You may feel very anxious before you go travelling with a baby for the first time. This is natural as your baby is obviously the most precious thing in your life. However, once you get going and provided you follow these travel tips, you will wonder what on earth all the fuss was about.
This post is a guest post by the Sainsbury’s Finance Blog team. Please see full disclosure at the end of this post.
Travelling even a short distance in a car with a baby can involve juggling a whole load of equipment, and a certain amount of hoping for the best. A long journey brings the added challenge of having to feed your baby on the way – so hereâ€™s some advice to help.
To help keep the whole experience as stress-free as possible for baby (and therefore everyone else), stick as closely as possible to their usual routine. Your baby might not be able to tell the time yet, but they have a very reliable internal clock, and having their expectations met on time helps to keep everyone calm and relaxed.
How to feed your baby
There are several options for feeding your baby during a car journey.
- Breastfeeding: This is the easiest option as you wonâ€™t need to pack any special equipment or worry about getting the temperature right. You canâ€™t do it on the move, however, as it would mean taking the baby out of their car seat – which is both unsafe and illegal.
Should the idea of breastfeeding your baby in a succession of unknown public venues make you uncomfortable, plan ahead. Make sure you are wearing easily accessible clothes and offer milk to your baby whenever you stop even if they don’t seem hungry. You’ll need to plan stops every couple of hours to feed and/or change nappies.
If you think you might need to feed between stops, or you prefer to express when out or about, you can bottle expressed milk and store it for up to 24 hours in a cooler bag with ice. To warm it up, you could either take a flask of hot water and a bowl, or ask service station staff to heat it for you. If you do the latter, always check that the temperature is right for your baby before attempting to feed them.
- Formula feeding: An easy travel option is to purchase travel packs of ready-made formula at the chemist.
To prepare powdered formula on the road, fill a flask or two with hot water, pack some sterilised bottles and teats, and prepare small packs of pre-measured powder. Bring extra powder along: service station staff should be only too happy to refill your flask en route.
- Solids: If you want to give your baby a snack to chew on while travelling by car, make sure that an adult is sitting next to them. If this isnâ€™t possible then give them a teething ring instead, or something else that doesnâ€™t involve swallowing, as there is a danger of choking if they are unsupervised. If hunger is getting to them, pull over somewhere safe and allow them time to eat.
If there is someone present to supervise the baby, food such as rice cakes, fingers of cheese, or slices of apple are nutritious and relatively mess-free. For freshly made meals along the way, bring food your baby is happy to eat at room temperature and that are easy to mash, such as banana or avocado. Or you could make up pots of their usual food before setting off, and reheat these when needed.
Author Bio: Kath Morgan writes about a whole host of motoring topics, including family travel, car insurance and safety concerns. An avid traveller, she spent many years living abroad and understands the lure of the open road only too well.
Disclosure: I was offered this post as part of my membership of the Sainsbury’s Finance Family Blogger Network and have not been paid to publish it. As part of my membership, I received a Sainsbury’s gift card but this did not obligate me to publish a post. I have chosen to host this guest post as I feel it gives useful information.
|(c) MilkChic. All rights reserved.|
- There is no such thing as travelling light with a toddler, especially if finances mean you are travelling out of season so the weather is uncertain. My giant suitcase was packed full for the first time in it’s history.
- Save packing space on nappies & wipes and buy locally. If you’re travelling in Europe, look for a Lidl nearby.
- Take some simple snacks with you. While you can obviously buy food locally, finding healthy options in an unfamiliar environment can be stressful at first. Trying to persuade a toddler back to a relatively healthy diet after being indulged with icecream for a week is not for the faint-hearted.
- Cheap buggies really are just as good as the posher models for short term use. We got an old Mothercare umbrella buggy from Freecycle for the week, intending to leave it there but small one became so attached we brought it home. The only things we missed were a more generous recline and the raincover.
- Toddlers do not connect the fact they are cold and miserable with the freezing water in the swimming pool. If you want to get them out before hypothermia sets in, make sure you have a strong distraction strategy.
- Air travel doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Having said that, ours was only a 4hr flight and I’m not sure I’d like a longer one… Aisle seats are better than window as you can get out and walk around easily. Take something chewable to prevent ears hurting on take-off and landing. If like me, you’re anti-sweets for little ones, we found chewy sundried fruit worked well. Breastfeeding can also help.
- We took a few toys and books. We barely used anything except paper & pencils during the week, but found them useful on the flight. If you’re lucky you’ll be sat near other families with kids, who were far more amusing than any toy, as far as the small one was concerned.
- Remember that you can’t take liquids through to airside. If you will need water for the flight, take an empty cup through and ask a restaurant or similar to fill it up with tap water for you.
|(c) MilkChic. All rights reserved.|
I would love to know what works for you when travelling.