Pediatrician-approved tips for conquering holiday travel with little ones | Tech US News

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MISSION, KS / ACCESSWIRE / November 14, 2022 / (Family Features) The holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness, but it can often bring stress to parents of young children with the amount of “newness” in every experience, especially when it comes to seasonal travel.

Family functions, Monday, November 14, 2022, press release image

To make holiday travel with little ones more manageable, whether by bus, train, car or plane, Gerber Pediatric Medical Consultant Dr. Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, offers this guidance for families.

Travel light

Especially if you’re traveling by plane, pack as light as possible (or check most of your luggage) so you have less to maneuver through security gates and onto the plane. However, for longer trips, packing small, developmentally appropriate toys and snacks can provide perfect entertainment for little ones.

Be prepared for ear pressure

Babies often scream during takeoff and landing on flights because they can’t easily equalize the pressure in the Eustachian tubes, the connection between their ears and the back of their throats. When you’re going up and down, give your baby something safe to suck on, like a pacifier, to reduce pressure build-up in the ears. Taking small sips of water, breast milk or formula and yawning are also ways to help babies and children who experience ear pressure during flights.

Time adjustment plan

For long trips that include time zone changes, expect the kids to take several days to get used to their new times. Plan an extra day or two for that time adjustment, if possible, when planning your trip, and make time for stops to stretch, snack, and take bathroom breaks.

Family functions, Monday, November 14, 2022, press release image

Pack of convenient snacks

Having easily accessible snacks that don’t make a big mess can make travel easier and less stressful. For example, Gerber Plant-Tastic Banana Berry & Veggie Smash with Oats Organic Pouch and Plant-Tastic Lil’ Crunchies White Bean Hummus are nutritious snacks for toddlers that come in resealable containers that are easy to pack for families on the go.

Bring sanitizing products

Having your own sanitizing wipes on hand makes it easier to freshen frequently touched surfaces in public spaces, such as back trays, chairs and tables. While it’s safe on most hard surfaces, check the label before using the wipes, then let the area dry completely before letting your child touch it. You can also use warm soapy water to clean toys and other personal items.

Maintain a consistent schedule

Keeping your child on their normal schedule during the holidays isn’t always feasible and some imperfections are to be expected during peak season. However, if your baby’s feeding or sleep schedule is affected by holiday events, try to get back into a consistent routine as soon as possible. Be patient with yourself and your child as you adjust.

Be mindful of anxiety

While attending holiday gatherings, your child may be overwhelmed by meeting new people, including family members. Babies begin to develop separation anxiety and apprehension with strangers around 6 months of age, as their brains begin to understand the concept of object permanence (that something still exists when it is not present). Educating loved ones about this developmental stage can help you feel less anxious about big family gatherings with your little one. If your child is particularly sensitive, try introducing new people in smaller groups, rather than introducing them to the whole group at once.

Take time for yourself

Although traveling with little ones can be a “bumpy road”, it is important that parents also try to enjoy the holiday as much as possible. Taking time for yourself—taking deep breaths, listening to a meditation on an option like the Calm app, or playing a favorite song, for example—can help you recharge and relax before a big event.

For more expert tips and resources to help conquer the holidays, visit Gerber.com.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Michael French
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editors.familyfeatures.com

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SOURCE: Family characteristics

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