If you’ve been scouring the web for any and all information regarding traveling with baby, you have landed in the right place. Traveling with baby can be daunting, and we totally get why. Especially if it’s your first time hitting the big blue skies with your little one. Not to worry, there are tons of moms who have travelled near and far with babes in tow, and we have accumulated the best tips and tricks to enjoy your next jet-set adventure. This March, 10 to 12 Baby Lounge’s #monthofTRAVEL & Culture, we are letting you in on all the tried and true secrets for your next trip traveling with a baby.
Airport Tips and Tricks
TSA gives moms a huge break when it comes to the “no liquids” rule. Moms can travel with “reasonable amounts” of breast milk, formula, juice, and baby food. Always pack more than you think you’ll need on the plane. With little ones in a tight space, you never know what might spill on the ground before making it down the hatch.
Flying is a time to bring out all the stops, so if your little one has a favorite juice that you usually don’t let them have, bring it. When you can’t get him to settle down at 40 thousand feet, that may just do the trick. You can also ask the flight attendant to warm up any bottles (if you’re bottle feeding), just be sure that you bottle test it before feeding it to your little.
Traveling with a Baby: Pre-Takeoff!
The last thing you want is a sick baby on the flight home or on your trip. Airports and airplanes are petri dishes full of germs. Be prepared by packing some antibacterial wet wipes. Take a minute to wipe down the tray table, arm rests, wall, and anything else you or your baby may come in contact with.
Expect the unexpected when traveling and bring a change of clothes for yourself and your baby. You can use your imagination as to why you might need this, but trust us, and pack a change of clothes in your carry on. There’s nothing worse than being soaked with who-knows-what on a long-haul flight.
Use the extra time the airline gives you to board by settling down into the space. Get organized and be sure everything you need is within reaching distance. It’s not ideal when you hit turbulence and the baby’s pacifier is in the overhead compartment. Better to be safe than sorry when traveling with a baby.
The Art of Bag Checking
If you’re checking anything at the gate, make sure you bring a protective bag for it. The gate handlers aren’t super careful with anything. The cargo hold of the plane is also super dirty, and you don’t want baby exposed to that.
Check as many bags as possible before you go through security. Some airlines offer curbside checking, and it’s totally worth it. You will have enough to worry about traveling with a baby, stroller, car seat, and diaper bag. The last thing you need is an extra duffle to add to the mix.
Another pro-tip is having your partner (or anyone you’re traveling with) board first with all the bags. Then you can give your baby a few more minutes of precious freedom before boarding yourself. Wait until the last passenger is boarded before traveling with your baby. You can also do it the other way, where you head on first and get everything set up. Your partner can wait in the airport with baby, and arrive to organized seats for the flight.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Once on the ground, there’s not a lot of wiggle room in-terms of getting to your final destination. With jet-lagged kids and baggage in tow, you will want to go right to where you are staying.
Start planning a few weeks in advance (especially if you’re going somewhere internationally) and really nail down your itinerary. Try to plan activities around baby’s set schedule they have at home. This will give baby some sense of normality while in a foreign atmosphere.
Keep Nap Time While Traveling with a Baby
This may be a given, but keep your baby’s nap time while abroad! Baby without a nap = not the best travel buddy. If you take a stroller (definitely take a stroller) then you can put baby down while you continue about sightseeing.
This may take a little getting used to for baby, so try to get him used to it before arrival. You can take walks around your neighborhood around nap time in the stroller to get baby accustomed to their new nap-time space.
A big piece of advice for moms first time traveling with a baby is: go with the flow. Sometime’s you’ll have to skip nap-time and listen to tired-crying and deal with mixed up sleep schedules. Sometime’s restaurants will only have junk food, and you’ll have to feed baby something different. Or you’ll give in and let them have that second cup of juice or cone of ice-cream.
Vacation is all about a stress-free time for the whole family ~ so don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh at the inevitable tantrums and cherish the sweet memories that live forever.
Exploring with Baby
Take a stroller. If you’re questioning it, just do it. We like this stroller from Amazon the best. Try to get a lighter travel stroller that will be easier to maneuver into around even the bumpiest foreign city.
Even if you’re traveling to accessible city like Rome or Florence, it will still be worth it to bring the ‘roller. Decide where to break out the stroller by pre-planning the days with a lot of stairs. If you’re heading to a museum or taking a train ride, those places are more stroller friendly. Many popular tourist sights have “bag drop” areas where you can easily store your stroller. Just be sure not to leave anything valuable behind.
Exploring the city with Baby
Traveling with little ones is a special few years where they are young enough to not have an opinion. Use this to your full advantage! Before you know it you’ll have pre-teens with their own desires. This is the time to see the places you want to see with your partner, baby in tow. It will be of course different with baby, but it’s the start of life-long travel memories. Little ones (especially 0-14months) are surprisingly portable. Breast feeding or using formula still takes out the huge burden of finding food baby will like abroad. So take advantage of this time and book your tickets!
We hope that these tips and tricks for traveling with a baby have helped ease your mind. Traveling with a baby can be daunting, but with a little luck and prep, you’ll be a pro in no time!