If traveling was a big part of your life before baby arrived, it’s probably still going to be important to you. Whether you’re flying or taking the train, here are some Travel with Baby Tips to make things easier.
For starters, try to fly early. Airports are less crowded, and you’re more likely to avoid delays.
1. Keep It Simple
Traveling with a newborn is easier than you think, but it does require more planning. Newborns are the best candidates for breastfeeding, which means you can eliminate a lot of other things from your packing list, like bottles and extra formula. (As long as baby nursed well on the trip, of course!)
Baby slings and carriers are ideal for car rides with babies. This is one of the easiest times to get a baby to sleep, too, since they’re used to being in their familiar car seat.
For plane flights, it’s a good idea to book an early flight so you can leave shortly after your baby’s bedtime. This will give them a chance to explore the airplane and new environment before starting their usual bedtime routine.
It’s also helpful to bring a few things to entertain your baby while on the flight, such as their favorite toys or books, a binky, and a set of headphones. A small box of crayons and some blank paper will also help keep them busy, and plastic bags are a must-have in case of any spills or accidents.
2. Plan Ahead (Travel with Baby Tips)
If you’re traveling with your baby or toddler, it’s important to plan ahead for the trip. That means packing extra diapers and snacks, a changing pad and extra clothes, and bringing along anything else that you think your baby might need during the trip.
You’ll also want to make sure that your baby or toddler’s car seat is approved for air travel and packed properly. You can check with your airline for specific rules and regulations on this. Additionally, you’ll want to consider bringing a travel pillow and blanket for your child.
It’s also a good idea to book an overnight flight, which will allow your baby or toddler to explore the new environment before their normal bedtime. This will hopefully help them fall asleep during the flight and have a restful vacation when they arrive at their destination.
It’s a good idea to try and get an early flight so that the airport is less crowded, which can help improve your chances of getting a sleeping baby during the flight. This is especially true during peak travel times like the holidays and spring break.
3. Make Sure They’re Comfortable
It’s essential that baby feels comfortable while traveling, whether you’re flying or driving. A good night’s sleep and a comfy, familiar crib or car seat can help them relax and get settled. If you can, try to travel during the day, as it may be easier for your little one to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Pack plenty of snacks for them (as well as you). This will keep their hunger at bay and will also give them something to chew on if they’re feeling restless or antsy. Also, consider bringing toys they don’t have at home, like interactive books or interlocking teethers, to keep them entertained while you’re on the go.
Lastly, try to score a window seat when you board the plane. It will make things a lot more convenient for you and your baby, especially if they’re fussy on the flight. The view will also be a nice distraction and comforting for them, helping to ease their stress levels. You might even be able to use your phone or tablet to show them pictures from your trip, which can really help them feel connected to you and calm down.
4. Keep Them Busy (Travel with Baby Tips)
If you want to be able to relax while traveling with your baby, it’s important that you keep them entertained. This means packing plenty of toys, snacks, and activities to keep them engaged and happy throughout the trip.
This is especially true if you’re flying. Many airlines limit the amount of stuff you can bring on board with you, so make sure that you have everything you need in your carry-on bag.
This includes a variety of toys that will keep your baby busy, including interactive books with sound, music, and touch-and-feel pages. If your child is old enough for screen time, consider bringing some kids’ movies on an iPad or tablet.
Be sure to pack plenty of snacks and drinks, as well. This will help to keep your baby fed and hydrated while traveling.
5. Don’t Overdo It
As with any type of travel, you need to remember that your baby is an individual. A flight that went well for one family may be a disaster for another, and the same is true for road trips.
Plan for the worst case scenario – it’s always better to have more than you need than to be short on something vital. For example, when packing formula, bring double what you think you’ll need so that you have a backup in case of any delays or cancellations.
This also goes for snacks. You having extras will save you stress and frustration if a flight is delayed or canceled and you’re not able to access your hold luggage.
Try to avoid getting on a flight just before your baby’s usual bedtime. This can cause them to be overtired and also irritable for the duration of the flight. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re familiar with your airline’s baggage allowances and how to maximize them. You can check this on your airline’s website.
In addition, you should check with your doctor or midwife about any vaccines you might need to travel with your baby. You can find more information about travelling with babies on the Centers for Disease Control’s online Traveler’s Health information page.