The first time you travel with your new baby, you have no idea what to expect. What do you pack? How do you plan your day? When should they sleep? You can learn a lot and plan accordingly by avoiding these five common travel mistakes.
Looking for our exhaustive packing list? Take a look at the items you may need to pack when traveling with your littles.
Making a Strict Itinerary
Planning your schedule on vacation so that you get the most out of your time is a smart thing to do. Planning your schedule so rigidly that you feel stress when your baby sleeps in—or doesn’t sleep at all—will ruin the whole trip. Make a plan but be aware that your baby might act differently out of their normal routine. They might nurse or eat more often out of comfort. Getting them to sleep might be a struggle. Because of all of the fun new activities, they might nap for longer times. Allow for flexibility and your stress level will remain in vacation mode.
Totally Ditching Your Normal Routine
Another of the common travel mistakes is going willy nilly with your schedule. While you don’t want to adhere to a super strict itinerary, you shouldn’t completely ditch your at home routine either. If your baby has been napping for two hours every day for the past four months, skipping their afternoon nap will result in a cranky baby for the rest of the day. Likewise, bumping their mealtimes by too much will leave them feeling hungry and grumpy—and you’ll be the one to pay for your mistake. Try to keep nap times, meal times, and bedtimes approximately the same so as not to confuse your baby.
Leaving Comforts at Home
Does your baby have a special blanket they like to snuggle with during your nursing sessions? Or maybe a particular cup to drink from during lunch? Perhaps they have always slept with a white noise machine in their bedroom. Or their favorite bear sits with them while they eat their meal. Do yourself and your baby a favor and bring along these items, especially any surrounding eating and sleeping. If they can have their comfort item, they might adapt more easily to being in totally new surroundings.
Bringing Along Absolutely Everything
While it’s smart to bring along a comfort item or two, bringing along their entire toy box and wardrobe is simply unnecessary. Overpacking for baby is definitely a common travel mistake. Yes, your baby will need a few more changes of clothes than you to account for diaper blowouts, slobber, and eating messes. Yes, some toys are smart to bring along to serve as a distraction on the plane or car ride as well as in the stroller and hotel room. But you don’t need it all. Your back will thank you when you don’t have to lug everything and the kitchen sink in and out of the car.
Not Taking Enough Pictures With You
It’s easier for parents nowadays to take pictures thanks to the camera technology in our phones. You will definitely capture their first step in the ocean, a taste of a local treat, and the sunrise they woke you up to see. But are you taking enough pictures of your baby — and you? If you’re traveling with another parent, friend, or family member, ask them to take pictures of the two of you interacting on vacation, and not just posed photos. Candids of playing in the sand, walking on a trail hand in hand, or meeting a character for the first time will be images you will cherish for a lifetime. Having you in the photo means that your baby will also cherish that photo when they are older. You were there; make sure you’re visible in the photos.
You will have a great time on your baby’s first vacation. Just keep a few of these common travel mistakes in mind as you head off to make memories together.