Travelling with a child seem like a daunting idea but here are some tips that I would like to share with all the parents to make travel time a little easier.
On The Road With Baby
I still remember my first child travelled for the very first time when she was 5 months old. We went to Pulau Pinang or Penang in Malaysia for CNY celebration and pay visit to my grandmother.
It is very important that you have a proper baby car seat installed properly in your car when travelling on the road with your child. Keep your baby car seat rear facing for as long as possible, or until the age of two in the rear seat of your car.
Never fit a rear facing baby seat in the front as there is an active airbag on the passenger side of the car. If the airbag went off it would strike the seat with considerable force.
The only thing that I need to prepare at that time was my child’s favourite toys to keep her occupied, pacifier (optional, if your baby is on pacifier) is needed to calm your baby when he/she gets cranky, and teether.
I only prepared snacks for my children when they were above 6 months old and started on solids. Normally, I would prepare fruits and vegetables like banana, pear, apple, steamed broccoli, sweet potato as healthy snacks. Try to give the snacks that won’t end up a big mess while in the car.
In The Air With Baby
Flying with your baby or toddler, the things that you should prepare are more or less the same as the above. It is important to prepare your child’s favourite snacks, toys or activities in between to occupy him/her.
Don’t forget to bring some sweets or get your child to suck on the milk bottle or pacifier to prevent pressure from building up in his/her ears during takeoffs and landings.
If possible, try to request for a seat with more leg room or seats near the front as the back of the plane tend to be noisier, vibrates more and is less convenient for deplaning than the front.
What to pack?
Besides nappies, clothes, pillows, and changing mats or portable toilet trainer, you may consider things like a set of baby’s sheets for the familiar smell of your own laundry to put him/her at ease; a night light to help him/her sleep better in an unfamiliar environment.
It is also important to bring mosquito repellents and kids sunblock, as well as a basic first-aid kit with saline nose drops for stuffy noses, teething gel and infant paracetamol so you won’t panic if your child has a temperature.
In terms of feeding items, you may pack baby bottles, bottle brush, bottles liquid cleanser, baby spoons, bibs, warmer, thermos food jar, sippy cups, powdered formula, baby snacks, baby cereal, and baby food.
From my experience, it is inconvenient to prepare your baby food while travelling because some hotels may not have the facilities to cook or even small fridge to store your ingredients. So you have to check carefully before make the hotel selection.
Another reason is you have no access to fresh vegetables or ingredients to cook your baby food. Then you may have to bring your own ingredients (rice, dehydrated veges and meat), chopping board, knife, slow cooker or porridge cooker which needs lots of preparation and create more weight to your luggage.
So instead of going through all these hassles, I normally bring the baby food in pouch like Heinz, Gerber, Bellamy baby food range.
However you have to check for your baby’s allergies to those ingredients. Then only you can make a right choice on your baby food.