Best Travel Tips with Baby?

Best Travel Tips with Baby?

Best Travel Tips with Baby?

Traveling with a baby can seem daunting, but with some planning and preparation, you can make your trip go smoothly. As an experienced parent and frequent traveler with young children, I've learned some key tips for traveling with a little one. Here are my top recommendations for making travel with baby as stress-free as possible.

Table
  1. Planning Ahead
    1. Book Accommodations
    2. Pack Smartly
    3. Book Flights Strategically
    4. Pack Baby Essentials
    5. Research Ahead
  2. Packing Tips
    1. Luggage & Gear
    2. Clothing & Toiletries
    3. Feeding Supplies
  3. Flying with Baby
    1. Packing
    2. Airport Navigation
    3. On the Plane
  4. Ground Transportation
    1. Public Transportation
    2. Rental Cars
    3. Road Trips
  5. Lodging with Baby
    1. Accommodation Considerations
    2. Family Friendly Amenities
    3. Child Proofing
  6. Eating Out with Baby
    1. Choosing a Restaurant
    2. Feeding Baby
    3. Keeping Baby Happy
  7. Activities with Baby
    1. Getting Around
    2. Types of Activities
    3. Packing Essentials
  8. Health & Safety Precautions
    1. Preventing Illness
    2. Staying Healthy
    3. Safety Tips
  9. Making Travel Easier
  10. In Conclusions

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is crucial when traveling with an infant. Here are some key things to arrange before your trip:

Book Accommodations

  • Aim for suite hotel rooms or vacation rentals with separate sleeping areas, kitchens, and laundry. This allows you to put baby to bed earlier while still having space to relax.
  • Request cribs in advance. Many hotels provide pack 'n plays, bassinets, or cribs if requested upfront.
  • Research accessibility. If staying at multiple hotels, check if they have elevators, adjoining rooms, and are stroller accessible.

Pack Smartly

  • Only bring necessities. Overpacking will weigh you down. Focus on multipurpose items.
  • Ship bulky gear ahead. Use a service to ship things like strollers, car seats, and high chairs to your destination instead of lugging them on the plane.
  • Bring snacks. Having snacks on hand prevents hunger-induced meltdowns. Pack pouches, small jars, and crackers.
  • Keep documents in order. Have passports, insurance cards, and travel confirmations printed or on your phone.

Book Flights Strategically

  • Aim for naps. Book flights during naptimes if possible. Bring the stroller through security to let your baby sleep right up until boarding.
  • Request bassinets. Many airlines offer bassinets for infants under 10 kg to sleep in. Reserve them when booking.
  • Book convenient seats. Bulkhead, aisle seats, and rows near restrooms make diaper changes easier.
  • Reserve infant seats. Carseats and CARES harnesses allow baby to be buckled in on the plane.
  • Book direct flights. Minimize layovers and connections when traveling with an infant.

Pack Baby Essentials

Carry-on bags should include:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Change of clothes
  • Burp cloths
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby medication
  • Bottles
  • Formula/breast milk
  • Baby food
  • Sippy cups
  • Baby utensils
  • Bibs
  • Baby plates
  • Bowls
  • Spoons
  • Travel high chair

Research Ahead

  • Family-friendly activities. Look for kid-friendly restaurants, playgrounds, museums, and attractions at your destination.
  • Stroller routes. Many zoos, parks, and museums have stroller friendly paths. Check what's available.
  • Services. See if your hotel or vacation rental offers cribs, high chairs, laundry, kitchens, and other baby gear.
  • Doctor. Identify a pediatrician at your destination in case your child gets sick.

Packing Tips

Luggage & Gear

  • Backpack diaper bags are easier to manage than purses or totes when navigating with a stroller.
  • Lightweight stroller. An umbrella stroller saves space and is easy to fold up on-the-go.
  • Wearable baby carrier. Carriers like the Baby Bjorn are great for getting through airports and sightseeing on foot.
  • Portable crib. Travel cribs or playards provide a familiar sleep space.
  • Car seat. Use a carseat taxi/ride shares for safety. Don't check your car seat as luggage.
  • Travel high chair. Collapsible high chair attaches to tables when dining out.
  • Colorful tags. Use cute bag tags or ribbons to identify your baby gear.

Clothing & Toiletries

  • Layers. Bring clothes that can be mixed and matched for different weather.
  • Weather appropriate. Check forecasts and pack rain jackets, hats, swimsuits accordingly.
  • Duplicates. Pack 2-3 of each clothing essential in case of spills, blowouts, etc.
  • Launder. Bring laundry soap pods or detergent packets to wash clothes.
  • Nighttime. Pack familiar pajamas, sleep sacks, and loveys.
  • Diapers. Bring 2 days extra diapers. You can buy more if needed.
  • Wipes. Travel packs are convenient. Or decant bulk wipes into a smaller container.
  • Diaper rash cream. New environments can lead to rashes. Bring cream just in case.
  • Medications. Pack any medications, teething gel, fever reducers, etc.
  • Sunscreen. Protect delicate baby skin with broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen.

