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How to have a stress-free trip with your baby and toddler

Young children are surprisingly adaptable, and if they have the essentials like food, nappies and a favourite toy or two, your child should be quite happy.

Be prepared

Prepare a survival kit for the trip before you leave home and keep it within easy reach.

The kit should include:

  • Spare nappies
  • A change of clothes
  • Baby wipes
  • Changing mat or towel.

If you are bottle feeding or giving solids, you’ll also need to include some feeds plus bottles or other utensils you might need to feed your baby.

ALSO SEE: Gail Mabalane’s top 10 tips for travelling with your baby

Timing is everything

  • Check the route you’re planning on taking before you leave home and allow extra time to get there.
  • If you have a long way to drive, consider travelling at night when your little one will be sleeping.
  • If you’re travelling by plane, train, bus or taxi, find out what facilities are available for babies and older children before you leave. For example, do they have car seats and seat belts?
  • Your baby should always travel in an approved safety restraint suitable for his age and weight.

 ALSO SEE: 1 750 South African children died in car accidents in 2019

Keeping kids busy during the car ride

  • A good selection of toys, especially for an older baby, will not only keep you sane while you’re on the road, it will also keep your little one busy.
  • Choose toys that have been specially designed to use during car rides or ones that have suction pads that will stick on the window or the back of the front seat.
  • Story tapes are also a good idea, especially for long trips.

ALSO SEE: Tips and games for long car journeys

Travelling with public transport

  • You’ll need to be selective about what you take with you, as you’ll probably have luggage and your baby to carry – and only two hands (or 4 if your partner goes with you).
  • Pack your survival kit in a back pack that you can keep with you.
  • If possible, take a lightweight, folding pram. This will come in really handy at the airport if you’re flying.
  • Put your baby in a baby carrier, either strapped on your front if he’s still very young, or on your back if he’s old enough to sit up on his own.
  • When booking a seat on a train, bus or plane, always let them know that you’re travelling with a young child and ask for the most convenient seating available.
  • Some airlines have sky cots and others will allow you to take a pram onto the plane as hand luggage.

ALSO SEE: 10 tips for flying with kids

Make sure baby is comfy

  • Whichever method of transport you use, always shield your child from the sun and make sure that any exposed skin is protected by a high-factor sunscreen.
  • Keep your baby as comfortable as possible by dressing him in clothes that are loose and easy to change.
  • A number of layers of fairly thin clothing are best, as this will allow you to add or take away a layer depending on how hot or cold it is on the day.
  • Cars can get very hot in the summer, with the temperature creeping up considerably, so keep a constant check on your child while travelling.
  • Take plenty of water with you on hot days.

*Article by Vital Baby

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