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  • What to Bring on Your Baby's First Trip: 12 Things to Put on Your Checklist

    Traveling IS good for you and your baby. You just need to plan it well.
    by Rachel Perez .
What to Bring on Your Baby's First Trip: 12 Things to Put on Your Checklist
PHOTO BY iStock
  • We believe traveling is good for the family, and it's an investment worth making. But going to a well-baby checkup is already a production number. So, yes, you need to prepare (and we mean a lot of planning) for that first out-of-town trip or out-of-the-country vacation with your baby. It doesn't have to be perfect, and expecting it to be will just land you into trouble.

    Here is a checklist of the things you need to consider when planning your baby's first trip.

    Consider your destination and time of visit. Answer the following questions as a guide:

    How far is your destination?

    Know what's the quickest, safest, and most comfortable way to travel. Ideally, you should have an age-appropriate car safety seat for your little one when traveling by car. Some airlines offer special perks, such as providing more leg room or bassinets, for moms and babies. You need to inquire and let them know of your needs ahead of time.

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    Where are you staying?

    Whether it's a hotel, bed and breakfast, or you're staying with a relative or a friend, ask the childcare essentials they can provide during your stay. Ask if they can provide a crib or co-sleeper. Should you need a baby carrier or a stroller (here are some great options for strollers and carriers!). Check if it's near public transportation stops as it will become handy.

    What's the weather?

    Some apps can help you check the weather during the days you're in your destination. This will help you know what kind of clothes to pack. It will also give you an idea of the common health issues, if any, associated with your destination, which can help you pack your travel emergency medical kit with medicines against common illnesses in the region and first-aid essentials.

    What are the emergency facilities available?

    Emergency facilities could be the first aid services available in the clinic of your chosen accommodations, the nearest supermarket or drug store, and hospital. It's best to ask for referrals for pediatricians if you're going for an extended vacation.

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    Is your baby ready?

    Pediatrician Rhiza Valdes, M.D. says there is no hard and fast rule on when a baby may travel. Consider, however, if you and your baby have established breastfeeding, and try to schedule your travel times around his sleep and nap times. Consult your pediatrician if there are any vaccines your child needs to boost his protection.

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    What you need to bring when traveling

    Your hand-carry bag should include your baby's diaper bag essentials including a change of clothes for you in case of emergencies. Consider these tips in packing your luggage:

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    1. The rule of thumb for clothes is one outfit plus two extra sets and one set of sleep clothes for each day/night you're on vacation. Packing cubes will help you get this organized.
    2. Don't forget to bring muslins and bibs, and swaddle blankets, too.
    3. Observe how often your baby wees or poos for three days before the trip. It will give you an idea of how many diapers to bring. Another option is to buy diapers at your destination.
    4. Reusable cloth diapers are not easy to use when traveling, so make sure you bring enough for the trip and a separate container for soiled inserts. Check if you'll have time to wash inserts, too.
    5. Don't forget the baby wipes, of course, a diaper rash cream, and portable/foldable changing pad as well.
    6. For breastfeeding mamas, don't forget your nursing cover and your breast pump paraphernalia if you'll need them.
    7. If your baby is formula-fed, pre-measured milk comes in handy as well as a portable sterilizer for cleaning feeding bottles and nipples. Make sure you use distilled water for mixing formula.
    8. If your baby has started on solids, prepare pre-portioned batches and pack them for the trip. Don't forget the snacks.
    9. Don't forget your baby's security item, whether it's a stuffed toy, a pillow, or a pacifier. It will help keep him calm throughout the trip.
    10. As for toys, choose your little one's favorites and keep a few surprises hidden. Bring out one toy for your baby to play with at a time.
    11. Bring a trash bag for soiled diapers or wet clothes, cloth diapers, and muslins. Please make sure to dispose these items properly.
    12. Optional but handy essentials to pack on your carry-on is a hand sanitizer and mosquito repellent.

    One last piece of advice: keep your itinerary flexible and accept you may not even get to do everything in it. It will make you and your baby happy travelers.

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