Feeding Supplies

If breastfeeding:

  • Breast pump
  • Milk storage bags
  • Extra pumping parts
  • Nursing cover

If formula feeding:

  • Bottles
  • Formula
  • Bottle brush
  • Drying rack
  • Burp cloths
  • Bibs

For solids:

  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Food pouches
  • Portable snack containers

Flying with Baby

Flying with an infant requires extra planning but is manageable with preparation.

Packing

  • Empty bottles. Fill bottles with water once through security.
  • Breastmilk. Carry milk in a cooler bag if traveling for over 4 hours. Tell TSA officers you have breastmilk.
  • Food. Bring shelf-stable pouches, jars, or snacks that don't require refrigeration.
  • Formula. Bring pre-measured formula portions or empty bottles to fill once in flight.
  • Diaper supplies. Stock up on wipes, diapers, rash cream, plastic bags.
  • Entertainment. Download movies, pack books, small toys that don't make noise.
  • Comfort items. Pack a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, pacifier leash.

Airport Navigation

  • Stroller. Use a stroller up to the gate. Airlines will gate check it.
  • Carrier. Wear baby in a carrier through security. It allows hands free packing at bins.
  • ID. Bring passport, visa, birth certificate as needed for travel.
  • Board early. Airlines allow those traveling with infants to pre-board.
  • Diaper change. Use airport changing tables before boarding.

On the Plane

  • Keep busy. Entertain with favorite toys, snacks, and activities. Use a phone or tablet.
  • Keep moving. Take short walks up and down the aisle when possible. It helps appease antsy babies.
  • Offer food/drink. Offer sips of water, milk, snacks during take off and landing to help minimize ear pressure.
  • Comfort items. Surround with favorite toy or lovey. A familiar item soothes and distracts.
  • Work together. Coordinate with your travel partner. Take shifts entertaining baby.
  • Stay calm. Crying babies can't be helped. Stay calm and keep trying techniques to soothe. Other passengers understand.

Ground Transportation

Navigating ground travel like trains, buses, and cars has additional considerations with an infant.

Public Transportation

  • Subway. Use a baby carrier and fold up stroller. Look for elevators and avoid stairs.
  • Trains. Book private cabins if available. They provide space to spread out.
  • Buses. Request a seat with extra room like near the front. Use a carrier not a stroller.
  • Taxis. Use car seats with taxi rides for safety. Don't assume cabs have them available.
  • Ride shares. Bring your own car seat to use with Uber, Lyft, etc. Notify drivers ahead.

Rental Cars

  • Request car seat. Reserve an infant car seat when booking rental car. Don't count on availability.
  • Pack travel gear. Bring window shades, mirror, toys to attach to car seat handles.
  • Plan for stops. Schedule ample time for feedings, diaper changes, and stretching break.
  • Protect skin. Use blankets or shades to protect infants from direct sun.

Road Trips

  • Time wisely. Depart close to baby's bedtime. They'll sleep for the first stretch. Drive overnight if possible.
  • Map stops. Plan places to stop every 1.5-2 hours for diaper changes, feeding, and stretching.
  • Entertain. Pack new small toys, books, and snacks to reveal one at a time.
  • Keep cool. Ensure the AC is cooling. Overheating in cars can be dangerous for infants.

Lodging with Baby

Choosing the right hotel or vacation rental makes all the difference when traveling with a baby.

Accommodation Considerations

  • Separate rooms. Multi-room suites allow parents and babies different sleep schedules.
  • Kitchen. Look for in-room kitchens or kitchenettes to prepare meals and wash bottles.
  • Crib. Request a crib or pack n play. Some hotels lend these for free.
  • Bathtub. In-room bathtubs make bath time much easier.
  • Laundry. In-unit laundry machines allow you to wash baby items as needed.
  • Extra space. Look for adjoining rooms or suites if traveling with multiple children.

Family Friendly Amenities

See if your hotel or rental offers:

  • Cribs
  • High chairs
  • Changing tables
  • Bottle warmers
  • Mini fridges
  • Pack n plays
  • Laundry facilities
  • Kitchens
  • Blackout curtains
  • Connecting rooms
  • Outdoor space

Child Proofing

Take safety precautions by:

  • Covering outlets
  • Padding sharp corners and edges
  • Keeping small objects out of reach
  • Requesting safety gates if staying in a house
  • Keeping balcony doors locked
  • Using furniture straps to secure top-heavy items

Eating Out with Baby

Dining out with a baby takes some creativity but is very manageable.

Choosing a Restaurant

Look for restaurants that are:

  • Spacious with high chairs available.
  • Not overly crowded or noisy. This can upset little ones.
  • Family friendly. Many have kids menus and activities.
  • Accommodating to special requests like heating milk or food.

Avoid very formal or upscale restaurants which cater more to adults.

