The days when we were “just” parents are long gone: we want to have adventures and still enjoy our active lifestyles once our children are born.
“This is an international trend and these days parents automatically assume their kids will be joining them in more and more situations,” says Maria Lexhagen, a lecturer and researcher in tourism studies and the director of tourism research center ETOUR.
We don’t want our lives to radically change one we’ve had kids – we want our kids to join in and enjoy that life.
All-inclusives, kids clubs and fast-track family lines at the airport
“Parents of babies and young children are also a strong and demanding target group. Travel operators are trying to meet their demands,” says Maria Lexhagen, citing examples such as all-inclusive options, kids clubs at various destinations and the fact that more and more airports are offering special lines for families that travel with babies and youngsters.
How to play it safe when traveling with babies
Travel with babies may feel exciting and daunting in equal measures. Is it really OK to travel with a brand new little person? Of course it is, says child and parent psychologist Catarina Furmark.
A parent’s emotional composure before the trip is just as much a factor as the change of surroundings. It’s also especially important for you as a parent to be aware of the signals sent by your child – and you – while you’re traveling.
“If your baby can stay close to you, remain in physical contact and feel they can rely on you to remain calm, they will also stay calm,” says Furmark.
Is it really OK to travel with a brand new little person?
From a medical standpoint, it’s not always ideal to travel long distances because infants are especially susceptible to infection and may not be fully vaccinated. But you can check with your child’s doctor.
Traveling with babies – Sleep routine tips
When a baby will be sleeping away from home, they like smells that remind them of home. A blankie or other comfort object that smells familiar is usually reassuring.
Routines give a child a sense of security. They give the child a feeling of control over the world around them. So it’s a good idea to try to keep bedtime routines on a trip as similar as possible to your routines at home. This isn’t always easy.
But if your baby is sleeping in a travel crib, it can be reassuring if it smells like home. Take unwashed bedding from your baby’s crib at home on your trip.
Stick to your familiar bedtime rituals as far as possible. Like adults, babies sleep better in a room with subdued lighting that’s not too warm.
A new way of traveling!
Give your baby plenty of closeness and reassurance and be responsive to their needs, and the rest will fall into place. To successfully travel with babies, you must have realistic expectations of what they can manage and the amount of time they will need.
Trips you take with your baby are likely to be very different to the trips you took before you became parents. But we promise you this – it’s an exciting experience to rediscover the world through the eyes of your child!