How To Travel With Infants?
Rather, how do new parents travel with infants?
This was the question that popped into my mind every time I saw parents travelling with their infants. Taking care of babies within the comforts of your home in itself is quite a lot of work and here they were doing it in airports, on planes and trains. All public spaces, mind you and surrounded by hundreds of strangers. At that point, I really did think that being parents came with some superpowers. But, well, now I know the truth because it’s already over 4 months and I still have none! In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that I have been guilty of wanting to take seats away from babies and kids on planes, especially during long journeys. But somehow there always seemed to be one next to me. Always. How? I guess that was God’s way of telling me that I was not being considerate enough, which was right in a way. So, as I look forward to my first trip with the little one, I know karma is going to come back and bite me in the rear. Well, the things being a parent teaches you!
3 flights planned with a 4 and a half-month-old. You can see why I’m a little nervous.
We are travelling out of Bangalore on the 28th of this month which means M will only be four and a half months old by then. And that worries me. A lot! It’s because I have no clue what to do if she starts being cranky on the trip. What would the fellow passengers say or think? Or, not even that, how will I comfort the little one in a place clearly outside of both our comfort zones? Nerve wrecking this is I must tell you.
I don’t think babies like crowded spaces and that makes them cry.
A month ago we had gone to get M’s passport done. Being at that office for about 3 hours made her extremely restless and uncomfortable. In fact, even after coming back home, it took her some time to settle down. That actually made us think if it was better to have waited till she was, maybe, a year old to get her passport done. But that ship had already sailed by then.
What we have observed with M is that she gets really fidgety when there are too many people around her. It’s like she has a sixth sense and knows immediately when we have people over. And on those days, handling her takes quite a lot of effort, honestly. She takes a lot of time to go to sleep and also gets very irritable, crying more than she usually does. So, all this is making me extremely nervous about those 3 flights that we have planned. Feeding her during the trip is another thing that has me worried. I’m still breastfeeding her and have only recently introduced formula. So, I’m really not sure how we are going to do it if she gets hungry at an altitude of forty thousand feet! I can only imagine the stares! Of course, S is going to be with me for 2 out of those 3 flights but the last one where I have to come back with her alone is the one high on my worry list. It’s really not the coming back alone part that scares me but what if she starts crying and I’m not able to placate her. What then? Frankly, I think I owe an apology to every parent whom I might have judged for not being able to pacify their kids on long-haul flights. You have no idea how sorry I am. The fear of karma will do that to you. Well, I guess there’s no other way than making those journeys and discovering what really happens. With M’s grandparents living in different parts of the country, she really needs to learn to make these trips. The sooner the better.
For me, it will be a new experience altogether. Actually, come to think of it, these past few months seem to have been full of new experience for me. So, might as well see how this one turns out. For the first time, I’ll get to be the parent whom I have been gauging from the sidelines till now. I just hope M stays comfortable and we don’t trouble the people around us much. The mothers, actually parents, reading this, any tips?
Some tips to travel with infants. #Traveltips Click To Tweet
Tips to travel with Infants.
Now that the infant has become a toddler, here are some of the tips to travel with infants which I can share from experience.
- Always carry milk so that during takeoffs and landings, you can feed your infant. That helps reduce the discomfort in their ears and keeps them slightly manageable. Your airline will also advise you the same.
- Needless to say, carry extra sets of clothes and diapers in your cabin baggage.
- Select an airline, if possible that is, which has changing tables in their toilets.
- Dress your infant in comfortable clothing especially in long-haul flights.
- Keep your go-to diaper rash cream handy because your infant might get uncomfortable being in a diaper for a long time and that too in a confined space. I carry coconut oil even now because that works wonders for my daughter.
- Carry her baby food such that you can easily prepare that even if you are travelling alone with your toddler.
- Always change diapers before and after boarding a flight.
- Carry something warm to cover your infant because the air conditioner in the flight might make it a little chilly for your infant.
- Use a baby carrier to keep your hands free. There are a lot of ergonomic baby carriers available in the market. However, take your infant out of it once you have boarded the flight.
Well, these are some of the tips that I can think of. Do add more to the list if you have anything else in mind.