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Winter is one of the busiest times of year to travel. Whether you travel by train, plane or take a long road trip, it can be overwhelming – especially when you have young children. However, there is no need to worry, as preparing and anticipating possible obstacles along the way can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Most children are old enough to travel at about 6 weeks-2 months of age (after their first set of vaccinations), but it’s best to share travel plans with your pediatrician to be sure.
Once you’re clear for travel, you can keep the road smooth with these tips from Dr. Whitney Casares, a pediatrician, Gerber pediatric consultant, author, and mom of two:
Frequent handwashing is one of the most effective ways to keep your baby healthy during travel. Avoiding sick people, giving plenty of opportunities for rest and offering a diverse array of nutritious food options (or breastmilk or formula if your baby is too young for solid foods) can also help.
When traveling by car, make sure your child is properly fastened in his or her car seat. If traveling by plane, follow all crew members’ and airline instructions for a safe journey.
Traveling can be a disorienting experience for little ones so being consistent with eating schedules can provide comfort and keep babies healthy, happy and energized along your journey. Wholesome travel snacks are an absolute must, especially for little ones.
High-quality snack and food options like Grain and Grow Strawberry Apple Puffs and Wonderfoods Natural Banana pouches are simple ways to offer your little one high-quality nutrition without the mess on road trips, airplanes, or train rides.
Now as part of the partnership, these, and many more Gerber products, have been awarded Clean Label Certifications from the renowned nonprofit Clean Label Project. It has also been awarded the most First 1,000 Day Promise certifications – the most comprehensive of all the nonprofit’s certifications – of any U.S. infant feeding brand as well as the Purity Award and Pesticide-Free certification for key products in its baby food portfolio.
It’s also important to keep an eye on little ones while eating in transit, ensuring they’re safe, seated and supervised while eating to avoid choking hazards and make sure snack time stays mess, and stress, free.
There are many toy choices for young children, so knowing what to pack while traveling and having backups is key. Compact toys like rattles and teething toys are some of the best choices for tiny travelers because they’re easy to pack and clean. A stuffy or lovey can help console older babies and toddlers who may experience ear discomfort on an airplane or boredom on a road trip.
Travel can be tiresome even for adults who know what to expect. For little ones, it’s even more so. Providing frequent breaks to stretch and get their wiggles out helps them not be overwhelmed by the experience of long travel days. Staying engaged with children is also key to keeping boredom or restlessness at bay.
A little disruption to sleep schedules is to be expected, so try not to stress about it if your little one isn’t sleeping at usual times. To try to maintain your routine. If you plan on using a portable crib, have little ones practice sleeping in it for a few nights before you leave for your trip so they’re already accustomed to it. Young sleepers can also benefit from sleep aides such as a white noise machine to ease the transition to a new environment.
Embarking on a winter journey with young children requires thoughtful planning, ensuring a safe and enjoyable adventure for the whole family. With proper preparation, traveling with young children in the winter becomes an opportunity to create lasting family memories amidst the enchanting beauty of the season.
December 13, 2023