Are you preparing to travel with your newborn for the first time?

Now is the time to make the most of every opportunity to start making memories as a family, get yourselves out and about to new places and on adventures that have been out of the equation for what seems like a lifetime!  And for some of our babies, actually it is!

Are you feeling brave enough to hit the road again, this time with your new baby in tow? Are you going to be showing your baby to friends and family for the first time too? Things have most certainly changed in the world over the past 12 months. Facilities may be a little different (possibly less baby-friendly) to what you were expecting.

But don’t let the fear of exploring new places with your newborn, and baby changing on the go, put you off going back out. I’ve got plenty of handy hints and tips for you here. And some rather special new additions to our Designer Baby online store that I’ll tell you all about later. Trust me, you are going to want to read on!!

There’s so much involved in travelling with your newborn that I’m going to split it over two blogs. This first one perfectly timed for us all getting used to being ‘cautiously cuddled’ again, and hopefully continue to be able to do so. It will be focused more around confidently travelling in this country, because for many of us, it will be a while yet before we are confident enough to fly off into the sunset. But I will talk about that in the next blog, with my hints and some expert guidance and experiences for doing just that!

So, for now, travelling with your baby on home ground first.

Timing your trip

I’ve spoken before about routines and how important it is for both you and baby to stick to a regular pattern if possible, from feeding and changing to napping and proper sleep time. If you are expecting your first baby or are still in the early stages of motherhood for the first time, take note!

We know every pregnancy and every child is different, but routine can make or break your world! Even the slightest disruption can cause challenges, and a happy baby makes for a happy mummy. Life happens though, and you won’t always be able to work around your baby’s body clock, but you know yourself how tetchy you can get if you don’t get enough sleep (or in my case ‘hangry!’) so try to avoid going too far off piste.

If you can possibly do so, plan your journey around the time your baby would usually sleep (oh and a full tummy will help too). Going for a drive is often the answer to get a restless baby to nod off – the motion and sound of the car is calming. So why not use this to your advantage?  

Travelling by car

Aside from the fact that everything since your newborn came along is going to take much longer than you’ve been used to - nipping over to your friend’s house for tea and cake, popping out to the supermarket, even just preparing to go out for a walk – loading you, baby, and all the baby bits and pieces into the car will be something of a new experience!

Safety must always come first though, no matter how long it takes.

A rear-facing car seat, securely fastened in the back seat of the car, is the safest place for babies to travel. You will be given clear instructions for installing the seat and securing your baby in place, so please make sure you read and follow these carefully. Otherwise, if you buy the car seat in person, they will help you fit it for the first time. Just always ensure it is the right one for your baby’s size and weight (again, you will find this guidance in the instructions).  

A rear-view baby mirror is ideal too, so you can keep an eye on your little one whenever they’re on their own in the back of the car. Obviously, if you are in the driving seat, make sure you always drive safely and focus on the road ahead and around you though.

Never leave your baby in the car alone, no matter how quick you think you are going to be, or for whatever reason. And in case you didn’t already know, be mindful of the fact it is illegal to smoke in a car with passengers under the age of 18 because of the effects of secondary smoke inhalation. Yes, I know it can get a bit stressful with a crying baby or restless toddler in the car, but that’s only in the short term. Smoking to relax your situation could cause longer term affects if you continue over time.

And finally in the car itself, the temperature should be warm enough for baby’s comfort and to create the right atmosphere for contented sleepiness. But as that’s not always great for the driver and other passengers, as it can also cause drowsiness for them, take breaks to get some air.

Give yourselves a break

As I’ve already said, you’ve probably accepted by now that each journey is going to take longer than you’ve been used to, which is just one of those things. In fact, it’ll take longer to do everything before you even get out of the house! So, if you’re heading off for a long journey, leave yourself time for regular stops, grabbing some fresh air and allowing baby some time out of their car seat to stretch their little legs too.

Experts advise against leaving baby in their car seat longer than 30 minutes for those younger than four weeks old, and no more than two hours at a time for babies of any age. It can be tempting to just keep trucking on if they’re fast asleep, but it’s simply not good for their little bodies to prolong the time strapped in.

And certainly, if baby needs feeding (breast feeding or bottle feeding), pull over rather than trying to do anything like that on the road. It can be so easy to distract the driver, and simply isn’t worth it for everyone’s safety, just for the sake of adding in another stop or slight detour.

General preparation

The other specific items are obviously going to depend on how far you are travelling, and how long it will take you to get to wherever you are heading. But generally, as you can never be sure of a smooth journey, better to be safe than sorry with your baby paraphernalia!

  • Baby food, formula, or pumped milk
  • Wipes, sanitiser, travel steriliser, dummies
  • Clothes (for any changes you might need to make), bibs and nappies, changing mat
  • And we always have a mini first aid kit – clumsiness runs in the family, so it’s something I’ve got used to!
  • Those travel blackout blinds are great too, and they can stay in place even when you don’t have the kiddies in the car
  • Entertainment. Not anything too complicated, don’t worry. But babies love to see someone close to them, so your newborn would love you (or big brother or sister) to sit with them in the back of the car. If this isn’t possible, then something to keep them occupied, a mobile inside the car, gentle music, soothing voices. You know the kind of thing.
  • If you’re staying overnight or on a short holiday, a lightweight buggy and baby carrier or sling would be highly recommended too.  It might even be worth investing in your own travel cot (see next section) if you're likely to be staying away overnight often.  You’ll be amazed if this is going to be your first time travelling, just how much you could end up packing!

And finally … Oh my word, do I wish I’d had these when my little chaps were newborn …

The Bizzi Growin POD ®bag

Here at Designer Baby, we cannot sing their praises highly enough and we’re so proud to stock this whole range of travel changing bags to travel cribs. They are serious game changers when it comes to taking your baby on the road.

No need for bulky, hefty travel cots in addition to carrying around your changing mat and all the other bottles and gadgets separately. The Original POD Bag ® travel crib is a high quality, safe, stylish fold out bed which is incorporated into the changing bag. Time, space, and effort aren’t going to be a problem whilst you’re out and about anymore, because this is the perfect all-in-one solution!

Your hospital bag, travel/holiday bag, changing bag as well as daytime snoozing and overnight sleeps are all covered in this one item. And there’s even storage pockets for your bottles, wipes, and other baby bits.

The full range of POD bags are comfortable and so easy to unzip and fold out. Breathable mesh around the soft (and more crucially, washable) mattress, and the fact you can pop the cot up within minutes is a winner for me.

I was gobsmacked when I first saw them and just had to bring them on board for you too. So, pop over to our new POD Bag ® page to choose the one for you. In black, grey, or even a beautiful Vegan leather option, all of which you can then continue to use as your baby bag when your little one starts growing out of changing mats!

Happy Travels

We just want you all to enjoy making more memories now that we’ve got some freedom to move around a little more with our families again. So, for any of your baby carriers, changing and travel cots, sleep suits and baby clothing, keep your eyes peeled for new products which we will continue to bring to you, and we are confident you will love as much as we do.

Don’t forget next time, I’ll be sharing more tips on travelling further afield – flying, choice of locations, car hire, all useful things to remember.

And in the meantime, stay safe, much love,

From all at Team DB xx