Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

2 December 2022 0 By Vital Baby

First Time Family Holiday Travel with your Newborn Infant

The holiday season has arrived and together with your newest addition to the family we have some top travel tips for all new Moms and Dads to make the most out of your year-end holiday trip with your newborn infant.
To answer your first and most important question; yes, it is safe for your newborn baby to travel, and you can start as early as one month old. In fact, the newborn to age 2 age range is the easiest stage to travel with infants as they are more portable and able to settle into sleep almost anywhere, so long as Mom and Dad are nearby.
Saying that, when planning for your first great getaway, be prepared for everything! Whether taking baby home to meet the grandparents or setting off on a seaside holiday break, know how long you will be on the road, where the local hospital and pharmacies are and the number of pitstops you will need for feeds, nappy changes, and comfort cuddles until you reach your final destination.
It is also important, when traveling on your first-time family holiday, not to keep your newborn strapped into a baby carrier or stroller for more than two hours without giving them an opportunity to move, stretch or roll on a mat. If your baby falls asleep in the car seat, always check to see they have sufficient airflow around their face.
Nurture Holiday Journeys

One of the biggest pitfalls of any holiday time is overpacking; thankfully breastfeeding babies are the easiest way to travel light as a family. Ensure you have mastered your breastfeeding skills before you leave home to benefit from a good milk supply, a properly latched baby and of course, a stress-free Mom.

Surprisingly holiday travel can be stressful as you navigate your way around new destinations and holiday experiences and with a newborn requiring around the clock care, and you don’t want additional worries regarding an inability to breastfeed due to your breast size, diet, your holiday schedule or your infant not latching properly.

Stress can affect breastfeeding, creating difficulty with the let-down reflex and causing a decrease in milk supply and is often the cause of early weaning in young mums.

That said, breastfeeding may support you to lower your stress levels. Take a moment to breathe and focus on yourself and your little one as you settle in to breastfeed, the release of hormones promotes ease and calm and strengthens the bond of love between you and the precious miracle you are cradling in your arms.

As the primary caregiver, you will need to support yourself by resting, staying hydrated and breastfeeding more often to keep your milk supply up while traveling. This is where your partner can step in and help you become a dynamic duo, managing alternate feeds with the advantages of stored breastmilk, so you can catch up on rest or take turns navigating the journey.

#PROTip Your travel packing essential here is a lightweight and affordable breast-pump such as the vital baby manual breast pump R825.90 or the electric breast pump R2856.50 with its unique super soft silicone breast cup and flexcone™ to massage the breast by gently mimicking the natural suckling action of your baby. Easy and quick to use, it provides the most natural and effective breast pumping experience and is especially helpful for new Moms who are unsure whether they are producing enough breastmilk or if baby is drinking enough breast milk at each feed.

Expressed milk is easily stored at room temperature for up to four hours, if it is not in direct sunlight or in a space warmer than 25 degrees Celsius, so pack a small cooler box if necessary. Breastmilk can also be stored in the freezer at your travel destination with vital baby’s easy pour breastmilk storage pouches R221.20 featuring 30 leak-proof seal pouches.

If your baby has never taken breastmilk from a bottle before, be sure to acclimatize them first before leaving on your vacation. Vital Baby supports breastfeeding Mums with their breast-like teats for Vital Baby feeding bottles R139.00.

Holiday time is all about taking a break from our normal routines and often entails trying new foods and beverages. This is where the advantages of stored breastmilk comes in to protect the health and wellbeing of your infant, without them having to lose out getting all the nourishment they need from your breastmilk. Remember to pack in some ultra-comfort breast pads too however, as you may start to leak through the front of your Festive Season party dress during all the exciting holiday activities.

Soothe & Calm Baby Time

While on holiday, try to stick to your baby’s regular schedule as much as possible, but especially for those much-needed nap times while their tiny bodies grow. Settling baby down in a new environment is made easier with a soother.

