Tips for Traveling with Your Kids This Holiday Season

Traveling over the busy holiday season can be stressful, especially when you’re traveling with a newborn or young child. Proper preparation can make the process smoother. Here are our tips for keeping your sanity while traveling with your little ones.

Don’t Travel Too Far

Prior to age three, it’s best to stick to destinations that are close to home. Newborns have a much higher risk of catching something while traveling and it’s just not worth the risk. You’ll also want to keep your trip short. Just a weekend getaway to somewhere within a couple hours drive is ideal, especially for the first few months.

Tips for Traveling with Your Kids This Holiday Season

Flying

Airports and airplanes are basically feeding grounds for germs. Ideally, wait till 4-6 months until you take your newborn on a plane. Most airlines do allow young kids to sit on their parent’s lap, however, that’s not the safest place for a child. The FAA recommends securing your little one in a child safety seat. Most car seats will work; just check your seat to see if it says “approved for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft.”

What to Pack

Start planning a few days early. Avoid waiting till the night before to start packing so you don’t forget anything important. Keep a list going and whenever you remember something that you absolutely don’t want to forget, write it down.

Here’s a Basic Checklist:

  • Documents – Bring your baby’s birth certificate if you’re flying.
  • Food for baby – formula, snacks that don’t need refrigeration
  • Toys – Pack a few favorites for entertainment during a long car ride.
  • Transportation – car seat for the plane, stroller
  • First Aid – Band-aids, hand sanitizer, any prescriptions
  • Changing supplies – diapers, wipes, changing pad, diaper rash cream
  • Clothes – socks, shoes, bibs, extra clothes in case of spills

Bookmark this blog post or pin this image to refer back to before your trip!Baby packing listAlso, check out The Ultimate Pack List for Jet-Setting Families.

Don’t worry too much about forgetting any one thing. As long as you have the essentials, you can always stop by a convenience store near your destination to pick up anything else that’s needed.

Super Mom Christine C has a fun travel hack:

“When our kids were little and we were facing a long car ride or flight, we would pack two backpacks; one for snacks and one for entertainment. Each section contained a different little batch of new things and we would ration out the goodies, section by section throughout the trip. We always had one last thing stashed in one of our bags or under the car seat that we knew would be a favorite. We’d only bring it out at the end and that would get us through the last bit of the journey.”

Where to Stay

Some hotels are more family-friendly than others. Do a little research to compare nearby options beforehand. The hotel’s website and Yelp reviews should give you a good idea of whether or not the place is extra accommodating to little ones. The experience will be more enjoyable if there are other families around. Some baby-friendly hotels even offer baby gear for rent so you don’t need to lug your own. Ask the hotel if they have a kids menu at their restaurant.

You might consider booking a larger room than you would without the kiddos. You’ll be thankful for the extra space when it comes time for feeding and changing. Plus, it will be nice to have plenty of room to store all of the extra supplies you packed.

Have Realistic Expectations

Go into your vacation with the understanding that there won’t be a lot of rest and relaxation time. An infant who is one year or younger requires almost constant attention. If you keep your expectations low, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you do get some time to yourself during naps or calm moments.

Have any additional tips? Share them with us below in a comment.

September Photography Contest

We love to show off the work of our amazingly talented photographers. Take a minute to enjoy the slideshow below. Check back each month to see more unique and beautiful photos. Congratulations to all winners and honorable mentions!

To get your own Bella Life or Bella Baby photos, contact us to see if we are in your area!

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

This is Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

Halloween is a fun occasion to dress up and indulge in sweet treats. But this holiday can have some hidden dangers for young children. There are plenty of precautions that you as a parent can take to prevent accidents. Fear not – these safety measures won’t make Halloween any less fun or spooky.

Costumes

Skip the masks and opt for non-toxic face paint instead. Masks can hinder sight and even lead to breathing problems.

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

Keep fire safety top of mind. Look for flame-resistant labels when shopping for costumes or props. Steer clear of pumpkins that have real candles inside.

Trick-or-treating

This may seem obvious, but it’s an important one – never let your toddler go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. You, your spouse, or another trusted adult should accompany kids at all times. Stay in a neighborhood that you know is safe and that you’re already familiar with. Avoid going to houses that look like uninviting or where no one appears to be home.

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

If your child is trick-or-treating with a large group of friends, make sure there is more than one adult who comes along in case one child wants to go home early.

Bring along a flashlight if you’ll be trick-or-treating after dark. It might come in handy to avoid tripping hazards on dimly lit driveways.

Candy

The only way to keep your kid truly safe is to eat all of their candy. Kidding!

