Categorized | Baby Care, Featured

Checklist for traveling parents by Hulda

Posted on 12 May 2015 by Kristrun

shutterstock_251728762Checklist for traveling parents by Hulda

To feel safe and to enjoy your journey when traveling with a newborn, there are several things that are important to take care of.

You can minimise the risk of any problems by only travelling once you feel confident in taking care of your baby.  This means waiting until he is a few weeks old at least and ideally seeing a doctor prior to your trip to ensure that there are no physical problems, such as ear or chest infection.   The same applies for the mother; it is better to make sure that breastfeeding, if done, is under control and well established and that adequate measures are taken to ensure this continues while traveling.

Fortunately serious illnesses or accidents during travel with a newborn are relatively rare.  Partly this is a result of the parents’ instinctive need to keep newborns close and protected. Also too, when breastfeeding, mothers supply the baby with antigens that provide a major barrier to many germs that otherwise could cause problems for the baby.

To keep in mind when traveling with a newborn:

  • Flying:

As a rule of thumb, most problems related to plane travel can be prevented or solved with breastfeeding, since the main concerns are ear pressure problems (sucking will minimize the risk of this), threat of infection in the confined area (antibacterial action) and dehydration (long flights).  If not breastfeeding, then make sure a bottle is available at all times and have boiled, distilled water to give in case of need for the suction/hydration but not the food.

  • Exposure to sun and heat:

Make sure a newborn is never exposed to direct sunlight.  Keep the baby in the shade, avoid midday outings and make sure to use sun block on the skin (after 3-4 months old). In warmer areas, it is better if baby wears light cotton clothes.  Swimsuits with UV protection are a good idea but generally spend little time in pools and only during early morning or late afternoon. Hats are good.  Aloe Vera gel is helpful in case of burning. Breast milk, water or formula needs to be available at all times and make sure the baby does not sleep too long at a time without some hydration.  Dehydration would be obvious by less wet diapers, firmer stools, fontanels on top of head dipping and sometimes lethargy.  Give fluids immediately if this happens.

  • Hygiene:

At all times when traveling, you must make sure to wash your hands regularly, use alcohol wipes for you and baby and sterilize all containers for food frequently.  Gastrointestinal infections would give symptoms like diarrhea, explosive vomiting, dry skin, sometimes fever and general irritation and crying.  In this case you must consult a doctor immediately and give plenty of fluids. Prevention of nappy rash by airing the bottom and using zinc oxide barrier creams is also important when baby has diarrhea.

  • Mosquitoes and other insects:

Always use a mosquito net when baby sleeps, have baby wearing light clothes that cover the body and use mosquito barrier on exposed areas.  If the baby gets bitten, observe symptoms such as generalized swelling, puffy eyes, swelling of the face and neck, wheezing and gasping and blotchy skin.  If this happens, call a doctor immediately. If minor swelling, lavender, lemon and tea tree oils can calm the skin.

  • Symptoms of illness:

If your baby has fever, excessive vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea or is off food, make sure to ventilate and cool your hotel room well, give fluids as much as possible and undress the baby.  Keep the baby close to you at all times.  Observe the symptoms and if not better in few hours, especially if fever over 38´C persists, consult a doctor.

  • Last but not least:
  1. Keep your baby with you at all times.
  2. A dedicated car seat is the only safe option when travelling by car or taxi.
  3. Always have useful emergency numbers available, both local to the area you are traveling to and your doctor in Hong Kong as well.
  4. Have a First Aid bag with you.  It needs to have:
  • Infant paracetamol, Calpol (for minor fever)
  • Antiseptic wipes or ointment (70% Isopropyl Alcohol or/and Dettol)
  • Paracetamol for adults (in a case of mastitis)
  • Sunscreen for babies
  • Burn relief (Calamine, Aloe Vera)
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Lansinoh ointment (for dry lips and breasts)
  • Eye and nose drops, antibacterial and saline (Infection or blockage)
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Insect repellant
  • Insect bite soothing balm
  • Zink Oxide for diaper rash
  • Scissors
  • Gauze pads
  • Thermometer (rectal)
  • Tweezers
  • First Aid booklet

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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