Fact Sheet: Sharlene Poole - Tips for going away with a baby
Summer holidays - tips for going away with a baby
Small babies make great travellers if you ensure their needs are met and as the Christmas holidays approach there are some essential tools that can make the time spent relaxing with family and friends more achievable and enjoyable!
Packing to go away with a baby can be a task within itself, let alone the daunting prospect for some first time parents of sleeping a baby in a new environment.
The best bit of advice I can offer you is to try your best to relax… the more we worry about the ‘what ifs’ the more a baby will pick up on that anxiety and the more likelihood of them being unsettled.
When a parent projects calmness and confidence and tries to keep consistency to their day, most babies will adapt to any environment that you put them in! Happy parent, happy baby!
However there are a few pointers that can help make the holiday an easier experience.
The Baby Whisperer’s tips:
- When travelling, think about the time of day that you leave (if driving) as if you drive over their usual awake time and fall asleep they may be a bit thrown by the change of pattern to the day.
- When travelling a long distance, try driving in the evening when your baby is going down for their longer sleep… this will save having to face driving in the heat of the day and will keep baby ‘in routine’ as such.
- Be aware that babies can get dehydrated in cars in the summer, they may need more fluid during the journey or when you arrive at your destination.
- When possible (not travelling) it is advised you sleep your small baby on a flat surface, not in a capsule, this allows a baby to breath safely. If you have a routine in place, keep that up the best you can, complete change can throw not only a small baby but you also!
- Be aware that if you are going away to stay with family or friends and your baby is not used to having more than one or two caregivers at a time, small babies can get easily stimulated and you need to think about allowing a calm down period before a sleep time.
- An older baby (post 3mths) might be able to stay awake for slightly longer periods than they are used to at home due to more distraction and stimulation, it is a trial and era to see what they cope with depending on how well they settle to bed.
- Be aware of your baby’s personality or developmental stage, if they are sensitive or going through the ‘stranger/danger’ stage you may need to watch how you interact when you first arrive in the new environment.
- Be prepared, pack for the journey or holiday to cover all scenarios, hot and cold days; thermometer and remedies for teething or illness.
- Dummies are a practical thing to have on hand when travelling, both when flying to help their ears adjust to pressure but also to help keep them settled if stuck in traffic.
- You may be spending more time outdoors and therefore you will need to think about time in the sun, how your baby is going to be protected from the sun.
- Dress your baby in layers as car seats and buggies can be particularly hot but once out in the fresh air it can be cold.
Where to go for further info:
Talk with a Doctor or your health professional if concerned about the way your baby is positioned in their capsule.