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Before having children, traveling is something that a lot of couples did passionately. Bike trips to Ladakh, camping in the middle of forests, traveling to random places, and eating from roadside eateries were all adventures that couples enjoyed.
Just like how most things change after a child, the way couples travel changes too. A lot of parents totally skip on their yearly trips or postpone them by a couple of years until the children grow up. Traveling is a great way to bond as a family. The best gift you can give your child is the experience he/she gets when you travel around.
Traveling need not be an expensive affair involving international trips all the time. You can travel to villages around, beaches in your state, or religious places with family. You can travel in your own car, take the train, or board a bus. Wherever you go, however you travel, the mere experience of packing things, seeing new places, and meeting new people will rejuvenate your mind and also make your child more curious about life.
When to avoid traveling with a baby?
While traveling is largely encouraged, here are few cases where postponing traveling may be a good idea.
- The baby has just started solids and is still adjusting to it (6-9 months)
- The baby is sick or is recovering from an illness
- The parents are sick or recovering from illness and don’t have the energy to handle the baby
- You are traveling to a location that is too hot/too cold
Here are some smart tips that will help you enjoy traveling with a little one and create awesome memories.
- Pack light
Imagine having to carry 3-4 large luggage, a pram, a car seat, and a wriggly baby everywhere! Packing light is something that will help you enjoy the trip better. You don’t have to dress up in new clothes multiple times a day. Make use of the hotel laundry and pack only basics like one pair of jeans, a pair of trousers, lightweight kurtas, and t-shirts or dresses. The baby may need extra pieces of clothes in case there are pee and poo accidents. Plan for that. Look for packing videos to see how smartly you can accommodate multiple pieces of clothing in the same bag.
- Plan your baby’s meals right
If the little one is 2+ and is used to eating food from restaurants, then it gets easier. You can order for dal, rice, rotis, and other staples during meal time. For slightly younger children, food may be a problem. This can be solved by carrying a small electric rice cooker and a mix of broken rice and dhal. Most hotels allow you to use such gadgets if it is for the baby.
If not, pre-packed porridge and natural food powders are available easily. All you need to do is mix these with hot water and the food is ready. Carry a couple of these packets. Ask the restaurant for a small portion of sambar, dal, or curd. A well-fed baby is easy to manage when you go out sightseeing. So, ensure the food part is dealt with right.
- Have ready snacks in hand
Changing the baby’s routine by traveling around is also going to change the little one’s food habits. Don’t be shocked if your child keeps demanding food. Carrying snacks in hand is a smart way to prevent having to buy packaged food. You can carry roasted makhanas, roasted nuts and seeds, some fruits, or popcorn in your handbag.
You can also opt for natural packed snacks for kids that are free of chemicals and preservatives. These come in single-serving packs and are easy to carry around.
- Choose the right clothes
If you are traveling between March and June, then definitely pack pure cotton clothes for your little ones. Summers in some part of India may be severe and pure cotton is soft and breathable. Sleeveless frocks, t-shirts, and shorts are good options in terms of baby clothes. We, at NaturesCuddle, offer 100% organic cotton clothes that are comfortable, long-lasting, and super cute. Give these a try.
- Book larger rooms
Another trick to enjoy your trip is to book larger rooms, even if they are a bit more expensive. Kids get very uncomfortable in smaller spaces and this will start reflecting in their mood. Jumping around, pushing and pulling things, and creating a mess will ruin your mood too. When you have a larger room, it is easy to keep the kid entertained. Family rooms with separate living and sleeping quarters are also a great choice. Book hotels and resorts with ample outdoor space. Having a playground or a kids’ play area is an added advantage.
- Avoid multiple layovers
If you are traveling in trains, buses, or flights, avoid choosing routes that have multiple stopovers or layovers. Constantly deboarding and boarding vehicles can disturb the sleep cycle of the little one and make him/her irritated. It is also going to keep you on your feet for long. Choose one long layover instead.
- Take your baby’s medications and hospital file with you
The last thing you need is for the little one to fall sick during the trip. Keep all regular cold, fever, and allergy medications with you in case you need to treat the little one. In case you are required to meet a local doctor, then having the hospital file with you makes things very easy. It will help the new doctor know the past medical history and allergies if any.
- Have things to distract the child
Carry with you toys, books, and other distractions that will help the child pass time. If you are going to fly or travel for more than 3 hours, then the baby will definitely get bored and boredom leads to irritation and crankiness.
- Do not have a loaded itinerary
If you are visiting a new city or a country, it is very natural to want to cover all the must-see places within a short span. Without a baby around, this could be possible too. However, do remember babies are gentle beings. They cannot handle a strenuous itinerary like adults can and will end up either sleeping, falling sick, or getting very cranky. Plan your itinerary in advance. It is best if you can come back to your room in the afternoons for lunch and a small nap so your child will be fresh for the second half of the day.
- Learn to relax and let go
Your toddler may have been used to zero screen time, no sugar, homemade snacks, and a pre-set sleeping schedule at home. When you are traveling out though, some of these rules may not work out. Remember that you are on a vacation or a trip and so is your child. Learn to relax and do not worry if the child’s sleeping pattern changes or if the child enjoys an occasional sweet treat. This is the time for you to let go and lean back comfortably. If you want to enjoy a romantic dinner with your partner, a 30 minute screen time for the child won’t hurt. You can get back to your regular routine once you are back home.
Trips are opportunities for the child to experience new things and to learn. Remember that a child learns more from the surroundings than from books. Show your little one new culture, new food habits, and new people. Plan your trips in advance and pack well. Enjoy the time with your family.
If you want to pick up cotton clothes, nappies, or other essentials for your trip for the little ones, check out our website. We have baby clothing from age 0 to 24 months and the clothes are all made of organic cotton and are super comfortable, and will let your child explore the surroundings unrestricted.