(Editor’s note: Please welcome Colm with his suggestions to make traveling with baby easier. Thanks Colm!)
Pack your patience! You hear this from so many sources that it can drive you a bit crazy. However no truer advice was given when it comes to planning a successful first trip with baby. This is the time that you really want to enjoy with your little one and yet it can be filled with so much anxiety and stress. Don’t let the stress get the best of you and be careful not to fall into the temper tantrum, baby meltdown, or even worse the mommy meltdown! Though it can frazzle your nerves a bit and you need to gain experience in traveling with your baby, you will quickly find that this can be an amazing vacation with a bit of planning. So how do you avoid meltdowns?
Learn to Roll with It
Sounds easy enough, right? If you just roll with it, then everything will be fine. What if your baby has a full on tantrum in the car? Worse yet, what if your baby goes into meltdown mode on a crowded airplane? Though there are many reasons why baby may fall into a meltdown, you don’t have to give into it. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that you don’t end up with a mini panic attack:
- Baby often cries when she/he doesn’t know what’s going on. Be patient and understanding that this is all new to baby. It’s a change in environment, new people, and a derivation from schedule. If you ease them into all of this and stay calm with them, this will help to wipe away the tears a whole lot faster.
- Remember that baby will follow your lead. If you are tense, then baby will pick up on that. If you stay calm, cool, and collected this will help to ease baby’s fears. They cry to express a need or to tell you that something is bothering them. Rather than give in and get upset, roll with it and just be there for them.
- Take a deep breath! Before you give into the chaotic circumstances or feel the stress of everyone staring at you while your baby cries, slow down. Remember that many others have been through this before you and many will go through this after you, and this stuff happens. Nobody will judge you and if they do, then they have never traveled with kids!
The calmer that you can be, the better it can be on baby. If they seem inconsolable then give them a comfort item or something that is sure to calm them down like a bottle or snack. This is all part of rolling with it and it truly comes from experience!
Remember That This is All New
Every chapter of your life with baby has been an adventure, and this will be too. Remember that when you first started out as a parent that you had no idea what you were doing and yet you learned it along the way. There will be many more memorable and wonderful moments of your first trip with baby than stressful ones. Is this going to be a learning experience for you? Yes of course and learn you will! You are not going to know everything you need to know about traveling with baby until you actually do it for the first time. You will see how they are with traveling in the car for hours or with going on an airplane. You will learn their personality for new environments and different experiences. You just have to give yourself time!
Many have gone through this and many will go through this, so you are not alone. Even though you may feel alone when your baby is screaming and you are on the verge of having a mommy meltdown, don’t give into it. You will figure it out as you go along and learn as with any aspect of parenting what works for your baby and your family and what doesn’t. You do have to go in with realistic expectations, some flexibility, and a whole lot of patience. If you can take on that mindset and adapt that approach then you will be just fine. By the next trip you will be a pro, but for now just enjoy the ride of baby’s first trip!
Written by Colm Byrne for The Fairview Hotel a great place to stay with your family when in Ireland.
Photo provided courtesy of andycarvin via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents travelling with baby.