POLOKWANE – According to her, general doctors and nurses recommend that parents must wait to fly or travel with their baby until their immune system is better developed, unless it is absolutely necessary to travel.
“The wait before you travel with your child could be as little as one month for full-term infants. We usually recommend mothers to start to travel with their baby between the ages of three and six months. During these months babies are able to cope well when they travel,” she said. She added that car seats are very safe and comfortable for babies when they travel, but babies are not supposed to use car seats for long and consecutive hours.
She told the Review when you travel long distance with a baby, it’s always advisable for someone other than the mom to drive so she can take care of the baby in the back seat. The aim is not to stop a lot of times on the road in order to get to your destination quicker. “Typically, the estimated stopping time when you travel a long distance with an infant is approximately a 30-minute stop for every two hours you drive. The baby must get some time to take a breather outside of the car and stretch after sitting in the car seat for long periods of time,” she said. Thabile added when you travel with an infant there will be times when you need to stop for more than two hours, depending on your baby’s mood.
“Not all babies are the same. Some love to travel and others might experience motion sickness,” she said. Given the differences in mobility and sleep with babies, Thabile explained a road trip with a six-week-old baby, for example, will be very different than a road trip with a six-month-old baby.
“Most babies from the age of six to 12 months are not easy to travel with because they become irritated quicker than younger babies as they start to be partially independent and more demanding,” she said.
“If it’s going to be a long trip, remember to pack lots of entertainment, food, drinks and snacks in the car because babies get bored and lose interest very quickly. It’s important to keep them entertained along the way. If it’s still a baby younger than six months, mom can breastfeed or give them a bottle of formula milk. If the baby is older than six months, I’m sure they will appreciate juice and snacks here and there on the trip,” she concluded.