This is a guest post from writer Ophelia Richards.
After staying home for more than a year, many parents are planning to venture out with their kids. A survey by Amex Trendex revealed that 52% of adults with children are traveling together as a family, compared to the 33% of couples who are doing so without their kids. Though it’s not surprising that most families are taking this opportunity to reunite loved ones, especially now that it’s much safer to travel.
Similarly, you may be excited to let your extended family and friends meet your baby in person. To ensure that your journey will be safe and enjoyable, here are the things you need to remember before leaving for the trip:
Research travel guidelines for passengers of all ages
First things first, you need to check the travel guidelines to ensure that you can go to different places with your baby. Case in point: the US Federal Aviation Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics state that only babies that are at least seven days old are allowed to travel via plane. That said, it's actually best to wait until your baby has turned three months old before taking them on a plane ride. This is because the altitude is thin when you’re traveling more than 8000 feet above sea level, making it harder for infants to breathe properly. Aside from this, you should also check the child-specific guidelines of your destinations before booking a trip.
Search for competent health centers in your destination
During your trip, you must know where to find qualified health care professionals in case of emergencies. When researching local health centers, however, it’s important to consider the competency of in-house employees. Unfortunately, the AAMC points out that the search for qualified professionals may be difficult, given that primary care providers and specialists are becoming increasingly limited. Thankfully, advanced-practice registered nurses are alleviating the primary provider shortage, making it easier for traveling parents to seek medical care. Many of these nurses are taking up RN to BSN programs that teach advanced skills, like family assessment and even genetics. This qualifies nurses to provide primary care to postpartum mothers and their babies. And with them on board, you can rest assured that your baby will be in good hands no matter where you are.
Consider how you can nurse your baby while traveling
You can also guarantee the safety and health of your baby by planning how you can nurse them while traveling. First, it can be challenging to find the right time and place to feed your baby when you’re constantly on the road. On top of that, our article on holiday travels emphasizes that experiencing stress and changes in your routine can affect milk output. Therefore, it’s important to practice relaxation techniques and use nursing products to ease your burden. Another one of our posts on holiday stress also recommends being mindful of your diet when nursing. Since you’ll be burning lots of calories, you have to meet your dietary needs to provide the right nutrients for your baby and yourself.
Pack the travel essentials for your baby’s needs
Your trip will go smoother if you have the essential tools for traveling with babies. After all, it's exhausting to walk long distances while carrying your baby in your arms. Luckily, you can make the trip more comfortable for the entire family by packing the right items in your baby bag. To illustrate, you’ll need sanitary items, like alcohol, baby wash, diapers, and wipes. You should also pack a first-aid kit with infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen, prescribed medications, bandages, antibiotic ointments, and outlet covers for babyproofing. Finally, tools like car seats, baby carriers, and portable feeding seats will make it easier to walk around and feed your baby while on the go.
It's exciting to book your first family trip with your baby. However, you need to ensure that it'll be both safe and enjoyable by checking the travel guidelines, looking for competent health centers, preparing your baby's care needs, and bringing the right traveling tools.Sources: cnbc.com, hcinnovationgroup.com, online.maryville.edu, whattoexpect.com.