Health & Insurance
In the UK there are some travel vaccinations that cannot be given to infants below certain ages, for example, the NHS are not licenced to administer the typhoid vaccination to infants under the age of 2 years. Check the NHS website for general information on immunisations. Always check with your doctor or nurse well ahead of your departure date which vaccinations your child will need, and how far in advance of travel they must be administered. It is also important to ensure your child is up to date with all their standard vaccinations prior to travel.
Protecting Delicate Skin
A common problem you may encounter abroad is nappy rash, this may be a new problem for your baby or may be worsened by hot weather and extended periods of sitting in pushchairs, car seats etc. To reduce the effects of this, take plenty of nappy rash cream with you and change nappies more frequently. Also, try to leave your baby without a nappy on as often as possible, such as when in the hotel room. Hot weather can also exasperate other skin conditions, such as eczema, making your child very irritated and uncomfortable, so speak to your doctor or health visitor about extra measures that can be taken. Ensure delicate or sensitive skin is always covered by thin, loose clothing and that skin is allowed to breathe overnight. This is a good idea for all babies anyway.
It is absolutely vital to keep babies and children well hydrated in hot countries. Make sure you always have fluids available and carefully monitor their intake, as well as how much urine they are producing. Young children, particularly babies, can deteriorate rapidly if they become dehydrated and it can be extremely dangerous for them. Always carry re-hydration salts in case they are needed in a hurry. When travelling with children of any age, it is extremely important to have comprehensive travel insurance. Ideally you should purchase this as soon as your holiday is booked.
Many companies now offer free travel insurance for all children travelling on a family policy, this includes for single parents. If you are travelling to a number of countries on one trip over an extended period of time (usually 30 days or more), you will most likely require backpacker travel insurance. This type of insurance is also available as a family policy and if you shop around the kids should still go for free on your policy. Comparison sites are often a good way to find the best deals.
The best way to deal with travelling with babies and young children is to plan as much you possibly can in order to allow things to run as smoothly as possible, but remember that with all the planning and best will in the world, little ones don’t always play ball. Don’t get too caught up in sticking to your plan too rigidly, no one knows your child better than you and so if things don’t go to plan just try to relax and go with their flow. Good luck, and if all else fails, there’s always bribery 🙂