the stressful moments that can happen. The basic rule is to always be prepared for anything that arises, and this will reduce the stress that is associated with going with them. If you need some help, check out these tips.
If you are taking a flight with them, schedule it to coincide with their bedtime or nap time
The ideal situation is to have the baby sleeping for most of the journey. Therefore, to help them do that, book flights that are the same time as their bed time. Chances are also high that they will fall asleep anyway because of the ambient noise on the plane, but when the baby is sleepy, it can actually help the easing of your experience.
Select strategic seats
Just like in buses, infants that are under the age of two can travel for free if you place them on your lap the whole time. That being said, if you can purchase an extra seat for them, you can bring the baby’s car seat and place it on that chair then strap them in.
However, if purchasing an extra seat for them is not an option for you, then you need to select the most strategic seats, which will give you plenty of space to sit with them. You can do this before booking the ticket; some services will allow you to check the plane seating plan and locate the seats that have the most leg space – you will just need to pay some extra money, though not much.
If your flight is a long one, then the airline will give you the option of a bassinet that hooks into the wall (just in front of the bulkhead seats). These are the best options if you have a baby. You need to book them very early and follow up though, as there is no guarantee you will get them – they are in high demand.
Bring a baby carrier or stroller
Since you will want to make sure your hands are as free as possible, you will need to bring a baby carrier or stroller. Even getting your baby’s car seat is a good option too, since it will give you some freedom to move if the airline has an extra space for your child.
Prepare yourself for the journey
For anything you think your baby will require, bring whatever it is within your carryon luggage, along with your own important documents like a Uganda visa and your passports. These include food, diapers, spare clothes and wipes – you do not want to run out of essentials and risk some embarrassing situations.
In addition, bring books for the baby and their toys, since these are the ones that will keep them occupied throughout the flight. You always want to have a backup plan, just in case the baby will melt down (which always happens).
Do not over pack though
It is a difficult task to try and keep a toddler occupied and chase after them, but it becomes significantly harder when there is a ton of luggage weighing you down. The problem is that a baby will come with a ton of requirements, and their things can consume a lot of space.
However, be wise in the amounts of things you pack overall. Pick the least amounts as possible, but all of them must be essentials – at least when it comes to the carryon luggage. You will also discover your baby will not need some of the things anyway, because they will either be asleep, or they are occupying themselves with other objects.
Plan extensively for landings and take-offs
The hardest time for your child will be the landing and take-off, because of the air pressure changes that will bother their ears. For this reason, be prepared for these stages by making sure they are sleeping or feeding as this happens.
Sucking motions will also help distract them from the uncomfortable sensations in their ears, so also pack a pacifier or bottle for them to suck through.
Remain polite to the other passengers
This may not seem necessary, but it will go a long way in making the other passengers feel comfortable. Certain parents will apologize to the other passengers, even before the flight starts, while others will give them candy or ear plugs so they are not disturbed when the child cries.
If all your attempts to keep you child calm fail, do not worry – it happens to many parents as well. Just make sure to stay calm and take deep breaths, and this will help you feel more in control of the situation. It will also help you comfort your child and help them quiet down as quickly as possible.
The younger the child is, the better
It might seem strange to think about the situation like this, but it actually makes sense when you consider their activity levels. For a younger baby, it is easier to carry them on your lap and make them sleep when they need to, whereas for an older toddler, it is harder because they want to move constantly and play. Not to mention, they are also heavier, so it becomes challenging to carry them the whole way.
Sit next to them for the whole journey
You are the child’s parent, you are their safety zone – which means you cannot let go of them. If you are with your partner and they are sitting somewhere else, you can leave the baby with them when you get tired.
Traveling with a baby is stressful, but you can manage it if you are prepared. Just make sure that you can manage everything and prepare yourself well for any eventuality that can happen, and the journey will be more bearable.