Your baby is six weeks old and ready to explore the outside world. You may be getting ready to plan a family trip with your new addition but aren’t sure where to start. Traveling with young children can be challenging, but getting them started early may help them build a tolerance for those long trips in the car. We have some ideas that will keep those restless angels at ease and increase the peace.
Whether you’re going on a 1-hour car ride or a 6-hour flight, your baby will do best when there is something that reminds them of home when they’re in an unfamiliar place. Their favorite stuffed animal may carry a familiar scent that will comfort them while they’re away from home. Toys with music, sounds, and colors will keep your baby entertained for some time until they’re ready to move on to something different. When your baby plays with toys, those fine motor skills are being encouraged.
Who can resist a yummy snack? If your toddler is going on their first trip and is getting a little antsy, try offering a snack that you know they’ll love and their favorite juice to wash it down. Eating a snack will keep them quiet, still, and relaxed (temporarily).
It also takes their minds off of being confined in one area. Snacks take the edge off of being hungry, so it might buy more time on the road without having to stop to eat right away if you’re traveling in a car. Your child could get sleepy after eating, too. Nap time is the best time!
Electronic devices are one of the main sources of entertainment and learning. Allowing your child some screen time can be beneficial to them. There are many different sensory videos for newborns and toddlers that can be found on YouTube. These videos are made to grasp and keep the attention of young children. Sensory videos stimulate brain development and include a variety of colors, movements, sounds, and music. There are also stimulating videos available that can help your child drift off to sleep, which may be worth looking into.
When traveling with children by car, stopping frequently is a must. Babies need diaper changes and toddlers need bathroom breaks and a chance to stretch their legs and run around outside. Changing the environment minimizes restlessness during the trip. During air travel, children can walk the aisles a few times to get the wiggles out.
Sometimes there will be enough room for small children to stand up in front of their seats, keeping the aisles clear for safety purposes. If you have multiple children and need your arms, wearing your baby can make things a lot easier.
If you’re traveling by plane, you’ll want to protect yourself and your children in the best possible way. Make sure your children are caught up on their immunizations to decrease the chance of getting infections. We would recommend purchasing Wet Ones for kids for ground and air travel. They’re gentle on the skin, but effectively kill bacteria. It’s also nice to carry around travel-size hand sanitizer bottles. They’re small, cheap, and best of all, kill germs.
As parents, we tend to overpack any time we go out of town, especially for our kids. Packing a bag to have on-hand takes the time and frustration out of forgetting an item you need out of the trunk or storage bin, which requires a stop that can be avoided. Usually, when flying, passengers are allotted a carry-on bag and a personal bag, depending on what airline you choose. With a bag packed specifically for the trip, everything your kids need is within reach.
Music and white noise can relax your little one when it’s time for a nap. Traveling can be exhausting and kids tend to fight sleep when resting is not on their to-do list. It might be easier for babies to listen to soothing lullabies using the car’s audio system, but when that option isn’t available, using your phone as a music player will do.
Headphones can get the job done for toddlers in the car, on the bus, train, or plane.
Baby mirrors are useful for both parents and babies. If your infant is facing the back seat of the car, attaching the mirror to the headrest allows the baby to see you and you can see the baby, too. Babies also get a kick out of looking at themselves and some think their reflection is hilarious! Mirrors allow your baby to study facial features and emotions. Baby mirrors can be found online on Amazon. If your child is facing forward, there are mirrors available for front-facing car seats as well.
Children love to hear the voices of their parents and the people they love most. Your voice can be soothing to your little one if he or she is feeling uneasy. Whether the trip involves loud passengers on public transportation or a comfortable ride in the family’s car, your baby will want to hear Mommy or Daddy’s calming voice every so often. Talking to your baby builds their character and supports their communicative skills. Your voice also reminds baby that you’re still around and they’re not alone.
In the winter months, parents have the tendency to bundle their kiddos up to protect them from dry, cold air. Keep in mind, unless you’re traveling for short periods of time, dress your baby according to the conditions of the transportation of your choice. We know, it’s a hassle pulling off the baby’s coat, hat, and gloves every time baby settles into the car seat, but if the child gets too hot, you will definitely know. The more comfortable the baby is, the smoother the transit will be.