Planning Your First Holiday with Your New Baby After nine months of expecting, and all the hustle of labour and the early concerns of new parenthood, it can feel as though it has been decades since you last took a holiday. But, now that your precious bundle of joy has finally arrived, holidays certainly take on different dimensions. If you are planning your first holiday with your new baby, here are a few tips to keep in mind. After all, a little extra planning can go a long way towards ensuring family bliss – even when you are away from home.
Planning Your Holiday Technically, you can take your baby on an aeroplane as soon as you have all been given a clean bill of health from the hospital. But, that does not mean you should rush off to make a booking as soon as that happens. Usually it is a brilliant idea to get into a routine at home first. That includes getting to know your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns. But, when the urge hits to get away for a bit, consider these points.
Where to Go – Before baby came along, you may have gone skiing in the Alps, or sunbathing along the Spanish coast as a matter of routine. And, do not worry, you will get to do that again, but it may not be the best idea to take your baby so far from home while she is still under a year. Consider a smaller, closer venue for your first holiday. That way you will learn all the pitfalls of travelling with children in a space where people speak the same language and you understand how emergency services work. And, it is not just emergencies you will want to consider, you may just need to grab baby panados or formula, and you will feel more comfortable with brands that you already know and trust.
Packing It All – Yes, you will feel like you are packing everything, including the kitchen sink when you head off for your first holiday. Babies, after all, come with plenty of accessories. There are prams, car seats, and carry cots. There are also nappies and a seemingly unlimited supply of clothing changes. Fortunately, those are still quite compact (wait until you travel with your teen). Just about everything you use at home should travel with you on your first holiday, including portable safety gates if your child is crawling. Think of it as a learning curve – you may not need it all, but you will not know what
is essential until you have done it at least once. Just do not forget your child’s comfort items, like her snuggly blanket, or you may never get your baby off to sleep in a new place.
En Route to Your Holiday Getting there is at least half the battle when it comes to travelling with small children. Whether you opt for a short drive on the motorway, a train journey, or even a quick aeroplane trip, there are many things to consider while en route.
Planes – Most airlines are extremely accommodating when you appear with a small child at the desk. They do, of course, have an ulterior motive for this – and that is the comfort of the other passengers on your flight. They do not want to lose their business. Of course, that does not mean you should not take advantage of this. Feel free to let attendants know if there is anything they can do to make your child more comfortable before, during and after your flight. Also, plan to feed your child on takeoff and landing, as this helps with the ear adjustments you already know so well. You may also want to invest in a baby carrier that straps him to the front of your body as this will help while navigating through the airport; it will also free up at least one hand when you need it most.
Trains – Most babies appreciate the rhythmic rolling of most trains, whether it is a local slow coach, or a high speed, city-to-city train. While you will not find attendants nearly as accommodating, you will not need to deal with ear adjustments, storing your baby carrier, or the restricted space of an aeroplane. Just ensure you have everything you need for feeding your baby en route as it may be difficult to prepare it in the dining car.
Automobiles – Most new parents opt to take their car out for their first holiday with their new baby. Indeed, there are a lot of benefits to this, namely the ability to sort whatever your child needs, whenever they need it. Proper car seats are a must for this sort of travel, even if you are only heading off for an hour’s drive. In addition, you will want to plan stops along the way,
especially if you are travelling for longer than an hour. It is unsafe to feed a child in your arms while driving, and the stop provides you with an opportunity to comfort your child en route. Also, while it may seem like your car is too full to use simply the boot for storage, you may need to do just that; do not over pack the back seat where your child is snuggled in her car seat.
Keeping Everyone Happy While on Holiday There are a few extra things you will need to consider once you reach your destination – and that is everyone’s needs and expectations. While your new baby will have a lot more needs than expectations, it is exactly opposite for both new parents on holiday.
The best plan is to keep to baby’s schedule when it comes to feeding and sleeping times so that he remains calm and peaceful. Both parents must remember that both parents have been under extreme stress in the last several months – and that both parents will need some time out. This could be an hour to browse at a bookstore, or two hours to do nothing but stroll along the waterfront. Just remember to allow enough time for this – and plan at least one memorable evening as a new family together. But, above all, remember holidays are meant to be enjoyable; if it is too much of a production, you may want to consider leaving your baby with her grandmother for a few hours and simply enjoying a long dinner alone with your partner. After all, not holidays need to be long, or intense. If you’d like to read more on parenting ideas from Lindam then please visit the Lindam website – www.lindam.com