With border restrictions easing and the holidays upon us, you, like countless other new parents, may be taking the opportunity to visit loved ones or explore new places after months in lockdown.
However, does the thought of travelling with a baby in tow fill you with more trepidation than excitement? You’re not alone. After all, travelling can feel like a big jump when your biggest outing lately has been to the supermarket or the park.
But don’t fear – with just a little planning, travelling with a baby can be great! They can’t run around yet and they sleep a lot. Most importantly, you’ll make memories you’ll treasure as a family for years to come.
To make travelling as smooth and stress-free as possible, here are some tips for your next holiday – whether just down the road, interstate or even overseas.
Pack for mobility – Don’t overthink the ‘what-ifs’ when packing; keep things simple and stick to the essentials. Most incidentals (for both parents and baby) can be purchased at your destination if you forget them or need to stock up. This includes bulky nappies and wipes; if you’re travelling for a longer period of time, save space by packing enough for the first few days and then stocking up when you get there.
Packing too much ‘stuff’ inhibits your mobility, especially if you need to run to your flight gate, hop into an Uber, climb stairs or get around on public transport with big bags or bulky items. Chances are you don’t need as much as you think you do.
Keep your gear to a minimum – Packing for mobility includes your gear! As exciting as all the baby gadgets can be, try to invest in only a few quality, light, compact and multi-purpose items. You’ll appreciate it when you’re playing Tetris with your car boot or facing additional baggage fees.
Built for travel, GB is a great choice for families on the move. It’s a smart stroller solution if you want compact, without compromising on comfort or convenience. Quickly folding your stroller into the plane’s overheard locker has never been easier with the GB PockitAir, currently the world’s smallest folding stroller. GB offers a 3-in-1 travel system with the addition of an infant cot or capsule, saving you time and space.
Don’t look past the Cybex Cloud Q Capsule for the ultimate travel system either. The highest safety-rated capsule in Australia, the Cloud Q enables you to easily transfer your baby between the car, stroller and home, without needing to take them out of their car seat, and with minimal gear. The perfect road trip (or daily life) companion, the Cloud Q makes getting around a breeze.
Ask ahead for a bassinet at your accommodation – Many hotels (and even some Airbnbs) have bassinets available, so simply call ahead of time and save yourself some extra space if you don’t need to.
Many parents do, however, prefer to bring their own, particularly during the pandemic. If that’s you, think light and compact when choosing a travel bassinet. The Aria Bedside Bassinet folds small, offers both bassinet and co-sleeper mode, has eight height adjustments and reflux support, as well as swivel wheels with brakes. Opening and closing in seconds, the Aria Bassinet is one less thing to worry about setting up after a long day of travelling.
Everyday objects make for ideal travel toys – With the exception of that toy that your child won’t sleep without, keep travel toys to a bare minimum. Instead, occupy baby with everyday items that you already have with you, like water bottles. Stuff a piece of paper in the bottle and voilà: a DIY rattle! You’ll be surprised how fascinating commonplace objects with different textures or sounds can be to babies.
Not only will you have more space for essentials in your bag, but you won’t have to worry about losing expensive toys along the way. As long as the items are clean and do not present a choking hazard, make the most of them while your baby is small and doesn’t know the difference.
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple phone app – As great as sound machines are, you can travel lighter by pre-downloading white-noise apps to your phone or iPad. They are a must-have for light sleepers, but also great if sharing small spaces like hotel rooms or tents with baby when even whispers can set them off.
At your wit’s end with an inconsolable baby during a long flight? Have an app with entertaining baby shows or games ready to go. It can be a lifesaver when all else fails! Don’t wait until you’re desperate - save yourself the headache and pre-download some options while you have strong Wi-Fi.
Spare clothes are your best friend – Blowouts and spit ups happen. Don’t learn the hard way, have spare clothes for everyone handy, as well as a bag for soiled clothes. It’s a small but easy hack to keep the whole family in good spirits throughout your journey.
Make the most of priority boarding – Don’t skip out on this freebie if you’re travelling by plane! Give yourself time to put everything away and settle in properly before the whole plane boards. Frazzled parents make for frazzled babies. Listen out for the ‘parents with children’ boarding announcement, and stride with pride right up to that check-in!
And finally, don’t let the elements rain on your parade – You are only as comfortable as your baby is. Travelling by car? Consider a window shade to protect baby from the sun and help them sleep. Visiting a tropical destination? A mosquito net for the bassinet and/or stroller will save the day. Simple rain covers, footmuffs, insect nets and shade covers don’t take up much room but can make all the difference when it comes to irritability and poor sleep. Check out our range of travel accessories for a stress-free journey.
At the end of the day, babies aren’t as needy as you may think. As long as your baby has a clean nappy, is fed, and is able to sleep well, they’ll be okay. There may be a few extra logistics when you have a baby, but travelling can still be accessible, enjoyable, and stress-free... with a bit of preparation.
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Anstel has a team of passionate expert representatives. Get in touch with us today with any questions about your baby and toddler essentials.
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