Thinking of finding a baby friendly vacation? The good news: just because your family is young is no reason to stop traveling!
Planning a Baby Friendly Vacation
Having a little one is no excuse to give up on the delights of travel – go on a baby-friendly vacation with your little one and enjoy memorable experiences that will strengthen the bond that you have with your family.
The world is a big place and there is no reason for all of you to not be able to enjoy it. New experiences are great for babies. Their minds are very active, and there is no end to their curiosity. Allowing them to see the world will help them socialize and benefit them in terms of their intellectual and emotional development.
Travel is also a good break from the daily routine for parents, and it gives the whole family a chance to bond and share new experiences.
A vacation with your little one does require some advance planning, however. Let us guide you with these travel tips for the best baby friendly vacation:
1. Location, Location, Location
Choose your baby friendly vacation location well. The truth is that you can travel anywhere – after all, there are babies everywhere in the world! However, your own child may find it hard to adjust to the climate or diet in an exotic locale. It’s best to stick to developed countries or large cities where you will be within reach of good medical facilities and supplies. You may want to leave travel to third world countries for later, when your child will be more resilient health-wise. By then, he’ll also be able to remember all the fantastic places that he’s been and will be able to appreciate the experience more fully.
2. Be Sure to Choose Family Friendly Options
A cruise, beach vacations, family resorts, family camps and such are recommended. It’s best not to go to theme parks until you’re child is a bit older – maybe at around four or five years old. Choose hotels and resorts that have provisions for child-monitoring, kiddie clubs, and facilities especially for young ones. See to it that you’ll have access to a stroller, baby monitor, or high chair in your accommodations. Depending on how you plan to feed and bathe your child, you may also need a bit of hot water in your room from time to time.
3. Bring Along Anything you (or your baby) Can’t Live Without
Sometimes, children can be a bit moody or picky. Bring what you think you’ll need to comfort your baby on the road, such as his favourite blanked or stuffed animal. These familiar objects will help him adjust and keep him from feeling “lost.” Remember to bring along your accustomed brand of diapers, toiletries, formula, and baby cereal. You may not be able to buy what you need on the road. Pack wisely and bring the essentials, but don’t be paranoid either.
4. Work in Some Down Time – Both for You and Baby
Children love excitement, but it can also wear them down. Try to give your child periods of rest and quiet so that he doesn’t become exhausted and cranky. Overstimulation is a real possibility, so don’t forget to spend some quiet, relaxing time with your child in the hotel room. Listen to his favourite soft music, read him a story from a well-loved book, or give him a good cuddle. Planning long flights or road trips around your baby’s naptime is also a good idea.
5. Stay Flexible on your Baby Vacation
While you’ll still need to feed, bathe, and put your child down for naps while you’re travelling, remember that you are not at home and neither is your baby. You might want to relax the rules or your timetable a little bit. You will be doing yourself and your baby a favour if you do.Try to plan for an easier travelling experience by going to the airport early or booking transportation ahead of time. However, if your child misses his 2 o’clock nap or if you can’t find the time to give him his bowl of baby cereal for breakfast while you’re in transit, don’t stress about it.
6. Make Sure your Documents (and Babies) are in Order
These days, everyone needs their travelling documents – even your baby. Do check ahead to see whether you baby will need a passport. Make sure that you’ve got your own paperwork in order as well. Sometimes, you may need a birth certificate or a health certificate for your little one. Prepare these and have a copy or two on hand as well. Yes I do know of families that were turned away at the airport because they did not have proper travel documents for their newborn.
7. Keep in Mind it will Take Your Baby a Few Days to Adjust
Bring along a favourite blanket or toy. Set a routine, eat familiar food and help them feel “at home”. Try not to overdo it the especially the first few days to give them a time to settle in and relax with the newness of everything. Refer to the information above on overstimulation – you’re not running a marathon or trying to accomplish a set of tasks on a To-Do list. It’s a vacation, so try to savour the moments you have with your family in a place where you can “get away from it all.” If your baby feels that he is in a laid-back, secure, and pleasant environment, he’ll adjust well.
8. Travel in Off-Peak Times
If you are able, especially if there are no older children to pull out of school, travel during off peak times. The busy season for travel is always when kids are out of school – Christmas break, Spring Break, and the Summer holidays. You will find the prices usually lower for a baby friendly vacation during off peak periods and there are less crowds to contend with so it is easier for you and baby to get around.
9. Enjoy Your Vacation and Your Baby Will Too!
This is the number one rule. Be attentive and alert, and welcoming to all the beautiful new experiences coming your way. If you have a positive attitude and are genuinely enjoying yourself, then your baby will take a cue from you and be happy as well.
A baby-friendly vacation can be one of the most joyful occasions for yourself and the rest of your family. After all, it’s often who you’re with and not where you go that makes a holiday really special.
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