Traveling with a Baby: Tips for safe and stress-free travel

Traveling with a Baby: Tips for safe and stress-free travel

Traveling with a baby can be fun and rewarding, but also challenging. Learn how to plan, pack, and fly with your little one with these practical tips.

Traveling can be stressful in itself; adding in an additional element such as baby can only add another level of difficulty, but there are ways you can ensure a stress-free journey.

Newborns should wait to fly until their immune systems have developed and they have received all vaccinations necessary. But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a memorable vacation!

1. Pack Early

Traveling with a baby requires having all of the appropriate gear. Before booking, check to see if your hotel or vacation rental can provide cribs (typically known as pack ‘n plays).

If you are breastfeeding, bring additional clothing for both yourself and your infant, snacks and water for both of you, plus baby Tylenol or other infant medications as needed.

Consider packing light by not packing bulky items such as baby carriers. Use your airline’s app to check on size restrictions and weight limitations of luggage, and aim to travel outside peak travel days and times if flying.

2. Be Prepared

Many babies have set nap, bedtime and feeding times that they adhere to; try planning your trip around these times if possible.

Holding on to extra clothes for both you and your child can come in handy in an emergency, particularly in cases of spills or spit-ups. Store these pieces of clothing easily accessible location such as your carry-on bag or diaper bag.

If traveling by train, try and secure a window seat so baby can look outside at the passing scenery and gaze upon it while watching their surroundings. This may help them distract from any discomfort caused by turbulence during their ride.

3. Don’t Overbook

Traveling with a newborn requires careful preparation, so be sure to make a list, check it twice, and be open to adapting as necessary.

Babies and newborns under two do not need to occupy an airplane seat, but must instead be secured in an FAA-approved car seat or held on your lap during takeoff, turbulence and landing. Check with your airline to understand their baggage policies for lap infants.

Plan to travel on less crowded days and times; this will also help lower your airfare cost.

4. Don’t Overschedule

No matter how well prepared we may be, traveling can still be stressful; adding kids into the mix only adds further anxiety. There can be any number of factors contributing to travel anxiety; from their varied needs and temperamental tantrums or illnesses.

To avoid this scenario, keep your itinerary flexible. This will enable you to take advantage of any last-minute activities, as well as take some quality couple time. When booking flights or trains, try scheduling them during baby nap time so as to reduce travel delays and frustrations.

5. Pack a Goody Bag

Your carry-on bag should always include essential baby essentials, including enough diapers to last your journey as well as extras. Be sure to include snacks and drinks for yourself as well as items which could assist during any delays or cancellations such as baby Tylenol.

Don’t forget to pack items to help baby sleep and feel secure, such as a sleeping bag or favorite blanket. They will provide comfort and peace of mind during their time away from home. Also consider investing in a portable travel high chair to facilitate meals on the road.

6. Be Prepared for Changes

Preparation is key when traveling with baby. That means packing enough diapers, wipes, formula and bottles for your entire journey plus some spares just in case!

If your infant has started eating solids, make sure you bring along enough of their favorite food and snacks to satisfy any delays or changes to flight plans. They’ll thank you!

If traveling across time zones, gradually adjust your baby’s sleep schedule in the days leading up to and upon reaching your vacation destination.

7. Bring a Baby Blanket

Traveling with a baby can be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be stressful. With proper planning and preparation, traveling with an infant can be as smooth as any other trip.

Plan your flights so they coincide with nap and bed times to help ensure a more relaxing flight and holiday when they reach their destination. This should help them sleep soundly throughout, and lessen any anxiety at their final destination.

8. Don’t Overschedule

Flying with an infant adds another level of planning and organization, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be accomplished. Here are a few suggestions to ensure the journey runs as smoothly and stress-free as possible.

If possible, plan flights around your child’s nap time; this will increase their likelihood of sleeping during flight and won’t throw off their sleep routine at their destination. Also consider traveling during less crowded times or days for greater chances of an empty seat next to you.

9. Plan Your Arrival

No matter how you travel, be sure to arrive at the airport early. Allow plenty of time for checking in, receiving any necessary assistance, and boarding.

Arriving too early can lead to boredom, leading to tantrums. Arriving approximately half an hour earlier is ideal.

Make sure you know how to get from the airport or train station to your accommodations as early as possible, in order to avoid last-minute stress and confusion upon arrival. Doing this early may also save money by pre-booking a taxi ride or shuttle from the hotel directly.

10. Don’t Overschedule

Traveling with an infant requires considerable planning and preparation, but with some flexibility and an open mindset it can become an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Try your best to stick to their usual schedule during a flight if possible; keeping their daytime nap and bed time schedule will help them adjust more smoothly. For longer distance flights, consider booking nonstop flights without lengthy layovers to reduce transit time and stow luggage more efficiently.


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