The good news is, is that soothers help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and your baby will love sucking on a soother as it reminds them of being in your womb. Sucking is just one of five womb sensations your baby experiences and it triggers their own inbuilt calming reflex. If your baby can learn to self-soothe, by calming down and going to sleep by themselves, they will sleep for longer periods of time. #PROTip Doctors recommend soothers from one month and older at the start of sleepy time. Settle your baby in a dark, quiet place, ensure they are swaddled and soothe and comfort them with your choice of soothers from vital baby’s new SOOTHE™ collection of airflow soothers R128.70 which protect baby’s delicate cheeks against skin irritation. Try their Glow-in-the-dark soother which makes it easy to find in the dark without disturbing baby.

Hydrate & Cool

Infants and toddlers need lots of fluids and can become dehydrated quickly because of their small size, especially when travelling and active in warmer temperatures.

Monitor your child’s hydration, taking into account their age, weight, activity level and how humid it is outside. Diarrhea, vomiting, or sweating can also cause a baby to lose too much fluid.

The five symptoms of dehydration are a dry mouth and tongue, no tears when crying, no wet nappies for three hours, sunken eyes and cheeks, a soft, sunken spot on the top of the skull and listlessness and irritability. You also need to check for constipation and if there are no wet nappies or very firm, pebble-like stools, make an appointment with a doctor.

#PROTip To avoid difficulties in drinking and sipping which can lead to dehydration dramas, arm yourself with the correct tools for keeping your little one well hydrated with Vital Baby’s recommended HYDRATE range which give your little one confidence while learning to drink on their own. Whether you need sippy cups, straw cups, or even 360° cups, their colourful range is easy to use and mess-free.

Hygiene All the Time

When traveling, finding safe and hygienic spaces to feed and change nappies can be challenging but it is essential that you maintain your own standards of hygiene to reduce contact with germs and prevent your family from getting sick while traveling.

Protect your family by washing hands frequently, especially after nappy changes, when handling food, playing with pets or when touching dirty surfaces which spread bacteria, viruses, and parasites and which can lead to food poisoning, gastroenteritis, cold and flu, and hepatitis A — just to name a few.

Pack vital baby’s hypoallergenic baby wipes  specially formulated for sticky hands and faces and available in packs of 30 wipes, either fragrance free or with a fruity fragrance R45.10, ideal to start teaching your baby the importance of hygiene from an early age.

#PROTip The quickest way for your baby to get sick is from unsterilized feeding bottles and drinking spouts. The vital baby® NURTURE™ 2 in 1 combination steriliser R628.50 is designed to make the sterilising process as quick and simple as possible, killing 99.9% bacteria in just 4 minutes and keeping contents sterile for a full 24 hours whether you choose to sterilise equipment in either the microwave with only water using steam for a chemical free clean, or using the cold water method with sterilising solution added.

Nourish Your NooNoo

The generally accepted age to start introducing solids to baby is around 6 months, although breastfeeding will still remain the main source of nourishment.
While traveling with a baby eating solids, continue to offer breast milk on demand and introduce new foods one at a time to ensure against allergies.

Weaning baby is exciting as you discover the best solids to get them started and which foods are destined to become their favourite. Try bananas, avocadoes, cereals, soft cooked peas, carrots and sweet potato, scrambled eggs, tiny cuts of chicken, shredded cheese, cooked pasta, toast strips and plain yoghurt.

#PROTip Travel with a plastic table cloth for quick and easy clean ups as baby learns to self-feed and always watch your little one feeding themselves to avoid choking hazards.

The vital baby® NOURISH™ range of BPA-free baby bowls, toddler plates, baby cutlery, snack pots and freezer pots make your life easier when weaning and feeding baby too!

Now you are ready-steady, set and GO for your happy family travel holidays! Remember to take lots of photos for your family holiday photo album with your new baby front and center to celebrate and remember their milestones. Click here for more vital baby protective support