Today Anne shares with us her travel experiences with a bub under one…
When I was pregnant with my son Odin, my husband and I made a conscious decision to include him as much as possible in our normal daily lives. That of course included travel. Like any couple pre kids who loved to visit new and exciting places we were bitten by the travelling bug and wanted to pass this on to our future children. Travelling for us was not a mere take a snap here or say we have been there and done that. For us travel was experiencing different cultures, experiences, opening our eyes to art, architecture, language and the best part of all was adventure in each and every location imaginable.
Odin is now 8 months old and has been to a few places in his first year of life. Odin has been to Sydney, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Lockhart, Narooma, Bowral, Snowy Mountains and just recently our first overseas trip to the Philippines which included Manila, Bacolod, Silay, Cebu, Bohol four internal flights, a ferry trip, car seat-less road trips and a hairy ride to the mountains.
I’d like to share with you some helpful tips I have learnt along the way for women who are currently pregnant, planning to be pregnant and with bubs my survival guide to travelling with baby under one.
Relax: This is definitely the hardest skill that I had to learn early on. Being a midwife, my brain runs on so many scenarios and situations regarding babies that it is hard for me to switch off. But I have learnt that by relaxing and taking a few good deep breaths it is definitely easier to switch my working midwife part of the brain to “mumma” mode. Meditation, yoga, listening to music or a nice cup of tea helps before you even start thinking about travel.
Planning: Moving around isn’t easy with a baby, a simple task such as going to a cafe even takes planning so planning I did. Gone are the carefree days of jumping into a car and zipping around town for a coffee, I used my inner control freak and planned. The logistics of moving from point A to point B may be overwhelming but with some careful planning and few deep breaths you can survive with just the tiniest glitches and have a really good time.
- Before we leave for any trip, I always research where we are staying and how child friendly it is. Book accommodation that will give you ample room for all your baby knick knacks and luggage. Places to go, child friendly restaurants etc. If you are going overseas, research the country you are travelling to and organise passports, visas and have a copy of your child’s birth certificate just in case they don’t believe that you are his parent (yes it happens).
- When travelling by plane consider direct modes of transport routes. Make sure to book your seats ahead of time and request for a bassinet when permitted. This was handy for us as it allowed me to rest and Odin slept during his nap times
- Try to limit your holiday to fewer destinations but for longer duration. Settling into new places and environments can be tiring for your little people. We found that the longer we stayed in one location Odin was more adjusted and happier.
- Depending where you are going, ensure that your baby is up to date with vaccinations and the location of the nearest hospital.
WHAT TO PACK
Travel Cot: If you think you will be doing a few or more trips away from home, I suggest investing in a lightweight travel cot that is easy to assemble and comfortable for baby as well. Three days before we leave, I always let Odin do all naps and sleeps in his travel cot so that he is so used to the smell and feel of his bed. I always bring the same bed linen and sleepwear so he feels safe and familiar with his sleep space. We have the Phil and Teds Traveller portacot, it is so lightweight and compact that it fits perfectly inside our check in luggage. I also went to Clark Rubber and made my own foam mattress that can be easily rolled up to make the travel cot extra soft so that his nights are more comfortable for long trips. I have also heard great things about the baby bjorn travel cot. A little investment goes a long way, after all a well rested baby is a well rested mum.
Travel Pram: I found this so valuable. Odin is getting heavier by the day and for long trips especially overseas, we were fortunate enough to be gifted the Babyzen YoYo as a travel pram. After much research Babyzen is the only FIA approved pram that can be taken on board. It folds and unfolds really well and is extremely light. In transit and during times where Odin needed to have naps, he used the YoYo with ease. Tip: practice before leaving so that baby can get used to his new ride.
Baby Carrier: Carriers are so easy and lightweight that this is such a great item to have. It is so easy to place baby in a carrier whilst going through airports or being out and about sightseeing or random trips to the local shops. You have the benefit of being hands free and having baby close to your body. There are so many different carriers for different purposes, we have used the Bloom sling since the newborn stage and I still use it even now. For more support and to help protect the mumma back we use the Ergobaby Ventus lightweight with padded shoulder straps and mesh fabric so no sweating for little O. Also hip alignment is considered in the Ergobaby and is well supported. For even longer walks or Hikes we use the Osprey Poco, this is a favourite of both our little guy and his Dad, he has fallen asleep in it so many times, it is very easy to use and lightweight.
Portable High Chair: Indispensable when travelling with Odin. Since he’s eating solids now, he loves to be included during mealtimes. Most restaurants have high chairs however for the times where one is not available. We use the Brica Fold n Go.
Passport Holder and passports labelled