Preparing your first trip abroad with your baby
Just popping to the local shop, or doing the school run with a baby in tow can be challenging, so planning your first trip abroad with a baby onboard might sound overwhelming. However, these four easy tips will help you plan a hassle-free
Choose your destination wisely – keep baby dangers in mind
Tempting as it may be to head to tropical climes for a much-needed break, travel vaccinations against tropical diseases, such as typhoid, cholera and yellow fever aren’t suitable for children under two, as their immune systems are too immature. With this in mind you may want to stay on the beaten track, and opt to travel to destinations where you have easy access to health care should you need it. If you are set on being more adventurous with baby, however, protection against mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever is vital: to avoid mosquito bites, cover baby up with long sleeves and a hat and use repellents specially made for babies. Also be sure to use nets over prams and beds at night.
Keep baby happy and healthy during the flight
Pressure changes in the cabin can cause discomfort to your baby. Giving your child a bottle or pacifier to suck on, especially during the take-off and landing, can help relieve the pain. You can also make it easier for your baby to sleep by using cotton balls or small earplugs to decrease the decibel level.
Keep baby well protected thanks to the right seat
If you are traveling by plane, booking your baby their own seat and using your car seat to put them is one way to make sure they are in the correct position. Just remember that for airplane travel, it should feature a 5 point harness to be accepted, as well as being marked as “certified for use in aircraft”. Also confirm in advance with the airline that their economy seats can accommodate your car seat, as a lot of them are narrower than baby pods. Ask for the kind of car seat which are allowed, as some companies only accept forward facing seat cars, while others will require rear facing ones. At last, you should know that while most European airline companies will provide you with infant belts, this is not the case for American companies, so make sure to have one with you.
Choose the right carry option to keep baby safe
Now you’ve sent on the luggage and the pram, how do you travel with baby? One of the most practical and hassle-free options is to use a baby sling: they're comfortable and don’t take up any space. Both your hands will be free so you can travel with ease, and baby will be close to you.
Hand-held carrycots are also practical for babies when on the move, and they double up as beds too. Most carrycots come with a shade for the head, and a built-in net screen - offering protection not only against the sun and bugs, but also against glaring ceiling lights - such as in airports - which tend to bother babies.
If you are unsure, or have any medical questions related to your baby and travel, contact your local GP.