Safe and Happy Trips with My Little Traveller

Travelling with babies and young children presents both unique challenges and immense joy to families. Here are some essential insights to aid parents in preparing for your adventures while prioritising your children’s health and well-being.

Medical concerns

Before travelling, consult your doctor for vaccination recommendations for your little ones and other family members. Ensure your children are up to date with routine immunisations and consider other recommended vaccines based on your destination. Some regions require specific vaccines to protect against diseases that might not be prevalent here in Malaysia.

Examples of recommended vaccines for travelling

· Influenza vaccine

· Meningococcal vaccine

· Yellow fever vaccine

· Rotavirus vaccine

· Cholera vaccine

· Typhoid vaccine

· Hepatitis A vaccine

You should also make it a point to research medical facilities at your destination. Having a list of reputable paediatricians or clinics can be invaluable in case of illness or emergencies. Also, don’t forget to invest in comprehensive travel insurance that covers your family’s healthcare needs abroad to safeguard against unexpected medical expenses.

Make a list of all the crucial items you need to pack such as prescription medications, first-aid supplies, baby wipes and a digital thermometer. Having these essentials on hand will not only be convenient but provide peace of mind.

When you get to your destination, do consider baby-proofing the space by removing potential hazards and taping down cords.

A note for pregnant/breastfeeding mums: If you’re travelling during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, you are also recommended to get certain vaccinations (e.g. Tdap, influenza vaccines). Apart from protecting yourself, this can provide passive immunity to your baby too. Get your doctor’s advice on the suitable vaccines.

Transportation considerations

Choosing the right mode of transportation is crucial when travelling with babies and young children. Consider the length of the journey and the comfort and safety of your child. When flying, book flights during your child’s usual nap times to increase the likelihood of a peaceful journey. Request bulkhead seats with a bassinet attachment for infants.

For road trips, plan frequent stops for diaper changes, feeding and stretching. Ensure your child’s car seat is properly installed and appropriate for their age and weight. Consider bringing a lightweight stroller that’s easy to manoeuvre.

When travelling by train or bus, enquire about family-friendly facilities and seating arrangements. Double-check if they have changing stations and space to accommodate strollers.

Regardless of the mode of transportation, always have a well-packed diaper bag within easy reach. Include diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, snacks and any comforting items like a favourite blanket. Be sure to include a selection of age-appropriate travel toys, colouring books and puzzles to keep your child entertained and a variety of healthy snacks and drinks that your child enjoys.

Fun tips

But don’t let all that serious stuff prevent you from anticipating a fantastic trip. Travelling provides a wealth of sensory experiences for your child. Think about all the things they will be able to do while on holiday: touch sand on the beach, listen to the sounds of nature and explore new tastes through different cuisines!

Encourage your young child to document their travels through drawings, photos, or simple journal entries. It’s a wonderful way to capture memories and foster creativity. And have fun coming up with an activity-packed itinerary including visits to child-friendly museums, parks and cultural sites.

Above all, remember that flexibility is key when travelling with young children. Be prepared for detours, tantrums and changing plans at the last minute. Embrace the unpredictability of the journey and find joy in the unexpected!

Travelling with babies and young children certainly has its challenges, but it’s also an opportunity for growth, bonding and exploration. With the right planning and precautions, you can ensure their health and safety while creating beautiful memories as a family. So, pack your bags and watch your little traveller embrace the world with wonder and curiosity.

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