Lucky You! Many parents choose to wait for baby’s first flight until their child is a few months old. International Intended Parents don’t have that luxury. Just as you’re getting the hang of being a parent, you’ll likely be flying home with your new bundle of joy! But don’t fret, we have a few tips to make the journey home easier.
Already Hate Flying? Just Add a Baby!
Whether travelling by car, bus, train or plane, travel can be a stressful experience. You’re usually never comfortable, you need to deal with strangers in your personal bubbles, and someone always has smelly feet. Adding the idea of a newborn into that mix could be enough for you to throw in the white towel before you even start! But fear not, we have some parent-tested, tried and true methods to help simplify your travel plans and prepare yourself for adventure with a newborn.
Know Your Airport and Airline
Always inquire well before travel, as to what options are available for those traveling with a newborn. Some airlines allow you to book seating with bassinet attachments. Many accommodate new parents with preferential boarding and exiting of the airplane. Others allow plane door check-in and pick up of required items like car seats and strollers. Many airports provide complimentary check-in to gate transportation for those with mobility or assisted-travel requirements. Make sure to research the available resources and options along your travel route in order to optimize supports, particularly for parents flying solo.
When Traveling with a Baby it Helps to be Prepared
Ensure your diaper bag is well stocked for the journey, whether long or short. Snacks and fluids are a must, particularly in the drying environment an airplane provides. Traveling with fluids can be tricky, in this day and age, so be sure to know what the guidelines and restrictions are for the country you’re traveling through. In Canada, generally, liquids are accepted in containers of 100 milliliters or 100 grams that fit in a single, clear, plastic resealable bag that holds less than 1 liter. However, breast milk and formula are permitted even if a parent is traveling without baby. It may require additional screening though, so allow yourself some extra time at security. As a bonus, the motion made by sucking helps to relieve air pressure changes created during the take-off and landing of the plane.
Don’t Forget the Extra Clothes and Diapers
Travel can often present unexpected challenges. Changes in weather, the stress of being in an unknown environment, varied dietary intake, and more could contribute to an unhappy traveler, and especially so for a newborn babe. Extra clothing and/or layers are a simple way to combat fluctuations in temperature and prevent an upset baby. Also, messes happen! That’s a particularly obvious statement when it comes to a newborn baby, so be sure to pack additional diapers, clothes, wipes, receiving blankets etc.
If your baby has a Favourite Toy or Security Item, Be Sure to Pack It!
Bringing a comfort item, often associated with sleep, might easy the upset that travel can sometimes cause. A favoured blankie, soother or toy might be a simple way to entertain, distract and comfort your little one. If a comfort item is created during the surrogacy journey, a scented stuffed animal or blankie might offer peace of mind as you journey back to your home outside of the province or country.
Take A Break
If you intend to travel over an extended period of time, ensure that you schedule breaks for your own well being, along with baby’s. Catching a later connecting flight, or adding a day to your long distance travel, will allow time to rest and recuperate during the full travel experience. If traveling by car or bus, make sure you make the time for stretching and movement. This will ensure the journey is far less stressful and complicated for emotional, physical and scheduling purposes.
Be patient and kind to yourself and baby during travel. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from airport or airline staff. They experience many types of travelers during their shifts and are there to offer help or accommodations as needed. Holding and comforting your child as often as possible will assist in making the journey a more pleasant one; you represent safety, warmth, and love for your baby. Nap when babe naps, if possible, and make sure you give yourself mini-breaks as well. Baby’s well being and experience will be inextricably linked to yours, so enjoy yourself and relax when you can.
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