Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Travel Tips

In response to a question posted on a forum, I have compiled a compact list of tips for traveling with a baby or toddler. Thanks also to my care taker, who had some excellent ideas and initiatives.

1. Get your pediatrician to check your child's ear canals and see if they are open enough to avoid serious screaming from the air pressure in the cabin.
2. Various medications are considered "safe" enough to help open the airways and put the child to sleep, including: Histafed, Acamol, homeopathic remedies, Benadryl, Rescue Remedy
3. The moment the plane takes off and as it is landing, plug your child into you if you are nursing, a bottle or a pacifier. The swallowing action helps to break the plug in the ears.
4. Stock your carry-on with everything you can think of in terms of toys, food, several changes of clothing (for you and the baby) and changing supplies. Once the journey begins, save some tricks for later, when your child is restless or crying.
FAQ: What about snack foods?
Answer: Even if you would normally not allow you child to eat junk food, you will want to keep her in a good mood.
FAQ: How do you feed a baby who has started to eat solids?
Answer: Put on a bib and take extra burp cloths for the mess, but feed the baby on your lap.
FAQ: How is it best to change diapers during the flight?
Answer: If it's just wet, try to change the baby at the seat rather than in the cramped toilets. Try to get the scented diaper bags, so you don't suffer if you cannot throw it out right away.
FAQ: What if they don't have a changing station?
Answer: Sit on the toilet with the baby's head near you; that way if they slip, they will fall feet first.
5. Take a light-weight umbrella stroller for older children, or a combination car seat and Snap and Go stroller for younger babies. This stroller can be taken right to the plane itself, and will handed to you as soon as you get off.
6. Reserve a bassinet seat, which provides extra leg room and play space even if the baby does not sleep in the bassinet itself. Once a child is over 9 kilo or one year old, it is better to get them an actual seat, by the window to make it more interesting.
7. Don't get over concerned with keeping the baby's natural rhythm and schedule, assume that she will not sleep the entire time, and that the routine will be thrown off.
FAQ: Do layovers help?
Answer: The ultimate travel time is longer, but you will be able to stretch your legs and help the baby start to deal with jet lag on a gradual basis.
8. Don't feel the need to apologize to other passengers, your baby will cry. Try to sit with other mothers who are more understanding of the situation.
9. Confirm your bassinet seat and travel information as many times as possible. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the airport with a squirming baby.
10. Finally, expect the worst and it can only get better from there.

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