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Traveling With Your Baby?

The key to traveling with your baby is comfort, routine and familiarity. Help baby keep calm and soothed while traveling by creating a home away from home for them.

Baby Blankets and Snuggly Baby Toys

To help your baby feel safe and secure, bring along comforting items baby is familiar with. Their favorite stuffed animal, special burp cloth, or blanket can really help baby feel more at ease about being in a new and unfamiliar place. While keeping track of yet another item may seem like an extra hassle for you, your child will be happier, and thus more pleasant to travel with, clutching something soft and familiar. Keep a replacement cashmere baby blanket or snuggly toy on hand in case the original gets lost.

Bring Baby's Favorite Foods and Seats

Small children are notoriously picky eaters, and it's hard enough finding foods they like at home, let alone while you're traveling. You may be looking forward to sampling the local cuisine at your destination, but your child may be less excited about conch fritters and sauteed snails. If you're going out to a restaurant, bring a supply of your child's favorite foods to keep them satisfied and entertained while you enjoy your own meal.

Bring along your baby's bumbo baby seat to keep them snug and cozy while you feed them. (The Bumbo Baby Seat is a revolutionary infant chair that is uniquely designed according to the baby's posture. The Bumbo enables babies to sit upright all by themselves! Bumbo Baby Seats are suitable for babies from as young as six weeks, or as soon as they can support their own heads unaided, to an age of approximately fourteen months.)

Start Your Day Early, End Your Day Early

Traveling with a baby is not about sleeping in or staying out late. Young children are at their best earlier in the day, so plan to travel, sightsee, or explore in the morning. Afternoons and evenings are a good time for playing outdoors or relaxing back at your hotel. Respecting your baby's inner clock will make him less likely to throw a tantrum in the car, the street, or a crowded museum.

Bring Baby's Familiar Bed and Bedding

There are a number of discount baby cribs available on the market today. This is the most comforting, and likely the safest option for your baby while traveling. Many hotels offer baby cribs, however, many hotels still have older cribs that are not up to code with the most recent safety standards. Also, bring your own baby crib bedding. If you rely on your hotel for bedding, you may receive large sheets, which may be a hazard to your baby. If you can, bring a bed and bedding baby is used to. A familiar baby sleep sack may also help baby sleep well and will help keep them safe.

Keep Close To Your "Home Away From Home"

Baby's mood may be more unpredictable than usual when you're traveling, so it makes sense to establish a home base you can return to quickly and easily. Short jaunts away from your accommodations are less likely to tax your child's patience. And if the weather turns foul, someone gets sick, or your baby just wants to nap, you can quickly head back to the room.

Get A Routine - Then Stick With It!

Your baby has gotten used to their "routine" at home. Be sure that, when you travel, you also establish and stick with a "travel routine". Try to keep baby's eating and sleeping routine during travel as close to their regular home routine as possible. This will make baby more tolerant of other "non-home-routine" activities that will occur while traveling. Eating meals and taking naps at the same time each day may be all the routine your baby needs to feel comfortable in their new environment.

Children get jet lag, though not quite the same way as adults do. Changing time zones can complicate the adjustment process. Be sure to have your entire family (you included) rest up before travel that includes a significant time change. Well-rested children and parents cope better than tired ones with time changes. To minimize the effects of jet lag, plan to arrive at your destination in the evening and stick to your usual end-of-day routine: Give your baby a bath, read a book, and put baby to sleep at the usual bedtime in the new time zone. For example, if you are in London and it's 7 p.m. there, put baby down to sleep even if it's eight hours ahead of their normal bedtime. It will take a few days to adjust.

You can expect your baby's adjusting to travel to take several days. So, be patient and stick to a familiar routine, feed baby familiar foods and give baby familiar toys. Be sure you stay nearby - you are the most familiar thing to your baby.

Article By Michelle O'Connor, Michelle O'Connor 2005, all rights reserved. Baby Phat Infant Clothes

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