Everything you need to know about traveling with a baby.
Guest post by Rachel, Wokabout
My little family has almost made a career out of travel. Jason and I have been married six years and during that time, we have relocated countries…hold on, let me do the finger count…six times? Yup. Six times. I am Australian. Jason is American. We now have a little ‘dualie’, Xavier. We usually live in China.
Xavier is almost one year old. In his first year, he’s been to Australia, USA, Germany, China and back to Australia. I feel like we’ve learned a thing or two (possibly even a few tricks) that are useful for any family considering travel — be it by plane, train or automobile. So because it is the little man that has taught us most of what we know, I thought you might enjoy hearing it from him.
So without further adieu, please enjoy the exchange between Mummy (M) and Xavier (Mr. X)!
M: What do you think of your transient lifestyle?
Mr. X: I love it! I love new places, new foods, new people adoring me. I love presents from Chinese grandmothers. Love it.
M: What about your crazy parents? Do you feel like they’ve done you a disservice, disrupting your schedule and toting your all over the world while you’re at an age that you likely won’t remember any of it?
Mr.X: No. They are first timers so they still have a lot to learn but at this stage of my life, I’m using 70% of my brain as opposed to the 10% that I’m likely to use as an adult. I am soaking in everything. I understand some Chinese you know. Schedule? What’s that?
M: Do you sleep through the night?
Mr. X: No. Why?
M: Never mind. Do you sleep in your own bed?
Mr. X: Sometimes, but why should I? I prefer to sleep the Chinese way — everyone in the same bed!
M: Well, I think your parents wish you would spend more time in your own bed.
Mr. X: Well, they have to admit that it has cut down on the amount of ‘stuff’ we tote around. No portable beds!
M: True… Let’s change the subject. Our readers would like to know what you consider essential to every travelling baby’s nappy bag (that’s a diaper bag for our North American readers).
Mr. X’s travel Essentials for Babies:
- A baby carrier — I recommend Ergo. There’s plenty of other styles — wraps, mai tai’s, ring slings — that are also useful (ring slings can be used as blankets/nursing covers too).
- Res-Q remedy/ointment — go to your local health food store for this. Modern day miracles that soothe bumps, burns and bites. Great for Mummy’s cuticles. Having this on hand is a lot better than standing in Chinese pharmacy and trying to figure out the universal sign for mosquito bite. Or you could by a homeopathic first aid kit like this.
- Coconut oil — the miracle oil! Hand sanitizer, wound cleaner, sun protection, etc, etc.
- Mosquito repellant stickers — discovered these in China and they are brilliant. No more rubbing chemicals on my fair skin and one sticker usually lasts for a whole day (stick it on my back so I can’t eat it).
- Amber teething necklace — truthfully, I haven’t travelled while teething so I can’t vouch for this one but my other baby buds tell me they don’t leave home without theirs.
- A change of clothes…for the parents — you will puke or have a nappy blow out (no shame, brothers and sisters). If you’re lucky, you’ll survive the trip in the same clothes. Your parent/s? Odds are not in their favour.
- A bag of tricks — have your mum pack a little bag of fun things. Include a few familiar items (like your teddy and your dummy/paci), your favourite book (the one your mum can recite to you so that she doesn’t have to look at it and get motion sick), and a few new toys. I like cars. BUT nothing should be loud or obnoxious. The gentleman sharing your row will not appreciate irritating songs for the duration of the trip
- Snacks — airplane food is not especially nutritious. Here’s a link to the most extensive list of healthy foods you can bring on planes for children. There’s a lot of things on this list that you likely didn’t know was allowed.
- A stainless steel water bottle with filter — difficult to come by but who wants to spend half their vacation money buying airport water?
- Baby probiotics — again from your health food store. You can usually buy this in powder form and mix with yoghurt/foods/milk to calm the queaziest of tummies. Drank bath water? Take a probiotic. Gas? Take a probiotic. Diarreaha? Take a probiotic!
Bio: Rachel writes about her family’s gypsy lifestyle at wokabout.net.
Dear friends, don’t you love this list from Rachel and Xavier? (Thanks Rachel!) Have you ever travelled with a baby? I sure have, and I highly recommend it! (You can find some of my top tips that I wrote after Levi’s first international trip here: tips and tricks for traveling with a baby.) But back to you. What are YOUR top tips for traveling with a little one?
Laura24 January 2012 at 11:09 pm
I consider myself to be a well-seasoned traveler with Georgia, but Rachel came up with some awesome items that I’d never heard of before – mosquito repellent stickers?! That’s awesome!
My favorite travel item (for my now 3 year old) is a small, collapsible, lunch bag. We pack it full of snacks for her, and we usually add some special treats that she doesn’t know about until we get on the plane. It usually eats (no pun intended) up at least 30-40 minutes while she eats, and I’m not worried about her gorging on crummy plane snacks. G’s favorite snacks include: goldfish, yogurt covered raisins, and dried apricots.
Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos24 January 2012 at 11:23 pm
Hiiiiii Laura!!! Oh, it’s been a while! I was JUST thinking about you. I miss seeing your feed come through my reader! How ARE you??
I love the mozzie stickers too! Had NEVER heard of them before Rachel’s post either. Very cool. I’d probably use them more here at home than traveling though – lol. Most of our travel is AWAY from those little pests! Our backyard, however…… 😉
SO nice to “see” you! x
Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos recently posted..hello judah | a successful vbac birth story (unabridged)
Alexandra25 January 2012 at 12:04 am
Oh, thank you so much for popping over.
I WISH time weren’t my enemy. So much good writing I miss, just b/c I”m keeping up with mine.
I’m stunned you have a Xavier…so do we. Not a common name at all.
But so very cool, isn’t it?
You look lovey, sweet girl.
Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos25 January 2012 at 2:41 pm
Yes, I do like the name Xavier, but he’s not mine! He’s Rachel’s – my guest poster. 😉
I do have a Judah since I last talked to you though! He is four months old this week! And my Levi is turning two on Sunday! Time FLIES. x
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Nessa25 January 2012 at 12:52 am
This is good stuff. I have coconut oil in my cupboard… love cooking with it – but never thought about it on my body. Silly me.
Nessa recently posted..Unmatching and Books
Rachel25 January 2012 at 9:44 pm
In Australia, you can buy the mossie repellant stickers at Terry White Chemists! I’m so excited to finally find them!!!
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grace28 January 2012 at 7:34 am
We never travel without our Chicco play yard and the MamaDoo Kids mattress topper for extra comfort and the First Years on the Go Booster Seat. Thank you!
Kirsten12 September 2012 at 11:16 am
Great post, I am just wondering where Rachel finds the Mosquito Repellent Stickers, I see that she gets them from alibaba. but I was hoping someone would know of an australian brand?
Kirsten12 September 2012 at 11:16 am
O I just saw her comment! nevermind!