Baby’s First Vacation

By Rebecca Vitkus

Vacations are meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, a time away from the hassles of daily life when you and your family can make memories together that will last a lifetime. However, when you have an infant to care for, vacation may seem more daunting than delightful. With a few helpful tips, learn how to ensure that vacation is enjoyable for parents and babies alike. Think of it this way — babies that are extra small are extra portable!

TIPS FOR TOT TRAVELS

  • If it’s practical, take a “staycation” to a nearby hotel or resort. This way, if you forget anything important, you can run home to grab it. By going on staycation before you take a big trip, you will be able to see how the baby responds, make a list of what you might otherwise forget and gain the confidence to know that everything will be just fine.
  • If you are staying with relatives or friends, be sure to notify them in advance about baby’s nighttime routine and sleep schedule. Also ask if they have any baby equipment (cribs, high chairs, booster seats) that is up to par with the current safety standards.
  • Take a trip to the beach! Living in Florida, beach vacation opportunities are endless, and the relaxed, low-key schedule of a weekend at the beach provides room for any bumps or surprises you may come across along the way. This kind of trip also works well with baby’s eating and sleeping schedules, as you can plan your trip to best suit the baby’s needs. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and use lots of sunscreen!
  • Note that TSA restrictions are lifted for milk and breast milk held in containers that hold more than 3.4 ounces. Just make sure you notify the TSA officer at the start of the screening process.

ADVICE FROM A PROFESSIONAL

  • Dr. Ana Moros-Hanley, a pediatrician at Healthy Steps Pediatrics in Gainesville, emphasizes the need to be patient and provide extra time in your schedule in case your traveling takes longer than expected.
  • “When traveling by plane, feed the baby (breastfeed or bottle-feed) during take off and landing to keep the pressure change from bothering the baby’s ears,” said Dr. Moros- Hanley. “Children over 40 pounds can use the aircraft seat belts.”
  • Dr. Moros-Hanley also suggests consulting a pediatrician if the baby has had an ear infection in the last two weeks. She recommends washing your hands frequently and suggests waiting until the baby is six weeks old before exposing him or her to crowds, and even longer for plane travel, especially during flu season.
  • “Always consult with your pediatrician prior to a trip. Discuss where you are going, length of the trip and precautions you might have to take,” she said.

CHECK LIST

  • When packing medication, bring enough for a few extra days in case your stay has to be extended unexpectedly.
  • Bring plastic bags for easy and convenient diaper disposal.
  • Pack outlet covers and other safety items to make sure the hotel room is baby-safe. Some people even use blue painter’s tape as an all-purpose safety tool.
  • Leave behind your nicest stroller and bring a compact one instead – think of small hotel rooms, cruiseship staterooms and crowded streets.
  • Don’t forget baby’s favorite toys, books and blankets!