It’s summer, which means if you live in Arizona it’s definitely time to get out of the heat and go on summer vacation. If you have a little one, getting away can be difficult. The long car rides, long plane rides, anxiety and restlessness can easily turn your relaxing summer vacation into a nightmare. But at the AOA Family, we’re here to help. Over the years we’ve learned a few things about vacationing with babies and have created a list of tips to help get you through summer vacation in one piece.
Road Trips with Baby
Piling the family into the car for that summer road trip is an American tradition. It might be something that you do every single summer, but if you have a new baby this summer road trip can take on an entirely new meaning. However, following these tips can help you every step of the way:
- Plan Ahead – The very best thing that you can do is to plan ahead. Consider picking up so new toys for baby to play with when the trip starts getting long. Plan on making more rest stops for feedings. Also, plan on taking more breaks for you and your partner to re-energize. If the trip doesn’t quite go as planned and there is a lot of crying involved, it can be draining for everyone in the car. So plan ahead to stop at a restaurant for lunch or dinner. This extra stop can mean the difference between a horrible drive and a bearable one.
- Sleep Schedules – Often times new parents forget how well babies sleep in cars when adhering to their normal sleep patterns. If you want a stress-free trip, try to plan on leaving when your baby would normally take a nap or sleep at night. If your little one already has a pretty set sleep schedule, this will help greatly on your trip if you can leave at nap or bedtime.
- Car Checklist – You might not be one for creating checklists, but for first road trip with a new family member it might be a good idea. Think about diaper changes on the road, extra clothes, toys, food, entertainment, bottles or sippy-cups, baby blankets or stuffed-animals, first aid kit, prescription or medications, camera, stroller, any music or white noise that baby usually listens to when sleeping, and anything else you can think of.
Flights with Baby
From driving to flying, there are many similarities and yet many additional aspects that you’ll want to consider. Flying for the first time with baby can be stressful, especially if you’re not a frequent flyer, so here are a few additional tips to get you through it:
- Scheduling the Flight – Just as with planning your road trip around nap or bedtime, it’s always best to plan your flight the same way. If you can get a flight around your baby’s normal sleep schedule, this will greatly benefit you.
- Planning Ahead – As with car travel, you’ll want to plan for every contingency, including delays and layovers. Pack toys, snacks, medications, distractions and entertainment, and perhaps a few movies on your tablet or phone.
- Breastfeeding – Your best bet is to ask the airlines before you travel what their policy on breastfeeding is. Aviation law on breastfeeding can be confusing, and if you’re unsure it’s always best to ask. If you think that you might need to breastfeed on the trip, sit next to a window and have a partner of family member sitting next to you.
- Take a Breath – Flying with baby can be stressful and cause a lot of anxiety for parents. There are a lot of ‘what if’s’ that come with flying that don’t necessarily come with driving simply because there are more people involved than just you and baby.
- Talk to your AOA Physician – If you’re pregnant and considering flying this summer, talk to your AOA physician about your options. If you’re flying with a baby for the first time, talk to your pediatrician about safety concerns.
Getting out of the heat this summer is on everyone’s minds, so don’t be afraid to take that flight or road trip with the little one. Just remember to breathe, take your time, and cherish these moments.