Navigating the Holidays with a Baby
Traveling during the holidays isn't for the shy.
What could make it any more complicated?
Traveling with your baby or small children.
Whether it's a small trip to the grocery store or a journey across land and sea, holiday travel is no small feat when there's small feet.
Don't worry, it doesn't have to be a nightmare. When you take a few extra steps planning your next mood and preparing for bumps in the road, you'll be headed over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house with way less stress on your shoulders.
Packing is difficult when you're dealing with small children or babies because you want to stay prepared but don't want to go overboard and lug around a ton of clutter. Make yourself a list of everything your baby actually uses in an average day and bring one extra set of clothing, a few extra diapers for explosions and an extra bottle.
Keep your items easy to access in the car and pack the most essential items in their own bag so you can easily grab something you need. Pack baby outfits in individual bags to avoid loosing tiny socks and little pants, doubling as a safety against leaking baby bottles or baby food spills.
The Great Departure
Today is the day for the big car ride, and frankly you're not looking forward to it.
We wish we could say that traveling with a baby is easier than a toddler, but that just isn't realistic. Babies get backseat bored too, so parents should take turns riding in the back seat to keep the little guy entertained. Babies are a little easier to entertain than a two year old and reading a story, a few tickles and kisses will keep them from feeling like they're missing out on something being in the back seat. If you have older kids, pack a few car appropriate games and toys in a separate bag for each of your kids.
It's easier to travel with your little guys in the evening or when they are normally settling down for sleep. Departing for a long car trip in the morning is usually overstimulating for small kids and little babes. Use their sleep schedule to your advantage and head out in the evening for your long car trips.
Communicate With Your Host
The holidays are stressful for everyone and your little ones definitely feel the pressure of being carted from A to B. Communicate with family members about setting aside a quiet place for you to nurse, to soothe your baby for a nap or to take your kids if they're feeling overwhelmed and begin a tantrum. When babies become overstimulated, taking them into a separate space with things that are familiar to them such as a blanket with your scent or familiar music will help them self soothe and recover from the distress of travel.
Traveling with your kids doesn't need to freak you out during the holidays.
Take the time before your trips to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time for bumps along the road, and always take the opportunity to de-stress and self care throughout your holiday adventures.