How to Take Your Baby Around the World Without Losing Your Mind
My husband and I didn't stress out about losing our social lives, sexual lives, or sleep schedules when I was pregnant. Having a baby was our biggest worry when planning trips. Most frequent flyers have heard the same thing while pregnant: "Get your travel done now, because once that baby comes, there's no more flying." worried parents say in the wee hours of the morning
Do not listen to the naysayers; it is possible to have a full and fulfilling life of travel even after having children. While it does necessitate the kind of planning and reconnaissance that would put a CIA agent to shame, so do most things in life after having a baby. Our daughter, who is almost two years old, has already been on more than twenty flights to five countries, visiting both extremely child-friendly (special mention to the kids' club at Round Hill in Jamaica) and less so destinations. well not (You do realize that in Bordeaux you can go on a baby wine tasting, right?) )
When taking a trip with kids, half the battle is just getting there. Things start making sense once you reach your destination. (Until you have to do it all over again on the way back) Here are some tried-and-true tips for taking a trip with a young child without losing your mind:
The most important thing you can do before leaving on a long trip, especially to a foreign country, is to prepare thoroughly. Even a short trip to the park with a baby requires at least 15 minutes of packing and planning. Create a to-do list, double-check it, and then tear it to pieces, because on-the-go parenting is all about adaptability.
It's tempting to bring the kitchen sink, so try to resist the urge. Don’t Determine which items of baby equipment you can live without for the time being, and use a service like Baby's Away to have the rest shipped to you. High chairs, pack-and-plays, toys, and beach tents can all be waiting for you when you arrive at your destination, relieving some of the burden of packing and bringing them along. Rebecca Mall, head of industry, media, and entertainment at Google and mother of 19-month-old twins, says, "It makes packing a million times easier and ensures you'll have everything you need." Also, I'm sure your children can't wait to break in their new toys. The most incredible discovery ”
Plan Your Trip During Your Child's Nap Time Whether you're taking a short flight or a long one, try to plan your trip during your child's nap time. It's best to schedule a red-eye flight for when you'd normally be in bed. It's better for everyone if your baby's sleep routine doesn't get thrown off.
Pre-ship Baby necessities like diapers, wipes, and formula from sites like Amazon or Diapers.com if your trip will last more than a few days. com, and travel-specific baggage shipping services, such as Luggage Free Kim-Marie Evans, mother of four and founder of the site Luxury Travel Mom, says, "You don't want to be in a strange place with weird diapers or not have access to the food your baby loves, but you also don't want to take up precious luggage space with that stuff, either."
Inevitably, something will go wrong when traveling with children, so you should be prepared. Be prepared for any medical emergency with your own stock of medicine, prescriptions, and supplies, whether it's a common cold, high fever, stomach bug, or even just a simple headache. You could waste 20 minutes aimlessly wandering the streets of Copenhagen if you tried to buy Aleve without a prescription. The following is based on a true story. Baby Benadryl, baby Tylenol, a thermometer, and adult ibuprofen are the bare minimum you should bring. For bonus points, parents should take Xanax and Ambien.
Get to the Airport Early, But Not Too Early Getting to the airport early reduces anxiety and gives children who are walking the opportunity to burn off some energy before boarding the plane. However, keeping kids occupied during a long layover at the airport is a challenge, and can lead to frustration and even tantrums. It's usually best to arrive about half an hour earlier than you would if you were traveling without kids.
If you'll be doing a lot of hiking in New Zealand or walking over miles of cobblestones in Europe, a lightweight umbrella stroller might not be the best option. Keep in mind that most airlines will let you check a stroller and car seat for free if they exceed the standard baggage allowance.
If the terrain will not necessitate the use of your bulky everyday stroller, leave it at home and check a lightweight umbrella stroller at the airport. Some parents swear by the Babyzen Yoyo (which can be folded and stored in an airplane's overhead bin), while others prefer the ultralight UPPABaby G-Lite. Personally, I like the Summer Infant 3D Lite because it reclines for naps on the go.
Unless your child is under two years old and can ride in your lap for free, you should purchase a seat for them on a long-distance flight. When your child has his or her own seat in the plane, everyone relaxes and everyone gets some sleep. (And despite what your fellow passengers in coach or economy may be thinking based on their evil eyes, children are welcome in first and business class. )
If you're flying with a domestic airline and your child is under two years old, you can bring a car seat on board for free if there is an available seat, even if you haven't pre-purchased a seat. (On rarer occasions, we've even lucked out on international flights.) Make sure the flight isn't full when you check in; if it isn't, you can take the car seat with you through security and onto the plane. When the flight you're taking unexpectedly fills up, you can gate-check your car seat in a JL Childress car seat bag. The Cosco Scenera Next, at 10 pounds, and the Graco ComfortSport, at 12 pounds, are two of the most popular convertible car seats on the market today, and both are ideal for travel.
Plan Ahead If your baby weighs less than 20 pounds, reserve a bulkhead seat so you can use the bassinet that attaches to the wall (and, of course, so you can stretch out more comfortably). If you can't get a bulkhead seat, choose an aisle and window seat toward the rear of the plane. This is the very last row to be filled, and if there's a stranger between you and your seatmate, they'll likely switch seats with you. More and more airlines are setting aside the last two rows of the plane for families, so if you're traveling with young children, it's important to get to the airport early so you can claim your seats at the gate.
Wear for Baby Carriers for infants can save the day when you're on the go. Besides the obvious benefit of being able to use both hands for things like strollers, carry-ons, and boarding passes as you go through security checkpoints, baby carriers are also useful for sightseeing at museums, beaches, and other locations where traditional strollers are either impractical or prohibited. In addition, they make breastfeeding in public a possibility, which is especially useful during takeoff and landing.
