how to travel with a baby

How to Travel With a Baby

Creating A Stress-free Travel Plan

Traveling with an infant or baby might sound stressful, especially for first-time parents. However, it doesn’t have to be!

With a few travel tips and some strategic planning, your travel plans can go smoothly. Whether you’re heading on a road trip or flying with a baby, here’s your ultimate how-to guide to ensure nothing gets forgotten and everyone has as comfortable a trip as possible.

Before You Leave

The best advice for anyone traveling with an infant, newborn or toddler is to plan; this can ease post-trip jitters and ensure you have all your basics covered. So, where should you start?

Check With Your Doctor or Pediatrician

If you’re traveling internationally, your child may need certain immunizations. Thus, it’s probably a good idea to book a visit with your pediatrician a few months before traveling. At the very least, aim for two weeks before. It is especially important for newborns who likely don’t have all their immunizations or vaccine doses.

Your doctor can also advise you on whether it’s safe to travel with your baby as they may have specific needs or health circumstances that you may need to consider.

Organize Medications and Important Documents

International travel will require your child to have a passport, which needs to be done months beforehand to ensure you have it for your scheduled departure. Other documents you’ll want to have in digital and paper form include vaccination records, recent medical reports or prescriptions and passport photocopies.

At the time, you’ll also want to fill up any prescriptions or ensure you have enough formula to last for the duration of the trip.

Do Your Research

If you need to store breastmilk, you’ll probably need a fridge in your hotel room. Things like this are very important to consider as you are booking accommodation and making plans. You may also want to schedule flights or car rides during your baby’s nap time, to make everything easier for all involved.

Make a Checklist

Do you have a car seat for a long drive? Is there anything you should know about car seats on long drives? For instance, it’s often recommended to ensure your child has adequate breaks from the car seat for health reasons.

You’ll also want to make a packing checklist; this will ensure nothing essential gets left behind, and everyone has what they need (way less stressful this way, too!). Also, don’t forget your toddler or child’s favorite toys or blankets that may help calm them during all legs of your travels. Bringing a first aid kit is also an excellent idea for unexpected cuts or bumps that your child may inevitably encounter through play.

During Your Trip

With a baby, travel is entirely possible, and you’re ready for your first trip together. You’ve planned ahead. You’ve packed accordingly and checked everything off your list. The day has arrived, so what else should you know?

Give Yourself Lots of Extra Time

Plan for the unexpected, such as your child having a full-out meltdown (Yes, this is a possibility but a hurdle you can overcome, especially if you aren’t in a rush). Having ample time also reduces stress on everyone, setting your trip up for success from the get-go.

It’s also a good idea to dress your children accordingly. If you’re going to be changing your newborn’s diapers, dress them in an outfit that makes this easy and hassle-free.

Keep Baby Sleep and Feeding Schedules Consistent

With traveling, it’s easy to fall off of set schedules. However, it’s much easier (during the trip and afterward) to stick to the schedules you already have, even when switching time zones. For different time zones, plan to gradually alter your schedule. Don’t make any drastic changes!

Ask For Baby Amenities

Many hotels will provide strollers and other essentials for traveling with a baby. Although, it’s best to check with your accommodations beforehand so that there aren’t any surprises! Either way, always bring diapers, formula, wipes and bottles.

It may also be worthwhile to call ahead as you begin your trip and ask for a crib if needed, ensuring you have one on arrival.

Gate Check Your Stroller

There’s no reason to ditch the stroller right away, especially when navigating busy airports. Instead, wait until the gate to check so you aren’t juggling too much as you go through security, making your way toward your assigned gate.

Planning is Key!

The real savior here is planning far ahead of schedule. Having everything organized not only reduces stress but also makes the trip goes as smoothly as possible. It’s also a good idea to potentially prepare for the unexpected; this can help you cope and manage when issues arise, despite your diligent planning. At the end of the day, it’s entirely possible to travel with a baby, toddler or newborn!

To help with your plans, consider a travel crib.

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