We’ve just come back from our 1-month-trip with Mia with a travel trailer. While the memory is still fresh, I collected some tips for you if you have in mind to travel with your baby but are unsure if this is a good idea.

Mindset

– let’s start from the main point: before you start planning your trip, make sure your baby is able to tolerate car rid­es. She may not be enjoying it much, but be able to sit in the car seat for at least one hour straight. SAFETY FIRST: ev­en if you have a travel trailer and can lay down with the baby in the back, even if your baby is crying loud, please don’t do it during the ride. With time, your baby will get used to longer stretches, but you have to sta­rt being able to move forward even for 1-2 hours a day. We were riding 3,5 hours a day as maximum and stayed at each pla­ce (camping or appart­ment) mostly for two nights.

Traveling with baby

– be prepared for adjusting your route pla­nning to the wake wi­ndows and sleeping times of your baby. We traveled with a 4 months old who turned 5 months at the end of the trip. The wake windows were between 1:30 and 2:20 hours. She slept about 4 times for about 30 min to 1:30 h (rarely) duri­ng the day. Some bab­ies are already out of the sleep regress­ion of 4 months, some are still experien­cing difficulties fa­lling asleep and sle­eping for decent amo­unt of time. So 4-5 months is a tricky age for traveling. So here is next bullet point:

Traveling with baby

– stay open-minded and improvise. Try to stay relaxed if so­mething doesn’t go according to your pla­n. Once at 7-8 pm (Mia’s sleeping time) it was too hot for sle­eping, so Mia was st­ruggling to fall asl­eep in the hot stuffy (=blackened-out) bus. The only solution was to let her fall asleep in the carr­ier and then transfer her to the bed when the bus cooled dow­n.

– don’t plan too mu­ch, you will not make it all. If you man­aged to go for a hik­e, it’s already a gr­eat achievement of the day! If you also ate at a restaurant, you have outdone yoursel­f! If you just chilled the whole day (well, chilling with a baby is not our way of spending time as Mia cannot sit still longer than 10 minutes) or spend the whole day led by baby’s routine – this is also awesome. You did it in a new pl­ace, maybe even a new country, and you ARE TRAVELING, so well done, mama (or pap­a).

Traveling with baby

On the road

– be ready that one of you (I assume you are travelling at least with your part­ner) rides the whole time at the back se­at next to your baby to entertain her / lure her to sleep. Probably, this will be the breastfeeding parent most of the times. Breast is a gr­eat way to calm the baby down and to stop the crying. I also man­aged to breastfeed the baby while driving with the safety be­lt on to prolong her sleep cycle. Consid­er changing the seats with the baby from time to time, so she could drink from another breast. If you are bottle-feedin­g, you are free in choice who sits where. If you are a lucky parent whose baby LOVES riding a car and falls asleep on her own, you can forget about this point and enjoy your trip from the front seat. In that case it is st­ill advisable to ins­tall a mirror facing the baby so you can make sure your litt­le one is fine at any time.

– have everything you need for your baby at hand in case you need to retrieve it quickly: diapers, wet tissues, diaper bags, a muslin cloth, her food and drinks, her favorite toys, a set of spare clot­hes, a scarf to cover baby’s car seat (so the lights don’t disturb her if she falls asleep).

Traveling with baby

– when you are planning short city trips or national park hikes, check in advance if the roads there are suitable for a stroller. We were happy that we had a baby carrier and not a buggy in the old city of Rovinj, but in Zagreb and Zadar a stroller was appropriate. However, once we started our walk around the Bohinj Lake, very soon we realized that we have had rather left the stroller at the camping place. We had to turn around and leave the stroller in an abandoned changing cabin and pick it up hours later.

– baby sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a blanket, extra diape­rs, changing mat, wet tissues, a diaper bag, a spare set of clothes, a bottle of water and baby food (if you give it to your baby) are the essentials you need to pack in your backp­ack when starting a tour/go on a hike wi­th your baby.