Plus, if you have your baby on your chest, he or she won't be kicking the seat in front of you or running down the aisles.
Think about the worst flight you've ever been on: the one where your plane was delayed and you had to wait for several hungry, grumpy, miserable hours in the terminal or on the tarmac. Try to picture that happening to a newborn. Prepare for the worst, even if you're only flying a short distance: bring an iPad loaded with kid-friendly content, a change of clothes for you and the baby, and enough diapers, formula, and wipes to last the duration of the flight. sufficient food, drink, and snacks (if you're not breastfeeding or your child is older) for the next twenty-four CEO and Creative Director of Alice and Olivia and mother of three Stacey Bendet recommends: "iPads are an airplane mom's best friend, I'm not opposed to travel bribes and keep an emergency Starburst stash, and I always have at least two outfit changes for everyone in case of spills and ills." ”
Spending the extra money on VIP services at the airport, such as curbside check-in, fast-track security lines, and early boarding, will make your trip that much more relaxing and stress-free. American Airlines' Five Star Service, which begins at $250 per adult, has the endorsement of philanthropist and mother of two Allison Weiss Brady. She describes how the airline staff will meet you at the curb, speed you through security, and transport you to the gate where they will personally usher you onto the plane. It's not just American Airlines that provides a VIP program; both Delta and United do as well.
Travelers are advised to arrive at the airport an excruciating three hours in advance this summer due to the expected lengthiness of airport security lines due to TSA understaffing. With TSA PreCheck, you can avoid the lines. TSA PreCheck, which grants you expedited screening, shorter lines, and the option to keep your shoes on during security checks for five years, costs one-time. Costing one hundred dollars, Global Entry expedites customs clearance upon reentry to the United States and enrolls travelers in the expedited security screening program TSA PreCheck.
It's easier to care for a baby while on the road and maintain some semblance of normalcy in the kitchen by staying in an apartment through a service like VRBO, Airbnb, or Home Away. In some locations, like the City of Lights' Paris, there are specialized high-end vacation rental websites.
You could save money by booking a stay at a Hampton Inn instead of the Four Seasons, but why not treat your family to something a little more special? Founder of Triple Passport and parent of 13-month-old son Henrik, Kathleen Porter Kristiansen says, "This year we have done our most luxurious travel ever." "Luxury travel with children is entirely feasible; he has taken 19 flights to eight different countries. The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, Rosewood Collection, and St. Regis all have special children's programs. There are a wide variety of kid-friendly activities, playgrounds, and even babysitting services available at Regis.
If you haven't already shipped a crib, call the hotel ahead of time and ask for one; just make sure to bring your baby's own bedding and favorite toys. It'll be easier for them to fall asleep in a strange place if they can surround themselves with comforting aromas from home. In addition to securing a quieter room away from the elevators and with a tub, letting the hotel know you're traveling with children increases your chances of getting those amenities.
If your red-eye flight arrives at your destination early in the morning, you may want to consider booking an extra night at your hotel. According to Brady, the best time to reserve a hotel is the night before. She recommends arriving early so you can check in to your room, nap with the kids, and be ready to explore the area in the afternoon.
It is best to book a suite or a room with a living room or two connecting rooms so that your baby can sleep in the other room without seeing you while you are away. If you don't have access to a suite, think outside the box about where you can put the crib so you're not staring at your infant at 6 a.m. m
Remember that the time in your own time zone is 8:00 p m it may be 6:00 p.m. where you're going, but to your kid it's only 3:00 p.m. m What to do It may be helpful to keep them on a schedule that is as close to your original time zone as possible. When you travel to Europe, you may find yourself adjusting to a new time zone where it's normal for children to go to bed at midnight and wake up at noon. This may cause some bewilderment among onlookers if you're seen out and about with your kids at m but it may be less of a hassle for you and the kids
But if you're going to be away for more than a week, babies are surprisingly adaptable; just give it three days if you can't stay on your own time zone. Not at all Your baby will adjust to the new routine after three days of grumpiness and nighttime wakings.
My husband and I are schedule enthusiasts, so the first time we had to take our baby out of the house for a nap, we were terrified. It turns out that children (at a young age, at least) can be molded in surprising ways. You can enjoy museums or lunch in peace while they nap with some white noise on the iPhone, a swaddle or blanket over the stroller to block out light, and a long walk around town.
If you're uncomfortable leaving your kids with a stranger, most upscale hotels can put you in touch with reputable babysitting agencies in the area who can provide a vetted babysitter. It may sound strange to have a stranger stay in your hotel room with your children, but this is a common request. However, some agencies do not permit hotel sitters to bathe children or perform other tasks. To help children who are experiencing separation or stranger anxiety, try scheduling a late dinner and having the sitter arrive while they are sleeping.
Just because you're taking the kids on vacation doesn't mean every meal has to be eaten in front of the TV with paper plates. Book a table at the restaurant you've been dying to try for the moment they open on nights when you don't have a babysitter. Of course, there will be times when 5:00 p m dinners, but without the need for an awkward glance from the other diners or a hasty exit if the kids start acting up, so you can still try out that hip new restaurant without hiring a babysitter.
While the new and improved iPad can be a lifesaver for kids as young as a year old, it is largely useless for infants, though it can be a lifesaver for you when your baby inevitably falls asleep in a position that makes no sense. no moving It's surprising how easily babies can be distracted by commonplace objects like keys, tissues, and even tape. For entertainment on long flights, restaurant owner and mother of three Marissa Hermer says she packs a few small zippered bags with unwrappable toys. Any small, exciting, and novel experience along the way makes the time go by quickly. ”
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