Make trav­el­ling a breeze Hol­i­day travel tips with baby

Ba­bies and chil­dren in general are not good trav­ellers. Nia Vis­agie says the trick to mak­ing sure that you have a safe and pleas­ant trip this hol­i­day is to be well pre­pared

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

A CHILD WHO screams un­con­trol­lably at the back of a car while you are trav­el­ling can make you wish that you had rather stayed home. Hope­fully, with a bit of plan­ning, this won’t hap­pen to you, and your fam­ily ends up hav­ing a pleas­ant trip filled with many happy mem­o­ries. This is how you can make the ideal real:

WITH BABY If you are not trav­el­ling too far, keep your baby’s nor­mal sleep­ing pat­terns in mind. Try to leave be­fore she be­comes tired. With a bit of luck she will sleep soundly un­til you ar­rive. This way she will wake up in a good mood to ab­sorb her new sur­round­ings.

If your trip is go­ing to be longer, make the time to stop at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals and take a break. Sched­ule your breaks to co­in­cide with the time your baby would nor­mally eat. Take her out of her car seat to stretch her lit­tle body.

If you are fly­ing, make sure that your baby is feed­ing or suck­ing dur­ing take-off and land­ing. Hide the bot­tle or dummy so that she is ea­ger to drink or suck when the time is right. This will help her ears cope with the change in pres­sure.

Newborns are al­lowed to fly, but think about whether you are up to the chal­lenge. You may still be strug­gling with breast­feed­ing. Bear in mind that your baby will only get their first vac­ci­na­tion by the age of six weeks, mak­ing her prone to the germs crawl­ing around at air­ports and inside air­crafts.

THE TRIP Make a long trip bear­able by mak­ing sure your child is en­ter­tained. Draw­ing boards that can wipe clean, draw­ing paper and crayons, books and baby travel toys will do the trick.

Pack a CD with songs or sto­ries that you can lis­ten to in the car. A tablet with her favourite movies will help to pass time. With older chil­dren you can play games like count­ing how many green cars you see or ask­ing them which let­ters or num­bers they recog­nise on num­ber plates at the backs of trucks and cars.

You can also talk about all the fun things you are go­ing to do dur­ing the hol­i­day or sing songs.

Never take your baby out of her car seat. This is too dan­ger­ous. Rather stop at a safe place if she be­comes rest­less. Do not be in a rush to reach your des­ti­na­tion.

Make sure that your baby has enough flu­ids to drink be­cause cars can get very hot. Wa­ter should be your first op­tion. If she drinks more flu­ids you will have to stop more fre­quently to change her nappy or stop for older chil­dren to go to the bath­room.

If your child drinks for­mula, mea­sure the amount you need and keep it in a con­tainer. Keep cooled down, boiled wa­ter and clean bot­tles at hand to quickly make a bot­tle when needed.

Let the adults take turns to drive. The driver must be fo­cused on the road at all times. The per­son who is not driv­ing should take care of the chil­dren. Teach the chil­dren not to di­vert the driver’s at­ten­tion.

FOR YOUR OWN PEACE OF MIND

• Have the ve­hi­cle checked and ser­viced prop­erly and do not try to save money by skimp­ing on a proper ser­vice. Make sure that your tyres are checked and road­wor­thy. Check that your spare wheel is in good con­di­tion. Test your brakes and shock ab­sorbers and re­place them if need to. This could save your lives.

• When us­ing a trailer, make sure that it is checked and road­wor­thy.

• Join the Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (AA) or make sure you know what your in­surance provider of­fers in terms of road­side as­sis­tance. Fa­mil­iarise your­self with their poli­cies and how it will af­fect you out­side your home town. Save the nec­es­sary num­bers in your cell­phone and keep your mem­ber­ship card in the car. In case of an emer­gency this will come in handy. • Weigh your chil­dren to make sure that they are trav­el­ling in the cor­rect car seat re­quired for their age group. Make sure that the car seat is fit­ted prop­erly. Other trav­ellers should wear their seat­belts at all times. Re­mem­ber that this is a re­quire­ment by law.

• In­vest in sun shades for the win­dows so the sun does not shine di­rectly on your baby. Too much sun can make them sick.

• First aid kits should be kept in the car. Re­mem­ber to pack med­i­ca­tion for mo­tion sick­ness. Ba­bies and young chil­dren are prone to get­ting car sick­ness while trav­el­ling. Speak to your phar­ma­cist about the cor­rect dosages for your chil­dren.

• Wip­ing cloths and a towel in the car will come in handy for wip­ing up spills. Also keep a plas­tic bag nearby to throw away rub­bish.

• Buy new toys to keep your baby oc­cu­pied dur­ing the trip. Also pack in a few of her favourite toys. Speak to older chil­dren to find out which toys they want to take on the trip.

• Charge your elec­tronic de­vices. Make sure that your cell phones and other de­vices are fully charged. In­vest in a charg­ing bank for peace of mind.

• Carry cash and make sure that you have enough money to pay at toll gates.

• Plan your route ahead of time. Ba­bies can­not travel in a car for more than six hours. If your trip is go­ing to be longer, con­sider sleep­ing over.

• It is ad­vised to stop ev­ery 200km to take a break. Do this! Take the safest route by plan­ning ahead.

• Do not pack sticky treats and juice if you can­not han­dle a mess. YB

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