Taking a Baby on Safari
Travelling with a young baby can be difficult to manage.
Here is a concise guide to travelling with a young baby to a safari destination.
We give you our tips and suggestions to help make it a lot easier for you
Is my baby too young to travel?
- Most airlines prefer your baby to be at least a few days old before you travel, but the final decision is yours.
- Babies are easy to handle during the flight - all they need is feeding and sleep.
- Breast feed or bottle feed your baby at take-off and landing to prevent earache.
- Secure a basinette on the plane so you can catch up on sleep when baby sleeps.
- The baby carry cot illustrated is from Minipiccolini
- We also like phil & ted's sleep nest
What about Malaria?
You don't have to visit a malaria-zone if going on a South African Safari.
There are many malaria-free safari destinations within South Africa ( see the list here)
If you are venturing into a malaria zone with a baby, here are some things to consider:
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- " Newborns and infants less than 12 months of age are one of most vulnerable groups affected by malaria.
- During pregnancy, malaria infection in the mother causes low birth weight and can result in infant death."
Take the following precautions:
- Use a baby-friendly personal insect repellent.
- Cover the baby's legs and arms after dark.
- Close windows and doors and spray the baby's room with a baby-friendly mosquito repellent.
- Choose air-conditioned accommodation where rooms can be temperature controlled to suit the baby.
- Use a long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) over the cot or basinette.
- Keep the baby inside a mosquito-protected room or under a mosquito net (as above) after dark.
For Pregnant women
- Pregnancy reduces a woman's immunity to malaria.
- If you are pregnant, it is vital to consult an expert travel doctor before entering the malaria area.
- Some vitamins can render malaria medications uesless.
- Travel in winter months.
* For futher information visit - the South African Malaria Hotline and WHO malaria information
Things you should know
- Breast-fed babies do not receive immunity from their mother's anti-malaria medication.
- It's vital to get qualified medical help if a child develops a fever during or after a trip to a malaria region.
- Pregnant women should get expert medical advice before venturing into a malaria region or taking anti - malaria medication.
- If venturing into a South African malaria zone, choose winter months when there are less mosquitos around.
Safety tips when travelling
- Ask for a baby-seat when hiring a car - check it is properly installed.
- Do not put baby in the front seat if the car has air-bags.
- The sun is fierce in Africa - window shades for the car shield your baby's skin & eyes from the sun.
- Look for a dark mosquito net for the baby's pram/stroller - it acts like a sunscreen, protects baby from bites.
- ( Find one at EUREKA KIDS or phil&ted's.)
- ALWAYS KEEP DOORS LOCKED & WINDOWS UP when driving in South Africa.
Shopping List Suggestions
- Infant paracetamol for fever.
- Saline drops.
- Teething gel.
- Nappy/diaper rash cream.
- Barrier cream/petroleum jelly.
- Baby-friendly sunscreen.
- Pawpaw cream/baby lotion, oil moisturiser for baby's skin.
- Cotton balls.
- Baby brush/comb.
- Electronic/rectal thermometer.
- Baby soap (tested by baby beforehand)
- Disinfectant wipes.
- Non-sting antiseptic wipes.
- Baby hand wipes.
- Nappies/ Diapers
- First-aid booklet for babies.
- Favourite solid food sachets.
If travelling into a malaria zone
- Malaria medication if prescribed.
- Mosquito net recommended by travel doctor.
- Personal insect repellant recommended by travel doctor.
- Baby-friendly room insect repellent.
How to cope with sleeping when travelling?
There are many travel cots out there.
- Look for one that is safety approved and has safety approved bedding.
- A proper baby cot is preferable for nights.
- Having a colapsable travel cot for days out is great.
- Take a look at the phil&ted's Sleep Nest and the Pea pod.
How to cope with feeding when travelling?
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