A lot of new parents put the notion of a holiday firmly on the backburner when a baby comes along. The thought of taking a baby away for a week or two in the sun is considered to be way too difficult. Babies need constant care: clean nappies every couple of hours, regular feeds, cuddles, plus they don’t sleep for more than an hour at a time. So how on earth can you reconcile the drama of looking after a baby with the stress of long haul travel?
The good news is that it is perfectly possible to take a baby on a long haul trip abroad. And, even better, you may actually enjoy the experience!
Don’t Pack Too Much Gear
Try and travel as light as possible. Easier said than done, I know, but you will find it a lot easier to get around if you are not carrying large suitcases. Babies can be carried in slings or backpacks. This leaves your hands free for a small suitcase on wheels. Alternatively, you carry your baby and let your partner carry a rucksack. If you have a pushchair board when the last passengers are boarding and join the plane then – you can push the chair up to the door, most of the kerfuffle is over and it’s easier to get seated and settled without a long line of people bustling about behind you.
Always pack essentials in your hand luggage. Take plenty of nappies and nappy bags, plus cream and wet wipes. A couple of changes of clothing are also essential, just in case of any nasty accidents.
Flying with a Baby
The good thing about travelling with a baby is that you don’t need to pay for an extra seat on the airplane. Up to the age of two, babies travel for free on most airlines. On a long haul flight, this will save you a not inconsiderable amount of money. You might not find it easy to get baby to sleep on a long flight, but airlines do have sky cots for parents travelling with babies, so as long as you request a seat on the bulkhead where the cots are located, you can try putting baby down for a nap. You will also find that many cabin crew are very sympathetic to parents with babies and are happy to help out with bottle warming and food preparation.
One of the problems with flying is the change in air pressure. This can cause ear pain during take off and landing. As an adult, you can release the pressure fairly easily, but you can’t tell a baby how to do it, so the best way to relieve any discomfort is to encourage them to feed (the swallowing reflex releases the pressure).
Very young babies can subsist on breast milk or bottled milk. However, once your baby is at the stage of being weaned, you will need to carry some food with you at all times. Take a supply of baby food with you if you are not confident there will be suitable food available at airports. Otherwise, stick to mashed up fruit, veggies, rice and potato.
Now we have convinced you of the merits of long haul travel with a baby, look at www.awaywiththekids.co.uk and start planning your next trip.