Actress Gail Mabalane shares her top tips for travelling with your baby this festive season.
Travelling with your baby can be a daunting experience, but if you’re well prepared, it can be a pleasurable experience. Whether you’re planning a short- or long-distance trip, it’s important to ensure you pack everything you need for your baby. The trick is to create a home away from home for your baby and doing your best to ensure you stick to baby’s day-night routine.
The actress and Huggies brand ambassador recently travelled to Durban with her four-month-old baby, Khumo. She shares her top tips for traveling with a baby:
- You don’t need to travel with all your baby equipment. “Although I wasn’t able to make use of this service because I did not book in advance, there are actually companies where you can rent everything from a bottle steriliser to a camp cot. This makes the packing so much easier, and it allows you to travel lighter.”
- Arrive early at the airport if you are flying. “We arrived at the airport early, so we had time to figure things out. Thank goodness Khumo is a very chilled baby.”
- If you are travelling by car, have a car seat. “Ensure that you have a car seat your baby can comfortably fit in, with padding and adequate head and neck support.”
- Make sure you pack plenty of nappies that are easily accessible during your trip. “Travelling with kids can be a messy business. Change your baby’s nappy right before you get on the plane. I used a Huggies Gold New Baby nappy when travelling with Khumo, which really help to make changes stess-free. They have special features like a wetness indicator that changes from yellow to green when the nappy is wet, fasten-anywhere outer tabs to help provide the perfect fit, cottony soft breathable materials and a triple absorbent core with a quilted liner for optimal absorption and skin protection. The nappy also offers a special runny-poo pocket to help prevent leaks at the back of the nappy.”
- “Keep baby hydrated because airplanes are drying. I also recommend bringing a bottle — something to suck on to help relieve air pressure, especially during take-off and landing.”
- Bring your child’s favourite toys. “I made sure that I only packed soft toys for baby Khumo, nothing that has sharp edges or that can hurt him if there is turbulence.”
- Always sit right next to your baby. “You are his comfort zone, you are home to him.”
- Keep your child entertained with music, singing songs, stories and made-up rhymes.
- Have wet wipes nearby to wipe those sticky fingers. They’ll also come in handy for any other accidents (that are bound to happen when you have kids).
- If you can, take help – whether it’s your helper, mother, sister or aunty – especially if you have more than one child. The more hand on deck the better.
At the end of the day, whether you travel by plane, train or car, it’s important to be prepared. “An important lesson I learned is you can leave your heels, hairdryer and straightener behind – just don’t forget the pram!”
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.