Any seasoned parent will tell you that a baby changes everything and the idea of a baby fitting in with your life becomes a distant pipedream for most new parents. This is never truer than when you travel – gone are the carefree days of throwing a small weekend bag in the boot and driving into the blue yonder. Travelling with a baby takes planning and a lot of kit!
Where to go – choosing a holiday destination is the first and maybe most important decision. As a rule of thumb, you should choose somewhere that has childcare or a kind aunty to give you a little free time. This is the one thing that can make a break worthwhile. There are wonderful resorts in South Africa that offer nanny services.
A good rule of thumb is to stay at least one night per hour you travel with your baby – so if it takes 1 hour to get away, you can go for one night but if the trip is a 5 hour flight or drive, try to stay for at least 5 nights. This makes the travel time worthwhile.
When to travel – try to get at least some of the journey time done whilst your baby sleeps – so either leave very early in the monring or fly or drive over the nap time, so your little one will sleep while the trip is underway.
What to pack – The essential nappy bag for traveling has the following basics:
- Nappies and wipes sufficient for the journey plus two spare
- Bottle of cool boiled water, even if you are breastfeeding, a little water may come in handy
- Baby’s comfort object (dummy, doodoo blanky and favourite toy)
- Baby sling or carrier to make travel through an airport easy
- Make sure your toddler has healthy snacks to keep him occupied on the journey – this limits boredom and also prevents blood sugar dips
- Five age appropriate toys which may include a book, a feely toy or play dough for toddlers, a chewy toy – especially for teething little ones, an imagination toy such as a car or doll for older babies. IPods can be really useful with toddlers too.