Wednesday, 1 June 2011

tips to follow when you travel with a BABY

Travelling internationally or making a long trip with a baby may seem formidable at first. But, with the right planning and by following some tips, the trip can be enjoyable with many cherished memories.
  • Tickets for that bundle of joy

    Based on the airline, babies are charged a portion of the adult fares. If the airline does not require you to purchase tickets or reserve a seat for the baby, make sure you register the child’s name at the gate.
  • Pack Early

    It is always unpredictable what emergency baby needs you will need to attend at the time of departure. Ensure you have packed early. Address all tangible tasks earlier so that you have room to address those surprises!
  • Divide and Conquer

    Don’t put all baby accessories in a single container or a bag. Pack some backup diapers, clothes and food in other bags and containers as well. I lost my diaper bag at one of the transit points and had to suffer through the rest of the journey with borrowed diapers and food. It was the worst journey ever. Also, leave photocopies of important documents like passport, visa etc in some of the inflight luggage.
  • Leave Early

    Everything from parking to check-in takes longer when you have a baby with you. Some airlines will allow you to board earlier if you are travelling with an infant or a child. But, that’s all the consideration you get. In all other places, you have to wait for your turn just like everybody else. It is hard to sprint through a crowded airport terminal with a baby, diaper bag and stroller in tow.Security clearance will take longer as you have to unload, load, collapse and put together the stroller and other baby accessories. You will have to take detours to find elevators and other baby friendly places. Leave extra, extra early!
  • Check-In

    Keep a clear head, this leg of the journey is very important. Make sure all the boarding passes are for the right destinations.Secure all your documents – the boarding passes, passports and immigration papers after the check in process is complete. If you haven’t reserved a bassinet, request the flight attendant to block the seat next to you. Confirm once again that the right meal options have been ordered for you and the baby. If you are carrying an in-flight luggage that is not necessary for your trip, request if that bag can be checked-in instead. Remember, you have to ask for the services you need to save you some distress during the journey.
  • Airplane Bassinets

    Some airplanes allow you to pre-book a bassinet or a sky-cot for the baby. Make sure you ask about this when you reserve your seats. Other airlines provide it on a first come first serve basis. Bassinets not only provide a bedding for the baby, but since bassinets are attached to the front row seats, you also get some additional leg room!
  • Safety

    If you have purchased an extra seat for the baby, he has to be seated in an approved car seat.If the child will be seated on your lap, make sure you comply with the airline regulations on securing him with a lap or belly belt. Sucking a pacifier, bottle or a breast helps with any pain or discomfort in baby’s ears due to pressure during take off.
  • Ask for Help

    Make the most pitiful harried parent expression and ask for help! It will help you to jump queues and save the child some irritation.
  • Meals on Board

    Take your own baby food, bowls and utensils, self sufficiency is very important and it is reassuring for your baby to eat familiar foods. But, also ask the flight attendant what baby food options are available on the flight, you might make some fun discoveries as the food originates from a different geographic location. If you are nursing, buy discrete nursing clothes. You can also make your own private screen by pinning the airplane blanket on your seat and the one parallel to you. Diaper pins come in handy for this.
  • Entertainment

    Lower your restrictions on TV watching time, you and your child need to get as much relief as you can from the children’s video channels and games. If the airline does not provide for these, take a portable DVD player with your child’s favorite selections.Get the toys out one at a time, to get maximum use from them and avoid clutter.
  • Hygeine

    Purchase nappy or diaper bags that come with a odor neutralizer. This can be used for throw-ups or to stock smelly clothes. Airplane bathrooms are small and not very hygienic, just take enough supplies that is necessary for one nappy change. Use a lightweight plastic change mat that can be disinfected.
  • Overnight Shipping

    If you plan to be at your destination longer than a few days, ship as much as you can to your hotel instead of lugging it through the airport. Being around familiar clothing and toys will make it more comfortable for the baby.
  • Kitchen Appliances

    When you reserve a hotel room, ask if they have a microwave or a coffeemaker. You can warm baby food or water in a coffeemaker. Just remove the filter portion, let the heated water run through into the pot, and immerse the baby food jar or baby formula in the water. Mix the food to even out the hot patches.


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