Childhood Behaviour

I am thinking of bringing my one-year-old for travelling, but my husband and I were thinking if we can cope. How to travel with my baby and what are the things to look out?

What the Expert Says

By Dr Lin Day

Founder of Baby Sensory

PhD, Masters in Philosophy, Bachelor in Science, Diploma in Education, PGCE

Leading Parenting Expert and Renowned Author with over 35 years of practical experience

Keeping small children seated, quiet and entertained on a car or plane trip is a frightening prospect for most parents. But, with a little planning, travelling can be a fun experience for children and a relaxing one for parents.

If you’re on the road…

Start your trip an hour or so before your child’s normal nap time. Allow him to run about and let off steam before getting in the car. The chances are he will fall asleep quickly into the journey. Frequent stops will make the journey more bearable.

If you’re catching a plane…

Get to the airport way earlier. There is nothing worse than struggling through check-in when you are late. If your stress levels are high, your child will pick up on your mood, which will only make matters worse.  A pull-along suitcase will keep your child entertained and serve as a resting place when he gets tired. Airport regulations permit up to 100ml in the form of milk and drinks, although exceptions may be made for the under-twos. If your baby is bottle-fed, take powdered formula milk and buy bottled water in the secure area. Ask the cabin crew to top it up with boiled water during the flight.

Changes in air pressure can make little ears pop. Sucking and swallowing helps to relieve air pressure in the middle ear, so keep drinks or pacifiers available for take-offs and landings. Strap children on long-haul flights. If you fall asleep, they may wander off. Seat straps will also keep them safe during air turbulence or in the event of an emergency.

Packing Checklist:

  • Enough Diapers & Wet Wipes
  • Medication & First Aid Kit
  • Spare Clothes
  • Rubbish Bags (in case your child suffers from motion sickness)
  • Entertainment & Toys e.g:
  1. A fabric scarf offers endless play and learning opportunities from hand-eye coordination to peek-a-boo, tickling and texture exploration.
  2. A rattle is a must, but keep it in reserve for a difficult moment. It could save the day!
  3. A familiar book can be comforting and your baby will enjoy turning the pages to find her favourite characters.
  4. Texture books that contain hidden surprises also provide entertainment and amusement.
  5. A reusable sticker book will keep little hands busy. Stickers can be stuck on the window or the seat without any harm being done.
  6. Chunky pipe cleaners that can be transformed into fascinating shapes will provide amusement. Attach them together to make animals, bracelets and necklaces.
  7. Nursery rhyme CD or sing a song.
  • Finger food and bottled water to last the journey in case any unexpected delays, but avoid sugary snacks as these will increase energy levels. High protein foods such as slices of fruit, cucumber, and cheese will fill your child up and make her drowsy.

Try some of these tips on your next trip and you and your family may get to your destination in a more relaxed and happy frame of mind!

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