You already know that the story about Enzo Explore was born in honor of our first child Enzo and there was so many stories we wanted to tell about how was and is our journey with him in it.
While every child and family is different, we travel lover family want you to inspire that traveling with a child isn't that scary as it may seem.
Little Enzo have traveled since his 2 weeks and during 1,5 year has been in 8 countries and 3 continents - walked the coastline in Latvia, has driving for a long hours in the car to the Norwegian mountains , spent many hours in the Germany airport, hiked with us to the top of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, explored the forest roads in Estonia, sailed in Finland, survived a 12h flight to China and enjoyed the paradise of Cyprus.
Our experience has been very diverse and positive, so I want to start the first ''EXPLORE WITH KID'' series with 9 tips for successful baby travel.
1. Plan frequent breaks
Enzo first adventure was at his second week, we were on the 6h road trip to the Latvian coastline in Ventspils and instant breaks was our key to successful ride.
You might be able to go 5 hours without using the bathroom or without eating, but the baby likely can't. Plan for stops every 1 to 2 hours to change diapers, stretch legs, eat and change sweaty or spit-up ridden clothes as needed.
To avoid unnecessary stress, make a separate bag of items that is ready for every break so you don’t forget anything—like baby’s diapers, clothes, refreshing supplies and food.
2. Prepare the food
The key, in my experience, is to organised and prepare. But more importantly – to be as flexible as possible. For the ones who is still breastfeeding, preparing food shouldn't be the problem, but Enzo was drinking artificial milk since his 2 months, so for me it was important to prepare.
Enzo was on the ride to Norwegian mountains at his 4 months, at that time he just slowly started to taste the real life food and his food base was milk.
There is many ways how to prepare milk for baby, like, you can give your baby ready-made formula at room temperature, or you can warm the milk if your baby likes it like this. For that you could use a travel bottle warmer, then just put the hot water from the flask into a container and dip the bottle in, with its cap on, to warm it.
My option was to make a feed when Enzo needed it. I poured some freshly boiled water in a high-quality vacuum flask, which kept it warm for about four hours. Then it was easily to made a feed by adding the water and formula powder to a sterilized bottle.
! Do check the temperature before feeding it to your baby, by putting a few drops on the inside of your wrist.!
!If your baby doesn't finish a bottle, don't be tempted to put it away for later. Germs can breed quickly in leftover milk. This can give her a tummy upset, the last thing you need at the start of your holiday.!
For older children prepare sliced fruits, vegetables, enough water, cookies, rice cakes or whatever is easy to grab and doesn't make all dirty.
3. Trash can be toys
When we were on our way to Brazil, we needed to spend long hours in Germany and our 'toy bag' wasn't immeasurable. Enzo just had just turned 8 months old and the interest about toys was raise.
And we quickly learned that he couldn’t tell the difference between an empty water bottle and a proper toy and he mostly preferred the water bottle. So we would let him play with sundry objects like water bottles, coffee cups, paper or plastic. This saved us carrying and buying a bunch of useless things he wouldn’t have really cared about.
4. The Right Baby Carrier is gold
If you love to travel baby carrier will be your best friend. When Enzo turn 8 months old we were on the journey in Brazil and one of our biggest adventure no doubt was a hike to the top of Christ Redeemer. There were ups and downs that we wouldn't have overcome without the carrier bag.
Baby carriers are different, to pick your own I suggest you to go on store and find the perfect one for you. My choose was 360 All Positions Baby ergobaby Carrie which I recommend to everyone.
+ Here you can watch our adventure in Brazil.
5. Books, songs and noises
We were on the road to Estonia at Enzo 11 months, and songs and noises always worked out. When driving, keep your child interested with music and books. Sing songs, tell stories, make up rhymes, and read the books. The key is to keep him interested. Youtube songs actually was our savior when Enzo was all tired and impatient. Therefore, keep you mobile handy so that you can reach it whenever you need it.
6. Do laundry while on the road
When we were on Finland trip, I washed Enzo body's whenever I can, in the ship toilet and at gas stations, it saved me for carrying too much. And actually on the backrest of the chair they dry realy quickly.
7. Giving baby a bottle helps on long flights
Giving your baby a bottle on take-off is a great way to stop her ears popping, and to encourage her to sleep!
Enzo longest flights was a 12h flight to Brazil and China, and my biggest help was water, during the flight Enzo drank more water than he daily does and every time on take-off he drank his water and fall asleep for 4 hours.
There is lot of questions about long flights with baby, my recommendation is to prepare music, always sit right next to your baby, bring your child's favorite toys, bring lots of extra clothing and diapers, be prepared with snacks and fluids and just be calm.
It’s not always going to be smooth sailing when you’re traveling with an unpredictable infant. Diaper blowouts, gassy bellies, and crying spells can make you feel flustered. But making sure that you’re prepared for anything can help you feel more confident in your abilities. And always remind yourself - It’s only temporary.
8. Plan baby nap times
Planning Enzo nap times was very valuable when we were on the trip in Cyprus. He was 1,4 old, very active and very annoying when felt tired. So we planned to visit attractions when he was awake and was interested to exploring around. And when came his sleeping time we went to some quiet place or walking trail.
9. Don't wait for the right time
I can’t tell you how many times I hear new parents say, “We’re going to wait until our baby is older before we travel”. The fear and anxiety behind this statement is often misguided. The reality is that in every age are pros and cons and you should be ready to deal with that.
When Enzo was little it was easier because he slept much but there was a problem with feeding. When he was 8 months, there was no longer problem with food preparation, but he was more active and did not want to sit in a his strollers for hours. Also, when he turned one year, was easy to predict his nap time and when he wanted to eat, but he was very active and loud and sometimes that created difficulties. And there is more and more differences in any age level.
There is no reason to wait until your baby is older – unless there is a health concern. On that note, make sure your baby is vaccinated and consult with your doctor about the destination you will be visiting. And don’t forget to purchase travel insurance for yourself and the baby.
Don’t wait for tomorrow. Right now is the best time to experience the world together, as a family. Inspiration that comes with baby travel is worth it. Smile about every moment you have. Your baby will only be a baby once, so enjoy these precious moments before they’re gone.