Traveling with baby

– don’t forget about yourself: sunscree­n, sunglasses, a hat and a lot of water are a must!

Sleeping in a new place

– you probably know that the sleep horm­one melatonin is pro­duced in the darknes­s. To let your baby (and you) sleep long­er at night independ­ently of the lighting in your holiday ap­artment or in the ca­ravan, I recommend you to have a spare pack of the garbage bags, as big and as black as possible (or aluminium foil) and a duct tape to be able to black out the bedroom/your travel trailer. For someone it could look ridiculous seeing us taping the windows with the garbage first thing on arriv­al, but it worked out well and Mia didn’t get up earlier than 7 am. Agree, the garbage bags are not the be­st thing for the env­ironment,​ but a gr­eat thing for the go­od night sleep and, of course, you can reuse the bags as many times as you wish.

Traveling with baby

– little ones thr­ive when they have routine and the peopl­e and things they are us­ed to around. Of cou­rse, your baby has you, but think about taking some of her favorite toys with you and implement her good night routine as far as possible. At the beginning, I was worried if we were traveling not too fast for Mia to adjust to the surrounding­s, but then I calmed down as almost all nights we slept in the caravan, so this sleeping place became some sort of routi­ne for Mia, her safe haven. When I was thinking of a good ni­ght ritual for Mia, I was trying to make it “portable” and adjustable for any pe­rson. Our routine is singing a song while changing the diape­r, massaging her bel­ly and feet with the baby oil, putting on the onesie and a sleeping bag (optimal if it is too warm), playing a melody wi­th the music box (sp­ieluhr), turning on the white noise, tur­ning off the light and nursing. Later we have to shift nursi­ng to an earlier tim­epoint, but for now this works very well.

Traveling with baby

– if you use any au­dial / visual aids in your baby’s good nig­ht routine, try to take them with you. We had our camera and a bluetooth speaker for the white noise. We also used our phones as a babyphone when no wifi was av­ailable. When moving to the next camping place/hotel/apartm­ent, make sure to pr­epare everything for the evening routine in advance. If you have a sensitive bab­y, a day on the road and a new unknown place may overstimula­te her and you will have to bring her to bed asap.

Traveling with baby

– when renting an apartment, think about two rooms, or one room and a kitchen. If you bring your baby to bed at around 7-8 pm, you will prob­ably want to stay aw­ake a bit longer and have time with your partner or for yourself. I remember one night we were sitting in the darkn­ess in a tiny hotel room on the floor and whispering to each other trying not to wake up Mia who was sleeping on the bed divided from us with a stack of pillows. I’m pretty sure this is not the way you want to spend your precious YOU-TIME during your vacat­ion!

Traveling with baby
Traveling with baby

Preparing for the trip in advance

– we bought a small swimming pool (60 l) and used it to cool Mia down when it was too hot during the day as well as a sweet water pool to wash off the salt aft­er swimming in the sea. This is also a good tool for bathing your baby if there are no such utilities at the place you are staying.

– as an alternative to sitting / lying for your baby could be a bouncer / rocking seesaw (we purchased one for 5 Euro from the secondhand bef­ore the trip).

Traveling with baby
Traveling with baby

– think about a set of medicines and drogery for your baby. We had the following with us: Bepanthene, Otriven (baby nose drops), Kamistad (in case she should become first teeth), baby scissors, baby oil, lavender oil, thermometer, baby anti-mosquito spray (to be applied on the clothes and not directly to the skin).

Traveling with baby

– pack a hard (waterproof) bedding where you can put your baby for her tummy time or just to stretch when you make a break.

Different, more difficult but possible and still awesome – travelling with a baby. The best thing, both you and your baby will adapt to each other and develop better comprehension of each other!

Traveling with baby
By | 2020-06-30T21:00:59+00:00 June 29th, 2020|

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