A holiday in the sun is the ideal way to unwind after several months of hard work. But when you're travelling with a newborn baby, it can quickly become more stressful than relaxing.
Going on holiday with baby brings with it a whole range of problems that you may not have had to face in the past: what documents do you need to carry when travelling with a baby? What to do if he cries on the plane, and how to make sure he's okay on a car trip?
No stress: as with all things, the important thing is to get organized, and we are here to help you. Discover our tips and tricks for a 100% serene stay with baby.
How do you travel with a baby?
Travelling with baby, in the end, is not much different from a couple's trip: all you need is good organization. So get over your anxieties and get to work:
Take a test drive: if traveling with a baby really stresses you out, why not first spend an extended weekend in a beautiful part of France?
Three or four days is plenty of time, and will allow you to familiarise yourself with your baby's needs outside of the daily routine. And if you forget something important... you're only a few hours away from home!
Pack your travel accessories: leave nothing to chance. It's best to prepare a checklist well in advance, and perhaps ask other experienced parents, or your own parents, what they think.
Take the necessary accessories with you, but don't overdo it anyway. Feeding bottles, cuddly toys and stuffed animals: yes. Two spare strollers? Maybe not...
For the trip, two must-haves that are really worth it: the baby carriers (for hikes and walks) and the diaper bag .
Respect baby's rhythm: a newborn needs a lot of sleep, and disrupting your baby's cycle is a recipe for disaster...
So, if you already know that baby will take his first nap around 3 p.m., avoid noisy visits at that time, and instead opt for a quiet walk with a stroller at the water's edge.
What documents to take with you when travelling with a baby?
It depends on the journey you're taking.
Your baby is subject to the same laws as any other minor: if you travel to another EU country, your baby's national identity card will suffice. The family record book is sometimes asked for at certain checkpoints, and your baby's health record is always good to keep handy.
For travel outside the European Union, you will need a passport, and potentially a visa depending on the country of destination (e.g. Russia).
If you take a plane, even for a domestic flight in France, you will have to refer to the rules set by your airline company. Please contact and inquire before any flight!
You can make a online pre-application for an identity card then go to the town hall to receive an ID card by appointment. Be prepared to provide some official documents, such as birth certificate, passport photos and proof of address.
At what age can you travel with a baby?
It is advisable to stay home for the first two weeks of the baby's life. From 3 weeks onwards, the baby is ready to start his life as a traveler.
However, it is important not to overdo it: avoid trips that are too long or too tiring for the baby. Also avoid improvising. The more stressful it is for you, the more stressful it is for baby-let him get his bearings and help him have a comfortable journey.
Keep in mind that a plane trip is much more difficult than a train or car trip and requires a certain amount of organization. If your child has an ear infection, flying is also out of the question. Finally, don't forget that your baby is still very small: rest and calm should be the main focus. At a young age, he won't remember anything anyway.
With most airlines, a child under the age of 2 can travel sitting on his or her parents' lap. After the age of 2, they will have to buy their own ticket and perhaps a crib on which they can lie down. Check with your airline: usually there are only 3 or 4 cribs per flight.
Where to go on holiday with a baby?
First, a toddler needs a stable environment and reference points. Therefore, going on holiday too early is not recommended, and for a first trip, why not stay in France?
Once the baby has reached a higher age, prefer destinations close to France, such as Spain, Italy or Germany. Before 6 months, avoid mountains and other radical changes in temperature or pressure: the baby is not yet ready to face his own body.
Countries that are too hot (over 30 degrees Celsius) will cause dehydration and gastroenteritis problems. Of course, avoid countries for which your little one is not yet vaccinated (malaria, etc.).
In any case, make sure your baby is well protected from the sun: hat, sunscreen, light clothing and cool water. Take one of our cooler bags with you. to keep your water cool!
For visits to colder places, such as cellars, or for windy walks in the forest, don't forget warm clothing to protect your baby's ears.
Finally, keep your child away from any risk of illness: prepare a first-aid kit with his or her usual medicines, insecticides, and of course, bandages for little boo-boos.
What to take in the baby suitcase?
It's time to get organized! You will need different equipment depending on your destination.
- To eat: Take with you what baby needs to eat: bibs , spoons, jars, etc.
- To sleep: Cuddly toys and stuffed animals, of course. A sleeping bag Help your baby fall asleep warmly if you choose a cooler destination.
- Enough clothes: Prefer clothes that require less ironing, and enough spares to last a few days of vacation. Protect your child's ears if you choose a cold destination, and take a hat or cap with you if you go out in the sun. Sunglasses are also essential!
- Identity documents: identity card, passport outside the European Union, family record book, and finally health book in case of problems.
- For his toilet: nappies, wipes, changing mattresses, towels, toothpaste and toothbrush are the essentials. You can carry all these things in a good diaper bag travel
- For the trip: a stroller, a car seat if you choose the car, and finally a pacifier and cuddly toy to sleep peacefully during the trip.
Travelling by plane with baby
If your child is still young, it is important to consider some of the problems that can arise during air travel, including earaches, which are even more common in children than adults.
To avoid or relieve these problems, give your child a pacifier or candy, or breastfeed: suckling will help the baby balance the pressure in his ears. If your child is older, you can also encourage him to yawn.
If your baby has an ear infection, forget about flying! And if you're unsure of your baby's medical condition, first ask your doctor whether it's wise to fly.
How do you get a baby to sleep on a plane?
It is sometimes difficult to survive a plane trip with a baby: screaming, crying and constant demands for attention are difficult for a young mom or dad. Not to mention the looks on the faces of angry travelers!
So how do you avoid these worries and make sure the baby stays calm and sleepy on the plane ride?
- Create a comfortable place: it's hard to fall asleep on a plane. So make your knees a comfortable place where he'll sleep without problems, thanks to a blanket, a small travel pillow, and his choice of comforters.
- Take his favorite toys: rattle, plush, and other quiet toys are perfect to help the baby calm down during the flight. And if he doesn't fall asleep, at least he stays busy!
- Book morning or evening flights if possible: these flights are usually quieter, and besides, the baby will be tired too. Sleep guaranteed!
- Change his diaper before the flight: if the baby is disturbed by his diaper, he'll have a hard time falling asleep. Airports usually have changing rooms at their disposal: make sure you make use of them!