All decisions involving children are relative to each individual family. Some parents like to take their children on trips with as early as 2 or 3 months after birth; others only feel more comfortable after the kid turns two. It’s a personal preference, really, which is why BabyHome considers the age group of around one year to give you some helpful tips on how to make this special moment as peaceful and pleasant as possible, be it a weekend, holiday or vacation.

Documents

The first step is not to forget your little one’s necessary documents, such as the child’s birth certificate and medical insurance card. It’s good to keep your baby vaccination schedule up to date, to keep him or her safe from serious diseases – always check if there are other vaccines recommended for the place they are going to visit and possible diseases outbreaks.

First-aid kit

Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit with daily and routine medications and anything else you might need, and don’t forget supplies for possible cuts and bruises. And, even if the baby still breastfeeds, make sure to stock up on baby food, water and other kinds of meals, according to their age and duration of your trip.

It’s also a good idea to let the pediatrician know about the trip, especially if the idea is to spend several days away from home, in order to receive the proper orientation. This expert can also prescribe medications for nausea, since many kids end up suffering with motion sickness.

According to the mode of transportation for the trip, it’s important to take some precautionary measures:

By car:

  • Plan a safety check and inspection of the car ahead of the trip. Ensure tires and the spare are in good condition and properly calibrated.
  • Make sure your baby is travelling in an age/weight/height appropriate restraint – always behind the front seat passenger, so whoever is driving can observe the child.
  • Potholes, speed bumps and emergency breaking can lead to great discomfort for babies. It might be worth adopting a neck protector for the child, which preserves their upper body, prevents muscle aches and avoids the child’s head from bobbing back and forth during turns.
  • Don’t forget to install, on the window next to the child, a protective screen which not only filters light but also UV rays on the baby’s skin.
  • Before leaving, check to see if the locks are activated and turn on the child lock in the backseat if your car has that function.
  • Hitting the road early in the morning or late at night can almost guarantee the child will sleep the whole way through.
  • In case your baby falls asleep, make sure the little one’s head is well protected and won’t fall sideways or forward. Ideally, have na adult travelling in the back with the baby.
  • If the trip is too long, plan on stopping every two hours, at least.

+ When is it time to change up the baby seat?

By bus

  • In case you buy bus tickets around the time the child would normally be awake and active, don’t try to tire them out so you can get them to sleep during the trip. Respect their normal sleep schedule, as forcing them to stay awake during the trip can damage their health and irritate them. Try to relax: the movement of the bus will leave them sleepier rather than more awake. You’ll probably travel the whole time with the child on your lap.
  • To stay comfortable, you should invest in a sling or a baby carrier so your hands can be free and the baby can be more comfortable.
  • Seatbelts should be fastened on adults only and not on the adult and child together – in case of an emergency brake, the weight of the adult could hurt the child.
  • Don’t forget to dress the baby in comfortable clothing and to take toys and teethers to distract them throughout the trip.

By plane

  • If you still haven’t booked tickets, avoid sitting close to the bathroom: the constant traffic of people can jeopardize your little one’s sleep. Check ahead of time if the airline offers a children’s menu and ask for preferential seating ahead of time.
  • Night flights are a good idea, your kid will probably sleep longer.
  • Don’t forget to pack some toys in your easy to grab hand luggage
  • To alleviate the pressure in your baby’s ears during take off and landing, try breastfeeding – if you little one is off breastmilk, try a pacifier -if your baby likes one –  or a bottle with milk or water.
  • If the baby cries during the trip, do not to worry about possible annoyed stares from other people. People need to understand that small kids cry they should be patient – we were all kids one day. After all, the entire trip takes place in an unknown environment, with uncomfortable lights and sounds which sometimes can end up in earaches. Remember grown ups aren’t always an example of good behaviour and politeness during flights, right? Don’t be anxious or nervous, as it’ll only make it harder for your child to calm down.

Read next:

+ What to know when taking the baby to the beach

+ Are phones/TV harmful for my child?

Would you like to know more? Sign up and get weekly content on how your baby is developing. It’s safe, fast and free.