Planning your first trip with your newborn will seem daunting but getting it out of the way early will build your confidence for more trips.

 A bit of preparation and planning can make holidaying with a newborn a breeze.

If new moms and dads don’t know what they’re in for, packing and planning a family trip with a tiny baby can be daunting!

Traveling as a new family for the first time can be intimidating; it comes with its own set of challenges, but that doesn’t mean your holiday can’t be enjoyable…

Here are some suggestions for making your family getaway stress-free:

Find the right accommodation ahead of your trip

As with any trip with a newborn baby, choose somewhere that’s safe, that’s clean, and has good access to healthcare.

Be prepared

If you’re holidaying abroad, your baby will need his/her own passport. So allow plenty of time for it to be processed before you book your holiday. Carry all documents like passports, birth certificates, etc., in one plastic folder that is easy to reach, especially if you’re flying to your holiday destination. Always pack a change of clothes for you – as well as for your baby in your hand luggage. There’s nothing worse than your baby sicking up all down your clothes and having to stay in them for hours.

Book the best seats 

Book flights ahead of time and ask for seats that have the most legroom. Failing that, if you can sit towards the front of the plane, there is usually less turbulence than at the back.

Invest in a camp cot

Having a safe place for your baby to sleep reduces the stress of bedtime and afternoon naps for both you and your baby. A comfortable and foldable camp cot has the advantage of being a ‘bed away from home’ when necessary, often making sleep issues easier when you are travelling with a newborn. In addition, don’t forget to pack your baby’s stroller and car seat.

Routine, routine, routine

While it can be difficult sticking to the same routine you use at home while travelling, try to structure your days around a similar routine by putting your baby to sleep at the same time each night. A regular schedule can bring some order to the chaos.

Holiday with friends

Looking after a tiny baby is hard work, so consider asking friends or family to join you on your holiday; that way, you can share babysitting duties.

Take regular breaks

For road travel, try and travel during your newborn’s nap time and take pit stops when they wake up.

Be realistic

No, you won’t be spending your whole holiday sipping margaritas by the pool and reading your favourite novel uninterrupted (sigh). But setting realistic expectations for your trip will help you enjoy what you can do – like walking along the beach and having midday naps while the baby sleeps.

Expect the unexpected

Above all, remember that flexibility is key to a good family holiday. Try and go with the flow, and don’t become stressed if things don’t unfold exactly as you had anticipated.

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