When my daughter turned six months, we had to go on a road trip for my brother’s wedding in Port-Harcourt. From the moment my brother said the wedding would hold in Port-Harcourt, I dreaded the journey because my baby was six months old.
I decided to do a lot of research on google but couldn’t find any article that fit my situation. They were all talking about travelling in your car. I am about to board “God is good motors”, so I need someone with that kind of experience. I am writing this article for that new mama who needs a relatable article.
After the trip to Port-Harcourt, I went on other long journeys with my baby, and it was all seamless. We have travelled to Kwara, Ogun, and Oyo. There was a time we travelled back to back in the space of one month, and my baby girl was fine. I want to share with you some tips that made each journey seamless.
TIPS TO HELP YOU HAVE A SMOOTH JOURNEY WITH YOUR BABY
Speak to your baby’s paediatrician:
Before going on any journey, especially if it’s a long journey, try to speak to your baby’s doctor and let them certify that your baby is fit to travel.
Talk to your baby:
I believe babies can hear, so I started speaking to my baby from the day she was born. I even have a journal where I share every experience, Journaling has helped me stay sane, and I also think it would be nice to present it to her when she grows older, back to the real gist. A friend advised me to let her know we are going on a long trip, it might be stressful, but I will take care of her.
While dressing her up every morning, I would tell her, “Hi mama, in 3 weeks, we will visit Port Harcourt for your uncle’s wedding. The journey is about 8 hours but don’t worry me, your daddy, uncles, aunties and your grandparents will take good care of you. It felt like I was passing a message to her subconscious, it might sound silly, but it works. It’s not just about travelling alone. When you are not comfortable with anything, speak to your baby. When my baby was not eating well, I would speak to her about it. Talk to your baby!
It is also important that you pack everything your child needs. I will advise you don’t pack in a hurry. In my case, I pack at least two days before we travel so that I don’t forget anything. Essentials you need include Diapers, sleepsuits, bodysuits, wipes, formula, bottles, cereals, water and other necessities.
Go with comfortable transportation:
This was one mistake I made when we were travelling to Port Harcourt. We wanted to go with GUO, but unfortunately, we couldn’t book because they were fully booked, so we had to go with “God is good”, and the experience was terrible. The bus was uncomfortable, and we didn’t get to PH until late at night, but returning was seamless. We followed Libra, and the bus was so comfortable. My baby even watched cartoons, lol. She was not cranky at all. I would advise you to go with a comfortable transport company (You can check for reviews before you decide) but if you can please go by air for long distances.
Feed your baby:
This is very important. My baby was starting solids, so breastfeeding was still her major food. I made sure she was breastfed before we left for the park, and she slept till we got to the park. When we boarded, I breastfed too. If you have those ice packs, they will come in very handy. Pump some breastmilk and keep it. I didn’t have those, so I didn’t pump, but I got her some cereal which I gave her when we got to our second stop.
A well-rested baby is a happy baby:
Let your baby rest. For our first trip to Port Harcourt, we had to wake up early to meet the bus, which made my baby cranky. Until she slept, she was fussy. I have also noticed this trend each time we travelled, and she had to wake up early. Even if you have to wake up early, rock your baby so she can sleep; that helps her stay rested, and a well-rested baby is a happy baby.
Dress them for the weather:
For our trip to Port Harcourt, it was really cold, and the bus had AC, so it was so chilly. I wore a sleepsuit for her but changed her into more comfortable wear as the journey progressed. Do your findings about the weather and dress your baby accordingly.
Carry your baby’s toys:
The journey is so long, and you don’t want your baby bored. In the same way, you start pressing your phone once the journey is long, your baby is going to be bored too, so get them their toys, and if your babies have a tab, then you can go along with it and let your babies have fun too.
Travelling with your baby is not as easy as it sounds, but it is possible. I have enjoyed every trip with my baby and look forward to more. The secret is to stay calm and be patient; your baby can sense it when you are stressed and frustrated. If your partner is with you, let them relieve you of the stress so you can rest. Don’t forget to enjoy every phase because they grow so fast.
You’ve got this, mama.
Yours on the journey,