safe motherhood


Travelling with a baby

If you're planning a trip away, getting there and being away from home can be a major interruption to your baby's - and your own - daily routine.

Planning ahead, anticipating any problems and finding out what worked for other parents will help to make things go smoothly and your travels fun for both of you:

• Small babies are very portable, and under twos travel free with many companies. Find out what various tour operators can offer; some can provide not just cots, but buggies and highchairs so you don't have to take everything with you.

• Don't forget that babies now need their own passports (older children who are already registered on your passport can continue to travel like this up to the age of 16).

• Check on the vaccination situation with your GP at least a couple of months before you intend to travel and well before you book an exotic holiday. Some vaccines cannot be given to small children and some cannot be given together, so you may need to space them out over a number of weeks.

• The journey can often be the most stressful part of your holiday. Book an air cot ahead of time and try to get bulkhead seats to give you plenty of space. Book baby/toddler meals in advance and ask for your children to be served first if possible. If you're hiring a car through major rental company, you should be able to book a car seat which will save you from taking your own.

• Be sure to pack plenty of diversions for the journey. Take a couple of your baby's 'old favourite' toys and some new ones to discover when needed.

• Be prepared for any delays with plenty of snacks (preferably not sticky food) and most importantly drinks. If you are breastfeeding, schedule in extra time to stop and feed. Breastfeeding makes travelling with your baby simple as you don't have to worry about sterilising and making up bottles with water.

• Think about taking a sling or back carrier rather than a buggy if space is short.

• In hot climates babies' skin is very vulnerable to sunburn, so be sure to take plenty of high factor sun cream with you and keep your baby in the shade as much as possible.

• If you are staying at a hotel or camp, you may find that some form of childcare is provided. Check the qualifications of those in charge of the facility, and its suitability for your child's age and abilities.

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