The Ages & Stages series continued…
Planning Tips for Travel with a Baby 6 to 12 Months
Your baby becomes an accomplished explorer anywhere she can touch down as long-distance rolling, scooting, crawling, cruising, and possibly walking become part of her physical repertoire. Get ready!
Where to go:
If you plan to travel overseas with your child, this may be an ideal time to go since it will be much easier to manage a long-haul flight before your child starts walking well, and while you can still take advantage of an airline bassinet where available. For more help with that, see All About Airplane Bassinets in Travels with Baby and see related features Flying with Infants: Checklist for Getting an Airplane Bassinet and Flying overseas with a baby? Watch out for age, height and/or weight limits when planning to use an airplane bassinet.
If you want to visit a destination where food and water safety are a concern for most travelers, this can actually be a better time to go—while your child is eating jarred baby foods, and breastfeeding or drinking formula—rather than later, when she’ll be eating more of the same table foods you do (see Food and Water Safety in Travels with Baby).
Hopefully your child will have a fairly established sleeping and napping schedule at this point. Consequently, you may be nervous about disrupting a good thing during travel. If so, you might like to read How to Help a Baby Adjust to a 9-hour Time Change and Jetlag, Tips for Juggling Toddler Naps while Visiting Paris, and be sure to read the sections addressing sleep in Preparing for Changes, beginning on pg. 88 of Travels with Baby, and pack (or download) your copy of Take-Along Travels with Baby for sleep tips you can use on the go.
Since the floor is where it’s at during this stage, and everything goes in the mouth, choose your accommodations accordingly. You’ll want to plan a trip that includes a suitable space and time each day where she can exercise and explore in a safe environment. You may find it well worth paying the upgrade for a larger room or to stay somewhere you are confident will be clean. Consider bringing or renting any gear she is especially fond of at this time if it could make a tremendous difference in her enjoyment of the vacation (and yours). Bring a play mat or baby quilt for play time on the floor. Also, a “jumper” that mounts in an open doorway (possibly your bathroom’s or a closet’s) will easily fit in most suitcases and can help keep her out of harm’s way while you ready yourselves for the day.
Consider remote destinations carefully, as well as longer cruises, as you may have to pack along your entire supply of diapers and baby food (or see Baby Supply Delivery Services, pg. 83 of Travels with Baby). Urban adventures, on the other hand, allow you to pick up your baby essentials at markets and pharmacies as needed.
Urban adventures, overseas travel, and car trips. For more planning tips and travel inspiration for these, see Car Seat Travel Advice and Road Trip Tips and also the Travels with Baby Destinations Index.
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