AM I MAD?
As the shuttle bus pulled up at the front of our house and our older two children squealed with excitement – we’re going! Lets go! I felt physically ill! I walked upstairs and lifted my sleeping seven month old from her cot. She began to protest and I thought, I must be mad!. Travelling to the USA and Canada for three weeks with a seven month old – who has had reflux for four of those seven months. Insane – and very nervous!!
Of course, as with most things, my fears were totally unfounded. Our baby, Eliza, slept like a dream on the flight over and throughout the trip adjusted beautifully to time zones and napped when she could.
There was, however, a lot of preparation for this trip and it really paid off to plan in advance.
A couple of tips for packing that I would definitely consider when travelling with a baby or toddler.
- If your baby is feeding on formula, make sure you check with the manufacturer that this brand is available in whichever country you are travelling too. If it's not, you may want to consider taking it with you.
- Take your own stroller or pram – yes, they can be bulky but if your baby is used to a certain pram and is fussy to get to sleep – this could be a lifesaver.
- Take some familiar items from home – blanket, stuffed toy – this will give some comfort when sleeping in strange places.
- If your baby has a dummy, take several spares – the same brand may not be available.
- Have your baby used to eating “jarred” or “tinned” baby food. Some babies won't eat tinned food if they are only used to fresh. Fresh may not be readily available and you will need to be flexible.
- If your baby is using bottles, you can buy microwave bottle sterilisers – these are great for travelling as you can throw them out when done.
- Take a spare set of clothes on each flight – not just for the baby but for you too. Travelling all day in juice-stained clothes is not fun.
The most important thing, however, is to be flexible! Your baby won't be able to have the same sleeps as they do at home and they will have to eat foods they haven’t before. You might be amazed how well they adjust. Our daughter slept in airport lounges, on flights and right the way through Disneyland!. If you think the baby is tired, take a day off – spend a day at the pool or having a rest. Make sure you build in extra days in case you need to take some breaks.
So, is it worth it? Definitely! We had a great holiday and our two older children had some wonderful experiences that we will never forget.
by Louise McCarthy