As new parents become more accustomed to having a baby, they might start thinking about traveling as a family. Planning for a child’s safety during vacation is of utmost importance. With spring and summer approaching, below are some items parents should remember for health and safety’s sake:
- If you’re going to be spending time in motor vehicles while you’re on vacation, a car seat is a must. If you’re flying to your destination, this might be an easy item to overlook, but whether you’re renting a car or taking a taxi during your vacation, a car seat will keep your child as safe as possible during transport.
- Be sure to include a first aid kit in your suitcase that contains medications, such as baby/child acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and an oral syringe. If your child takes vitamins, pack those as well. Some children require medications like asthma inhalers or injectable epinephrine for life-threatening allergies. A thermometer, sterile bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers and a cold pack are also helpful.
- If you’ll be spending time in the sun, bring baby- or child-friendly sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats.
- Remember to pack childproofing items for your vacation rental, such as outlet covers, door knob covers, and pipe cleaners or twist ties to secure cords and draperies. Tip: duct tape can do several of these jobs if you need to pack lightly.
- Your baby is likely to experience the same ear-popping sensation that adults do when traveling by plane, but doesn't know how to yawn on cue and can’t chew gum to help. Breastfeeding or sucking on a bottle, pacifier or sippy cup can alleviate pressure.
- Another key to a happy baby (and happy parents) during vacation is good sleep. Try to maintain the usual naptime and bedtime routines if possible. If your baby depends on white noise when sleeping, bring along a white noise CD or small sound machine. Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep, whether you are bringing your own portable crib or relying on one that is available through your vacation rental.
- Remember all the essentials: formula, baby food, snacks, diapers, wipes, a potty seat if your child is in potty training, your child’s favorite comfort toy or blanket, and other items, such as a lightweight umbrella stroller to make your trip more convenient.
Most of all, be flexible! It may take your baby a few days to get accustomed to the new environment.