You would like to travel with your baby for your holidays, but it seems complicated to you… Is he old enough to travel? What to bring? Where should you go? How to get there ? Traveling with a baby cannot be improvised, but with organization it is quite possible to have an excellent family vacation.
The different means of transport
Traveling by car with baby
If you want to travel by car with your baby, it is essential to choose the car seat adapted to its size and weight to guarantee its safety.
For children under two years old and particularly newborns, it is advisable to opt for a shell seat or a cozy, positioning rearward facing. If the journey is long, it is best not to leave the baby for more than two hours in his car seat. Take several breaks so he can stretch.
Also, if you plan to travel a long distance, prefer a departure after lunch. Indeed, your baby generally falls asleep after his meal, which gives you time to move around quietly during his nap. The sun visor is essential during a day trip. Otherwise, leaving at night when your baby is going to bed is an interesting option knowing that he should be sleeping for a long time. Riding at night has other advantages if you go in the summer, including no traffic jams and much cooler temperatures.
As for breaks, choose quiet places to feed your child, especially if you go there. Otherwise, prepare bottles in advance that you warm with a bottle warmer. You can always prepare a bottle at the gas station, you will probably find a microwave there.
If your baby isn’t in the mood to sleep, prepare something to occupy him during the journey: toys or pictures hanging on the back of the seat, for example.
Taking the train with your baby
If you have planned a train trip with your baby, you do not have to reserve a seat for him. Indeed, until the age of 4, it is quite possible to install it on your lap. If you want to reserve a place for him, which is more comfortable, it will cost you 9 euros. Do not forget to bring your baby carrier or car seat in order to install your baby safely.
Generally, family squares and family spaces are at your disposal for more comfort. They have a nursery area with changing table and bottle warmer as well as a play area. Some types of train do not have this kind of space, however you can reserve your seats in a square for more space and comfort.
If you do not have a bottle warmer, call the train staff who will heat the bottle in the bar car. Finally, it is possible to travel at night with your baby, a berth can be reserved for him next to yours.
Flying with a baby
You can travel by plane with a baby, they must be at least a week old, even if waiting for their vaccines is preferable. As with train travel, your child can travel on your lap until the age of two. If he is over two years old, you must reserve a seat for him.
Cribs are provided by most airlines so that your little one can lie down during his trip. However, you have the possibility of transporting your car seat to install it on a seat.
If the trip is long enough, prefer night flights so that the baby can sleep for a few hours in a row. Plan all the same to occupy it, such as toys or books. For his meals, you are allowed to take his milk or his small pots. The company can also provide it to you.
Plan ahead by bringing medicine for your toddler as well as a small blanket and hat, as babies are sensitive to air conditioning. For a little freshen up, changing tables are available on planes, don’t forget the change kit.
During the flight, your baby may have ear pain due to the change in altitude. A decompression of the eardrums is caused, particularly at the time of takeoff and landing. Thus, your child may feel pain similar to that of an ear infection and sucking is a way to soothe it. So give him a bottle, his pacifier or your breast, as this will help balance the pressure in his ears. If he has a cold, clean his nose with a saline solution before takeoff or landing.
What to consider before traveling with a baby
Where to travel with a baby?
Your baby is sensitive to changes in the weather, so avoid places that are too hot, too humid, or too cold. Likewise for excessive time differences, they should be avoided so that your little one is not too confused.
Destinations in the mountains are pleasant, where you can breathe fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature. However, it is necessary to evaluate certain parameters such as altitude. Indeed, it is not recommended to exceed 1500 meters in altitude with a baby under one year old, as this increases blood pressure. Also consider barotraumatic otitis which can occur with a rapid change in altitude and causing severe pain in the baby. Make him suckle (bottle, pacifier, breast) during the ascent and descent and take lots of breaks. It is not because you are traveling in the mountains that the sun is less present. On the contrary, UV rays are more violent and the air is drier. Take a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses with you to protect your little one. It can also be very cold in the mountains depending on when you go. Dress him warmly, without forgetting to protect him from UV rays if the sun is pointing at the tip of his nose.
Going to the sea is possible with a baby. However, the hours of high heat are absolutely to be avoided (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Leave very early in the morning or during the night. If you want to take him to the beach, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and loose clothing are a must. If it’s too hot, moisten his clothes and his hat and find him a place in the shade, under an umbrella, for example.
However, it is strongly advised not to take your little one out when it is too hot. For peaceful nights, it is important to keep your room cool. Open the windows early in the morning or in the evening to create drafts and close the shutters during the day.
If you are traveling abroad with a baby, he/she must have the same identity papers as you. The identity card is sufficient for a trip to Europe, but the passport is compulsory for more distant destinations. Don’t forget his health record.
Only the vaccine against yellow fever is compulsory for traveling to about twenty countries. This vaccine can be performed from 6 months. Other vaccines are not compulsory, but strongly recommended for traveling:
- Typhoid fever
- Hepatitis A
- Meningococcal meningitis
- encephalitis Tick-borne encephalitis
It is not always easy to get your child to sleep comfortably while traveling. Depending on where you are going, you may or may not have beds available. You can opt for the umbrella bed when traveling. It is a good extra bed, stable and comfortable, but quite bulky. Some types of travel cots are much better suited for travel, as they are lighter and easily transportable. The nomadic bassinet is very suitable up to around 9 months. Light and easily transportable, you can move it wherever you want.
The choice of accommodation
Prefer apartments, houses or hotels, you will be more comfortable there. The integrated kitchens will make it easier for you to take your baby’s meals after diversification. Also, you can wash your laundry more easily and therefore travel lighter. Having a separate bedroom is a plus, it will allow you to go about your business while your child is resting.
Essentials for traveling with baby
- Paracetamol, suppositories
- Arnica granules
- Soothing cream
- Physiological serum
- Rehydration solution
- Mosquito net
- A box of infant milk or small jars and desserts according to diversification
- Mineral water
- A breast pump , if you are breastfeeding
- A bottle warmer
The stroller can be very bulky and become embarrassing in addition to suitcases. You can opt for a sling while traveling with your baby. The sling is less hot than a classic baby carrier, it also takes up less space and is quicker to install. It is essential for your travels with your baby.
No need to bother when traveling or on vacation, take only what you need and in mini format. You can also opt for a nomadic changing table, very practical for traveling and being able to change babies anywhere.
- Small bags to put dirty diapers in during travel
- Cotton pads
- Cream for irritated buttocks
- Washing gel for body and hair
- Bath thermometer
- Cotton swabs for babies
- Comb for babies
- Cream moisturizing
If you go there, you may have to breastfeed your baby in public. You often have dedicated spaces near the toilets to change and breastfeed babies in stations or airports. On the other hand, it can be more annoying and especially less hygienic to use the toilets of a train or an airplane to breastfeed your baby.
To breastfeed discreetly, nothing is more practical than breastfeeding clothes. Sweatshirts, dresses, or nursing T-shirts have discreet openings at chest level. Combined with a nursing bra, you can take your breast out in no time and place the baby for feeding discreetly and anywhere.
of clothes Provide a good quantity of change of clothes if you do not have a washing machine on site. Otherwise, take the minimum you can wash.
- Sleeping bag
- A few cardigans or sweaters
- A few beanies
- Several coordinated outfits, but above all practical
Essential to reassure your little one, be sure to take them twice. Bring two comforters and several pacifiers. As you will have understood, traveling with a baby requires good organization. Indeed, you must do your best so that this little piece is not turned upside down by the trip. Be sure to stay in an accommodation equipped for more comfort. In this way, there is no need to load the luggage, just make sure you have the necessary on the move, and this in small format.