Did you know that a third of new parents have decided not to travel far from home because of their baby this summer? Research from the team at The Baby Show revealed that 31% of parents wouldn't travel more than three hours by plane with a baby while 6% said they never would. Why is it that we fear travelling with a baby? Sleep expert Lucy Shrimpton shares her knowledge and top tips on how you CAN travel with a baby.
Lucy states that "lots of parents are wary of travelling with little ones, with the biggest concern being their baby crying, plus fear of what other people might think, especially on a plane". There's also the concern about the limited resources available on a plane to help entertain very young children and of course for feeding and changing.
Shrimpton also went on to discuss the challenges of soothing babies when travelling, particularly in confined situations such as aircraft and coaches. "A sling is an ideal travel aid and dummies can help with popping ears. Plus, the white noise of an aircraft can be soothing, putting your little one to sleep".
You don't need to shy away from the family holiday though. Lucy urges parents to be confident and to just go for it! Trips away are a great way to make some fantastic memories and those chances need to be grabbed!
Lucy's top tips for travelling with children
No rules apply! Often, we’re up at the crack of dawn to catch that early flight or travelling at odd times of the day. The idea of sticking to your normal routine is impossible so don’t stress too much. Try to eat at the correct times but when it comes to sleep, the general motion of travel – whether on a boat, a plane or a car – will naturally lull you to sleep. During your journeys make sure you all keep hydrated, well-fed and rested. If you or your little one feels the need for a nap and it’s not technically ‘nap-time’ don’t stop it, travelling is tiring business!
Adapt to local time as quickly as you can! Try your best to adapt to your destination’s time-zone as quick as possible. By getting into the rhythm of the day with correct meal-times and bedtimes routines, your little one will adjust more quickly.
Don’t be afraid to travel with your new-borns if they’re ready. Babies under three months can be relatively easy to fly with as they sleep so much. It’s when they’re one year and above that it can become tricky as they want to walk around the cabin and need lots of entertainment! With a new-born, try feeding your baby during both take-off and landing as it’s a good way to ease earache and distract them. You may also want to use a baby sling, as it is an easy way to carry a baby and keeps your hands free, which is ideal for holding passports and tickets.
Create a familiar environment – Your little one might take longer to get to sleep as they’re out of their comfort zones. Try bringing things from home with a familiar scent, such as a pillowcase or sheet. There are lots of things you can bring with you to help, such as a black-out blind, a nightlight and a sleep clock.
My suggestion would be to check out the Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind! I used one for Lily and it was fantastic.
Adopt a Holiday ‘Routine’ – Don’t fret if you can’t do your normal routine when you’re on holiday, especially if you’re with family and friends. However, babies are very sensitive so it’s important to keep their usual bedtime routine if possible, even if that means settling them in the pushchair when you’re out for dinner. Be sure they get their required amount of sleep each day. You can easily fall back into your home routine when you get back.
Prepare for warmer or colder weather! Wherever you go it will probably be a slightly different climate from the UK (most likely warmer!) Your little one might find this challenging at first so make sure you pack well when it comes to their clothing. Think about what you’re feeding them too; the right foods and drinks can help regulate body temperature and energy levels.
Lucy and her team of sleep consultants have helped parents across the UK when it comes to sleeping issues. Whether you're going on holiday and need more advice or just need help with sleeping in general, take a look at The Sleep Nanny website today and learn how Lucy can help.
The Baby Show has had the honour of having Lucy take part in their series of expert talks and reviews and comments from parents are always positive. Visit The Baby Show website today to find our more about their upcoming shows and how you can book your tickets!
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