The secret of successful travelling with children is careful planning. Young children are surprisingly adaptable so providing you take the essentials, such as food, nappies and a favourite toy or two, your child should be quite happy.
Vital Baby gave us a few handy tips for successful travelling:
- Prepare a survival kit for the journey before you set off and keep it where it is easily accessible.
- The kit should include spare nappies, a change of clothes, baby wipes, changing equipment and a mat or towel.
- If you are bottle feeding or giving solids, you will also need to include some feeds plus some feeding equipment.
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- Try to make the journey as relaxed as possible by checking the route before you set out and allow extra time to get there.
- If you are going on a long journey, consider travelling at night.
- If you are going by other transport, find out what facilities are available for babies and older children before you set off. For example, car seats and restraints
- From birth, your child should travel in an approved safety restraint suitable for his age and weight.
- Restraints must be fixed and used properly to obtain maximum protection for your child in the event of an accident.
Keeping the children amused:
- A good selection of toys, especially for an older baby, is essential to keep him amused on the journey.
- Choose toys that have been specially designed for use in the car or ones that have suction pads that will stick on the window or the back of the front seat.
- Story tapes are also a good idea, especially for long journeys.
Journeys by public transport:
- You will need to be selective about what you take with you, as you will probably have luggage as well as your baby.
- Your survival kit should be packed into an easy to carry holdall.
- If possible, take a lightweight, folding pushchair.
- Put your baby in a baby carrier, either strapped on your front if he is still very young, or on your back if he is old enough to sit up on his own.
- When booking a seat on a train, coach or plane, always mention the fact that you are travelling with a young child and ask for the most convenient seating accommodation available.
- Some airlines have sky cots and others will allow you to take a buggy onto the plane as hand luggage.
- Whichever method of transport you use, always shield your child from the sun and make sure that any exposed skin is protected by a high-factor sunscreen.
- Keep your baby as comfortable as possible by putting him in clothes that are loose and easy to change.
- A number of layers of fairly thin clothing are best, as this will allow you to add or take away a layer depending on the temperature.
- Cars can get very hot in the summer, with the temperature creeping up considerably, so keep a constant check on your child while travelling.
- Take plenty of water with you on hot days.