Feeding Baby

  • Breastfeed. Find a booth or ask staff for comfortable seating. Use a cover if preferred.
  • Premade bottles. Bring pre-made formula bottles. Ask staff to warm them up.
  • Solid foods. Order simple finger foods like steamed veggies, noodles, cheese.
  • Try new flavors. Let baby sample tastes of your safe, healthy foods for variety.
  • Utensils. Travel with child sized utensils, plates, bowls. Bring a splash mat.
  • Mess. Come prepared with bibs and ask for extra napkins. Spills will happen!

Keeping Baby Happy

  • Entertain. Bring small toys, books, snacks. Smart phones work in a pinch.
  • Take breaks. Walk around or step outside if baby gets fussy sitting too long.
  • Timing. Avoid eating during fussy times like before naps/bedtime.
  • Seating. Ask for high chairs with lots of space if available.
  • Noise. Loud restaurants can irritate little ears. Have white noise or music ready.
  • Tag team. Switch off with your partner entertaining baby between courses.

Activities with Baby

You don't have to put your sightseeing plans on hold when traveling with an infant. Here are tips for enjoying activities:

Getting Around

  • Carriers. Wear baby in a front carrier for hands-free mobility.
  • Strollers. An all-terrain stroller can navigate most urban streets, parks, and trails.
  • Adaptability. Be flexible to modifying plans based on nap schedules, feedings, etc.
  • Pit stops. Factor in stops every few hours for diaper changes, feedings, and baby breaks.

Types of Activities

Outdoors

  • Parks for picnics and green space. Look for playgrounds.
  • Hiking on smooth trails. Use hiking backpack carriers once baby is older.
  • Boat cruises offer gentle movement.
  • Zoos and botanical gardens offer family friendly walkways.

Indoors

  • Museums with stroller accessible galleries, cafes, and nursing rooms.
  • Malls allow walking around in any weather. Dress baby warmly for air conditioning.
  • Movies for big screen entertainment. See matinee showings.
  • Libraries provide engaging books, music, and sometimes story times.

Tours

  • Boat tours are soothing environments.
  • Train rides entertain with new views
  • Carriage or trolley rides add old fashioned flair.

Seasonal

  • Fairs and festivals for local culture like art fairs, street fairs. Go on less crowded weekdays if possible.
  • Fruit picking provides entertainment and snacks.
  • Holiday events like tree lightings, parades, etc. Bundle baby in warm layers and go early.

Packing Essentials

Be prepared for outings with:

  • Stroller
  • Carrier
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Change of clothes
  • Burp cloth
  • Blanket
  • Pacifier
  • Medications
  • Bottles/formula
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Toys
  • Cell phone

Health & Safety Precautions

Taking precautions helps keep your baby healthy while traveling.

Preventing Illness

  • Hand hygiene. Wash hands frequently and use sanitizer.
  • Clean bottles. Sterilize bottles and nipples before first use.
  • Water. Use purified bottled water for mixing formula and rinsing bottles.
  • Car sickness. Keep air vents open, go slow on winding roads.

Staying Healthy

  • Sunscreen. Use broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen on baby's skin and shade them.
  • Insect repellent. Use an approved baby safe insect repellent.
  • Medications. Keep a baby first aid kit with medications, thermometer, etc.
  • Carry records. Keep baby's medical records like vaccination history in your bag.
  • Insurance. Obtain travel health insurance covering pediatric care.
  • Doctor. Research pediatricians at your destination in case baby gets sick.

Safety Tips

  • Life jackets. Use infant life jackets for boats, water activities.
  • Barriers. Ensure balconies, decks, hot tubs, pools, etc are gated/locked.
  • Supervision. Actively supervise babies in baths, around house hazards, and near water.
  • Sun protection. Keep babies shaded and use rashguards, hats at the pool/beach.
  • Cars. Follow all car seat guidelines. Never leave baby alone in a vehicle.
  • Baby gear. Ensure cribs, playpens, changing tables meet safety standards.
  • Hydration. Make sure baby is drinking enough fluids, especially in hot climates.

Making Travel Easier

Though travel with an infant takes more effort, you can make it an enjoyable experience. Here are my best tips:

  • Go at baby's pace. Adapt schedules around eating, sleeping, fussiness etc.
  • Plan family friendly stops. Prioritize playgrounds, kid activities each day.
  • Build in downtime. Leave room for lounging at hotels or vacation rentals when you need breaks.
  • Splurge on conveniences. Use amenities like grocery delivery, laundries, and housekeeping.
  • Take a shorter trip. Start with 3-4 nights away or stay closer to home for your first baby trip.
  • Have backup. Travel with another adult so you can trade off when needed.
  • Stay flexible. Be ready to modify plans when baby needs to. Go with the flow.
  • Focus on family. Savor simple pleasures like walks, swimming, meals together over jam-packed sightseeing.
  • Keep perspective. Mishaps will happen. Laugh them off and make memories.

In Conclusions

Traveling with a baby takes more planning and gear but is completely possible. Use these tips to pack smartly, plan age appropriate activities, anticipate needs, and keep your baby safe, healthy, and happy on the journey. The effort is rewarded with new experiences together as a family. Bon voyage!

Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm happy to share my knowledge as an experienced parent traveler. Wishing you a wonderful trip making memories with your little explorer.

Go up