First of all, if you are not parents so far...congratulations! Use this as an opportunity to travel as much as you can. Once the baby comes you can kiss your pub crawls and late night escapades goodbye. Of course you can always get a baby sitter but your mind will never be at rest again :).
Ever since my trip with little Iy, I've been inundated with messages to do a post on travelling with the baby, do and don'ts and how to pack for them. So, here I am, sharing whatever little wisdom I have on holidaying with baby.
Disclaimer: K and I are not obsessive parents and while we may have to give in to the occasional elderly advice and "norms" of raising a baby, we choose to experiment, make our own mistakes and follow our parental instincts.
Ours was an ambitious plan, almost 4 weeks in altogether new countries and a new city almost every 3rd day. We had booked all modes of transport from flights to cruises to trains to buses and apart from a short distance flight in India almost everything was a first for little Iy. But, we thought to ourselves...what the heck...if she is anything like us, she's going to enjoy all this and thankfully she did! She loved eating new foods, being out and about the whole day and generally finding comfort in the unfamiliar. I think the biggest learning for K & I in the trip was that we have to stop babying the baby and let her be.
Here's what you need to pack in your baby bag for that long flight and the full day walk abouts. (P. S.: Iy was 9 month old then. You may have to tweak the contents according to your little one's age and preferences.)
We carry a simpler version of this when we are going out to dinner etc with Iy in India.
- Munchies like cookies and puffed rice (I pack some whole wheat cookies especially baked for Iy by a baker friend)
- Fruits like bananas and peaches
- Formula or expressed milk. Carry atleast 2 bottles and enough formula for 3 times. I found nursing her easier so didn't carry any bottles.
- Changing mat, non-alcoholic wipes, diaper, diaper cream, diaper disposal bags and hand sanitizer
- Warm Jacket if you're travelling to some place cold
- Mosquito patches, sunscreen lotion (very important if you're spending any time outdoors) and socks (if it gets cold)
- Feeding cover (I breast fed Iy all through the flights and travel. I nursed her in parks, at monuments, in restaurants and in trains). I think that's one good thing about Europe. No one stares so you don't have to worry about formula and expressing milk-not that I care :).
- Medicines (cough, fever, stomach ache, ear ache etc). Your paed will share a list of travel medication with you.
- You may want to bring a change of clothing too...especially if it's an overnight flight. Babies sleep better in their PJs.
I know all of the above sounds like a lot of stuff but we lugged it around all through our travel and it wasn't actually a lot. The entire thing weighed less than a kg and packed nicely in an extra small backpack.
If you run out of food while on the move, don't panic. Pick up fresh fruits, smoothies or even energy bars of any super markets, airports and flights. We moved her to tap water and fed her grown up food when I was too tired to nurse or she needed a change in taste.
Check out some pics of how Iy coped with all the travel!
Please write in for specific queries. I will be back soon with some more wisdom on travelling with the baby.