So you love to travel? Or maybe you loved to travel and now you’re just not so sure how a baby is going to fit into that picture. Rest assured, traveling with a baby is both possible and extremely rewarding. Follow below for 8 tips and gear recommendations that will help make traveling with baby smoother than you think!
- Sleep Solutions- Depending on the age and temperament of your baby, sleep can be a logistical challenge both while en route and at your destination. Consider flight times that work best with your baby’s schedule and dress baby (and yourself!) in comfortable clothing. At your destination, consider travel blackout shades or a Slumberpod to create a dark environment if that is what baby prefers at home. Most hotels will provide a crib or pack n play if you request one, but bring a sheet from home to give your baby a comforting smell and prevent any skin issues from the hotel’s laundry detergent.
- Diapers- You can never have too many! Until it’s taking up precious luggage space. Pack double the amount you think you need for the flight or car ride, and consider shipping a box of diapers to your destination ahead of time. Wipes come in handy for all kinds of baby (and adult!) spills, so be sure to bring more than you typically need as well.
- Stroller – Airlines will allow you to gate check any size stroller. However, airlines do not take responsibility for any damage that the stroller may incur during transit. Also take into consideration the size of your rental car or terrain of your destination. You may want to invest in a travel stroller that can fit into an overhead bin.
- Luggage – If you are flying, consider checking most or all of your luggage to leave your arms as free as possible for baby’s needs. It may mean more time at the airport when you reach your destination, but you’re likely going to be making some pit stops in the restroom after arrival anyways. In your carry-on, be sure to pack at least one full set of clothing for yourself and two sets for baby.
- Car Seats – This can be a tricky one. If your baby has their own seat, you will want to bring a car seat on board for your small baby. Be sure to check it is FAA approved. For older babies, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive car seat to check to your destination. This one is highly recommended due to its light weight and price. Rental car companies also offer car seat rentals, however, the integrity of the seats cannot be guaranteed, so do so at your own risk.
- Entertainment – This is going to depend on the age of your child. A very young baby may be lulled to sleep by the gentle movements and white noise of the plane. An older baby may become frustrated by the restraint in movement. Consider the age of your child and pack appropriate toys or games to keep them interested. If all else fails, a box of tissues makes for a great toy.
- Identification – Children under the age of 2 do not require their own seat on flights. It is always a good idea to travel with a copy of your baby’s birth certificate if the airline requests it. Baby’s name will need to be on one of the adult’s tickets for the flight’s official manifesto. Of course, you may purchase a seat for your baby if you prefer.
- Keep Your Sanity – There are no rules on a plane except for the FAA rules. Okay, that’s not completely true, but when flying with a baby or young toddler, do what works in the moment. If that means screen time or typically forbidden snacks and treats, do what you need to do to get to your destination with your sanity.
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