MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) — Traveling during the holidays can bring on a lot of stress, and taking along an extra passenger can pose new challenges.
That’s why local health experts are sharing tips on how to make traveling with a newborn a bit easier this season.
“The best thing to do is be flexible,” said Samantha Quinn, nurse manager at East Cooper Medical Center. “Everything takes longer with children.”
Quinn advised parents to pack a lot of “extras” — extra supplies, like diapers and wipes, extra clothes, extra food, and most importantly, extra time to get to their destination.
Additionally, try to stay on your baby’s schedule the best you can, she said.
“If they nap and eat at times, try to just keep that consistent. It helps keep them in a rhythm, and it will help keep you in a rhythm, she said. “It makes things less stressful.”
Quinn advised parents hitting the road for the holidays to stop every couple of hours and get out of the car.
If you are borrowing a car seat on your trip, check to make sure it has not been in any accidents and is not expired, Quinn said.
For parents taking a flight to their holiday destination, Quinn said it is best to hold a newborn in the seat with you if possible. Having your baby suck on something, like a pacifier, can help relieve pain caused by changes in pressure.
Upon arrival, designate a safe area for the infant to sleep — a flat surface with no additional items, Quinn said.
When visiting with friends and family, keep in mind it’s flu and RSV season, Quinn said.
“Everybody’s going to want to see the new baby and hold the new baby, but everyone needs to practice good hand hygiene,” she said.
Quinn said overscheduling yourself can also lead to added stress during the holidays.
“You’re there to enjoy your holiday as well. I know everyone wants to see you and your baby, but just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself too because you are the most important thing to that baby,” Quinn said.