Make sure that your first vacation with your baby is a success. Take some time and do some upfront planning.
Our list of 10 things to consider will help you plan a successful vacation for you, your partner and your baby.
1. Anticipate where you will get food and water for your baby. It may not be an issue if you are traveling to a popular tourist destination, but it may be if you are going to a more remote area.
2. It will be easier to treat any issues that your baby may experience when away from home if you pack the right medicines with you before leaving home. It is much easier and more effective treatment for sore tummies, low grade fevers, diaper rashes if you have the right medicines with you - rather than trying to find a drugstore after your child starts to feel under the weather.
3. In the past when it was just you and your spouse traveling on your own - you may have been on the go for the most part and you didn't spend much time in your room. Things will be different now. Every day your baby will be napping and on many of those days it will be in your hotel room - or in your cabin on a cruise ship. Give yourself a place to spend the time that your child is napping - consider upgrading your room so that it has a balcony that you can relax on while your child sleeps.
4. Reduce your expectations. Anticipate that your vacation will not be as jammed packed as it used to be. Plan your day's events around some time to stop and play and exercise with the baby. Identify the vacation places that each of you really want to see or visit on the trip - and then agree upfront that each of you will have times to see what they want to see while the other parents looks after your baby.
5. Our babies love to sleep in the stroller. That is great when we are at home - but not always so great on a vacation. If your baby is in their stroller too much during the day they may end up having too much daytime sleep making it difficult for them to sleep at night. During the day plan for regular breaks to get the baby out of their stroller and play with them at a park, or place a blanket on the ground and spend some time playing with them outside of their stroller.
6. As much as possible avoid connecting flights when air travel is part of your vacation plan. Taking off, landing and rushing through airports to get to your connecting flights is never easy and is even more difficult when traveling with a baby.
7. Travel bed. Bringing your own compact travel bed with you ensures that your baby will be sleeping in a comfortable and safe environment. There is no guarantee about the quality of the crib that the hotel will provide to you when you arrive.
8. If possible bring your own car seat. The ones provided by car rental companies are sometimes questionable.
9. Vaccinations. Check with your baby's doctor 6 to 8 weeks before the trip to ensure that your baby has all the necessary shots before they travel.
10. Check list. Write a list of the items that you will carry with you as you travel and a list of the items that you will pack for your baby to be used during the trip. Check the list a week before the trip and then check it again the day before the trip to make sure that you have everything.
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