As part of our Meet the Mamas series, we met with new mummy Stephanie and asked her what it’s like to travel with a young baby and what advice she has for other new mummy’s and mums to be.
Travelling with a baby can be challenging, especially for a new mom. My son has been travelling both by plane and by car since he was 2 months old. He has been on at least ten plane rides and 8 road trips. Since we have family all over we get to travel a lot. I must say, the older my son gets, the more challenging it gets to travel with him.
Travelling by plane
Travelling with a baby by plane is a bit more challenging than travelling with a baby by car. In a plane, passengers are already expecting to be disturbed by the baby. As soon as I start to walk down the aisle with my son, I can feel people’s dirty looks. Luckily for me, my son usually behaves well and by the end of the plane rides I have had so far, people usually congratulate me on having such a well behaved boy.
The first tip for travelling with a baby by plane would be to use a baby carrier. The baby carrier allows you to carry the baby, and luggage at the same time. You can also pass through security while carrying the baby in the baby carrier. A baby carrier will also make it easier when travelling alone with a baby.
Another tip would be to wear comfortable clothes and avoid putting on anything you might need to take off while going through the security screening. For example, belts, watches, jewelry, hair accessories, or carrying change in your packets. I wear most of those things; I just put them on while on the plane to avoid having to take them off while carrying the baby. I usually keep my watch and other accessories in my bag, since I have to pass it by the security scan anyways. I usually wear slip on shoes or sandals, so that I can easy take them off and put them on.
The hardest part of travelling with a baby on a plane is to keep them entertain and prevent their ear from popping. When my son was under one-year-old, he would sleep for most of the plane ride. Now that my son is older, he naps for shorter periods of time, so he usually wakes up during the plane ride, or falls asleep after we have been on the plane for a while. My son is very friendly, and loves attention, as one of the flight attendants continuously told me on our way to Dallas, in a not too friendly way. For the most part, my son wants to play and see what is going on around him. The hardest part of travelling with him is that it is uncomfortable for him to fall asleep on the plane, so he cries. My son loves music, so usually singing to him helps. Also offering him milk, since it’s part of his bedtime routine and reading a book. I try playing with him until he falls asleep, to keep him entertained.
To prevent my son’s ears from popping, I offer him milk or water, when the plane takes off, and when the plane is landing. When my son was smaller, I would offer him a pacifier or chewing toy, to keep his jaw moving. Even when my son was sleeping I would try to give him the bottle, but he wouldn’t take it. I also offer him snacks, if he doesn’t want milk. So far his ears have never popped.
Travelling by car
The longest road trip we have taken was to Montreal, Canada. We were on the road for about 7 hours. On our way to Canada, we stopped at least five times, to stretch our legs, use the restrooms and eat. During the times that we stopped, I would take my son out of the car sit, so that he could stretch. I changed his diaper at least three times on the road, to make the trip a bit more comfortable for him.
When my son was younger, it was actually harder to travel with him by car than by plane. My son always wanted to be carried; so being in a car sit for long periods of time would make him cranky. Singing and listing to music has always helped keep to keep him entertain.
Is easier to get food for the baby on the road, but I always like to keep squeezable baby food, snack, and formula in hand. The best part about being on a car is that you don’t think about others giving you dirty looks because the baby is crying and you can stop whenever you or the baby need anything.
As far as preparing for the trip goes, just as with a trip by plane, I like to make sure I have quick access to everything I need. I also bathed him and put on his pyjamas before hitting the road, since he might be sleeping for most of the ride; I want him to feel comfortable. It is easier for my son to fall sleep in a car than on a plane since he is used to it. Another thing is that we usually travel at night, or very early, so he is most likely to stay asleep. Being in a car sit for long periods of time seems to be uncomfortable for the baby that’s why I think is important to stop and let the baby stretch his legs.
The first trip with my son I was so afraid of not being able to comfort him, because of what others might say. I won’t lie; there were times when my son cried that I felt like I didn’t know what to do. The most important thing is to focus on your baby and forget about everyone else. Once you focus on comforting your baby and block all negativity, it will be easier to take care of your baby who needs you. Try to keep in mind what your baby likes and what comforts him.
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