Q: Help! It’s holiday season. Do you have any tips on travelling with babies?
- Don’t stress. When it comes to travelling with a baby, some things will not go to plan, that’s a given. Yet some things will go smoothly and that’s a blessing. Consciously make the effort to chill out and go-with-the-flow. Be fluid, be flexible, be adaptable.
- Be prepared. Cars, trains, taxis, buses—they all have engines and multiple mechanical parts. Subsequently, they all have the potential to break down, which means you can never know for sure you won’t be delayed. So try to have everything you need for a lengthy hold-up without access to shops, including enough of the basics to tide you over (such as nappies, food, toys, sunscreen, warm clothes, mini-first aid kit, water bottle—oh and a bit of lippy!)
- Invest in a good carry-on. Backpacks enable parents to have their hands free. Look for a bag with good structure and reasonable quality, such as a big central compartment and a few zipped pockets—not one that’s the cheapest you can find and its main zip breaks on the second day. Have a bag that’s big enough to hold everything, but still small enough to sit at your feet—rather than needing to grab it down from the overhead compartment.
- Compartmentalise. Fall in love with ziplock bags. They take up less room than containers and you can put almost anything in little ziplock bags, and then put all the related items into big ziplock bags, making it so much easier to find things.
- Protect against convection heat loss. Infants unintentionally lose heat by conduction (touching cold surfaces such as the car seat), radiation (radiating heat to surrounding cold objects such as a drafty window) and evaporation (such as having wet skin after a bath). A warmly dressed baby can be protected against most of that heat loss. However, newborns are very vulnerable to rapid heat loss through inhaling cold air, so keep them in temperatures of between 25°C and 27°C.
- Enjoy! Remember to pack your joyous attitude: “What a fabulous adventure to have bub vomit all over the seat on the bus—that’ll be such an entertaining parenting tale to tell!”
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