Making Travel Time with a Newborn Easier

June 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Newborn Care

Having a baby is hard work so after arriving home, most parents are spent. Before you know it, the time will come when grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends want to see the newest member f the family, which means taking a road or air trip. Of course, you will also be loading up the newborn into the car as you make trips to the pediatrician, to the store for diapers, and so on. Most doctors will recommend that new parents not travel with a baby three months or less but when you get to the point of traveling, we feel these tips will make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Typically, new parents start planning for a trip with a new baby and soon realize this is a major ordeal. You would think gathering a few items would not be difficult but it is always more involved. We want to offer encouragement that regardless of the type of travel you take, car, air, bus, or train; you can make choices that take some of the load off.

As you begin packing, you will obviously pack things such as diapers, bottled, pacifier, and other necessities but other supplies should be taken on your trip. For instance, if your baby is starting to teeth, be sure you pack a gel teething ring, as well as pain relief ointment that can be rubbed on the gums. Aspirin, petroleum jelly, lotion, and even sunscreen will come in handy.

Of course, you want to make sure you take both cool and warm clothing items. This way, no matter the climate, you can dress your baby in layers. After all, you may be heading to a destination where the weather is predicted to be warm, only to arrive finding that a cool front came through. Another consideration is that while you might keep your home at 75 degrees, the home where you are heading may prefer 68, a big difference for a little baby.

Now, you can travel by air but if your baby is still very young, we recommend that you talk to the doctor first. Most pediatricians feel that a child should be a minimum of one year old before flying. The reason is that the air is recycled so there are a lot of germs, the pressurized cabin while taking off and landing can cause earaches, and overall, babies do not do well on planes when little. Another obstacle specific to flying would be for mothers that breastfeed in that finding a private place is difficult.

Typically, new parents will choose to travel by car. In this case, just make sure that you have the proper car seat so you know your child is 100% safe. The car seat should always be positioned in the back seat, facing backwards. If you like, one parent can sit in the back seat with the baby. The reason this is so important is that if a child is in the front seat facing forward and the airbag were to deploy, it could cause serious harm or even death.

You also want to make sure that you bring snacks and beverages on the trip for the baby and adults. If your baby is three months or older, he or she is going to get hungry often and trying to explain that you will feed the baby soon means nothing. For this, make sure you have formula prepared and it might be worth the investment to buy a bottle warmer that has a cigarette lighter adapter. If you breastfeed, then the bottle issue is resolved.

Changing diapers while driving down the road is a little trickier. We strong recommend that you never change the diaper while in motion but find a rest stop where you can lay out a portable changing pad. Be sure to take a plastic trash bag where dirty diapers can be placed as you travel, you do not have to deal with the smell.

One important note is that children are susceptible to germs because they do not have a strong immune system so you want to make sure they are not overly exposed to strangers and strange places. You know that every person you visit is going to want to hold and kiss on your baby but never be afraid to tell them to wash hands so fewer germs are being exposed.

You will likely be faced with various obstacles as you travel with your new baby but look at this as an adventure, a new experience to enjoy.