Travelling with a baby

Travelling with a baby is daunting. Nobody ever wants to be with the one screaming baby on a flight. But at some point that is going to happen, and people around you will accept it — they’ve probably all been there anyway. Don’t sacrifice holiday time: make baby part of it. In fact, your kid can tag along on the adventure as soon as he or she has a passport and you’ve had the post-pregnancy go ahead from the doctor. Whether you’re travelling by plane, train or car, here are a few tidbits we’d think you should consider.

Go somewhere relaxing that caters for babies

It’s still early days, so there’s no need to rush into long-haul flights and big cities. Pick a low-key destination that isn’t busy and really touristy. Think more idyllic fishing village, less tackling the Barcelona metro at rush hour. Resorts with baby-friendly facilities exist for a reason; make use of them. Stroll along the beach, soak up the sunshine and lounge by the pool. The kids will appreciate theme parks and bustling cities far more when they are old enough to remember them.

Decide on the best way to travel

We’re assuming you’ve had time to familiarise yourself with your baby by now: what they like, how long they’ll sit for, how close they need to be to you, etc. This will help you decide whether you should fly, drive or take the train. Flying gets it all over with faster but moving across airports and onto the plane can be disruptive, whereas a car journey may mean baby sleeps all the way there… yeah, right.

Do your research

For peace of mind, get to know the hotel and the local facilities. It’s no good rocking up to discover there isn’t a local launderette or you had to book the hotel’s childcare options months ago (yes, we’re speaking from experience). And from one seasoned traveller to another: find out about the train or plane. Is it possible to book an aisle seat? Are there any baby add-ons? Where can you park the buggy?

Wear your baby

If you’ve been umming and ahhing over a baby carrier, one word: travel. Nothing quite says get-up-and-go like a sling or carrier. Did we mention they’re hands-free? It’s almost like the time when you didn’t have a baby, right. Forward-facing for spying the sights, inward-facing for sleeping it off.

Practise shorter trips

Yes, the Bahamas are crying out to you. But that doesn’t mean flinging yourself on the next long-haul flight you can find, even if the tickets are a *really* good deal. Get baby used to short car journeys and flights and you’ll be justly rewarded with a calm and content baby on longer trips. That’s how it works (mostly).

Apologise if your baby is crying

Finally, if your baby is crying — just apologise. Babies cry anywhere, that’s what they do and being on a plane or train isn’t going to make any difference to them. Soothe your kid the best you can and say sorry; people are more understanding than you’d think.