According to one study, the average child consumes 3 cups of sugar on Halloween – yikes! This is nearly 16X more than the recommended daily amount by the American Heart Association. Avoid a sugar overdose by limiting consumption to just a few pieces of candy on Halloween night then saving the rest for later.

One great tip – serve a healthy, protein-rich meal before festivities begin. Your child will likely eat less sweets if they’re already full.

Make sure to check all of the trick-or-treating candy thoroughly for tampering. Get rid of anything that looks like it could have been opened. Better to be safe than sorry. Set aside anything that could be a choking hazard (gum, hard candy, taffy).

If your child has allergies or special dietary restrictions, purchase (or make) treats that are safe for them to eat ahead of time. Then have them ‘trade in’ their trick-or-treating haul. Consider participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project to raise awareness of food allergies and inclusion. They also provide a map of homes that will be offering non-food treats.

Halloween: Kid Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday

Image via FARE

Lastly, make sure your kids brush and floss their teeth before bedtime to prevent cavities!

Do you have any additional safety tips to add? Leave a comment to share them with our community.

August Photography Contest

We love to show off the work of our amazingly talented photographers. Take a minute to enjoy the slideshow below. Check back each month to see more unique and beautiful photos. Congratulations to all winners and honorable mentions!

To get your own Bella Life or Bella Baby photos, contact us to see if we are in your area!

10 Overlooked Tips for Baby Safety Month

Did you know September is Baby Safety Month? Most parents will agree that there’s nothing more important than the safety of their little ones. Here at Bella Baby, we believe it’s incredibly important to prepare your home and take safety precautions before baby comes home. We previously wrote a blog post on babyproofing.

New parents have a lot on their plates so it’s important to prepare your home ahead of time and become aware of common risks.

  1. “Crawl around or lay on the floor to see things from your child’s perspective,” recommends Macy H from our Super Moms Facebook group.

You might be overlooking any number of potential dangers when it comes to preparing your home for a newborn. Consult a thorough babyproofing checklist and enlist your spouse or a friend as a second set of eyes.

  1. “Outlet covers are a must, even for infants because some teething babies with slobbery hands have killer accuracy when trying to put slobbery fingers into an electrical outlet.” – Pam B

 

  1. “Use sleep sacks to keep baby warm instead of blankets which they can get tangled in,” says Jovana B. Not only are sleep sacks safe, but they’re crazy adorable!

Image credit: Target

  1. Never leave your baby unattended with your pet.

Most pets have no problem adjusting to the company of a newborn, but accidents can and do still happen. “Pets need to have a safe place to hide from the kids,” says Jessica G. Here are some ideas to help introduce your dog or cat to the newest member of your family.

Baby safety month

  1. “Honestly, most new parents worry about things like outlet covers and cabinet locks. The number one things that kill babies and children under age 5 are car accidents (improper car seat use) and drowning. Teach them water safety and how to swim ASAP.” – Brycelyn Z

A car seat is definitely an item you’ll need to get before your baby arrives. Shopping for a car seat and correctly installing it can be intimidating. Check out our guide that has everything you need to know about car seats before the baby comes.

Baby safety month

  1. Practice strapping “baby” into your car seat.

One thing we did, other than installing car seat bases, was practice strapping “baby” into the car seat and removing it (using a stuffed animal that had been gifted to us). No one teaches or helps you do that at the hospital! With the whirlwind the first 48 hours are, it’s one less thing to have to try to figure out.” – Kara Z

  1. Never leave your child alone in the bathtub. We’re including this tip because drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4, according to the CPSC. It only takes a few inches of water to endanger a newborn.

 

  1. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help or let people know when you’re overwhelmed, even if it’s your 3rd kid, there are things that may throw you for a loop.” – Ali U

 

  1. Take care of yourself.

Laura K offers some often overlooked but extremely important advice: “What so many leave out is: self-care and asking for help. Sleep deprivation is considered torture for a reason. If you are completely exhausted, it is soooo easy to pass out when you should be watching them, or to forget to tighten the car seat when you buckle them, or get in a car accident, or do some other mindless thing. Untreated anxiety can run rampant when caring for an infant. Nobody can do it all on their own. So, my best baby safety tip: take care of yourself. Go to bed. Go to therapy, yoga, meditation, on a run, or wherever you find peace. Get some good babysitting help. Share the load with your partner.”

  1. “Keep the number for poison control handy, just in case. No matter what babyproofing you do a toddler is always going to figure out a way around it. Always.” – Ali U

Do you have any additional safety tips to share with the community? Leave us a comment!