Holiday season is coming and you may be planning on a holiday with your baby. You have heard horror stories on what could happen during the travels from your friends (and you don’t want the same to happen during your holiday). Understandable!
We have complied 40 tips on how to travel with a baby. Some of the tips may be useful for you!
1. WHITE ONESIES: (applies to 1-6 mo.) Buy cheap onesies! Babies poop and vomit all the time. It’s easier to dispose the onesie then to bother about laundry. But do bring ziplock bags (lots) to lock the filthy onesie before you throw it away.
2. BRING YOUR BUMPERS!!!!: (applies to 5 mo. +) Bring your own crib bumpers because most cribs that the hotel provides may not come with bumpers.
3. CARRY ON: Pack essentials. Anything that you forgot, can be bought at your destination. Please read the packing list that we recommend at the end of this blog.
4. GETTING THROUGH SECURITY: Take your time!! You may want to bring your carseat along (please check with airline) for your baby to sleep in (if the bassinet doesn’t work). Check in early. Most airlines allow parents with kids to check in first but you have to be there early! Wear your baby in a sling coz you don’t want to wake a sleeping baby (in case your baby felt asleep in the carseat/stroller and you have to wake him/her up – that would be a nightmare!)
5. STROLLER LINE: Always ask a airport staff if they have a line designated for strollers, many do! And if not then 90% of the time they will let you go through TSA Pre or First Class line.
6. IF YOU’RE BRINGING A CARSEAT, DON’T CHECK IT: First of all it would be a pain if they lost it, and second, if the plane isn’t full they will let you take your carseat on with you!
7. INTERNATIONAL TRAVELING W/ CARSEAT: (applies to 6mo. +) When they get older I suggest bringing an umbrella stroller and leaving the carseat at home! You can rent carseats from Rental Car companies and it is a pain to deal with an umbrella stroller + a car seat.
8. RENT APARTMENTS, NOT HOTELS: We love to use Airbnbs because you can rent entire homes/apartments! It is nice to have a kitchen so you can wash bottles, etc. in a sink NOT connected to a bathroom. I hate washing bottles in a sink in a bathroom! They also usually have a washer and dryer so its nice to be able to do some laundry and feel more at home.
9. ELEVATORS: Make SURE your hotel has an elevator because you don’t want to end up making multiple trips up stairs multiple times a day. It is exhausting! Trust me.
10. TIME ZONE: Baby jet lag is real so be prepared for it. They will wake up in the middle of the night and sleep all day. Babies are like us parents after all. Just that they are super cranky when they are tired. Try to help them overcome the jet lag by keeping them awake for as long as possible until the evening in your destination country. Having said that, do keep an easy, flexible schedule for the first one-two days.
11. TOYS: For infants, no toys are necessary (unless they have a favourite toy). They would prefer to snuggle or, play with their blankets/bolster. For toddlers, do not overpack their toys. Most toddles prefer “new toys” like the airline magazine, empty water bottles, wrappers – they will toss and tear things so don’t worry about it when your toddler tears the airline magazine. It’s expected and I’m sure tons of babies do the same.
12. MUSIC VIDEOS/SHOWS/ETC: If your baby loves music or a certain music video or a show, make sure you have them downloaded on your phone so you can use them as a recourse if your baby is crying and youre stressed!
13. MIND SET!!!!: I think mindset is sooo huge in traveling with a baby!!! So don’t stress about it and just have the mindset that you are going on a trip with your best bud and try to get excited rather than nervous. It sounds super cheesy but it makes the world a difference when you just adjust your thinking. If you dread it and are stressed, he will know and it will work up both of you. Just have relax and have fun with your little buddy.
14. GETTING TO YOUR SEAT!: You will probably have a carry-on bag, a stroller, a car seat and a diaper baby to handle. Plus you will be wearing your baby. Just take the diaper bag and get the lovely stewardesses to help out with the rest. Again, take your time to get to you seat! Once you get to your seat, there are tons of stuffs on your seat (pillow, blanket etc) so, please keep your diaper bag under your seat along with your purse. Other things can be stored in the overhead compartment.
15. WINDOW + AISLE + EVEN MORE SPACE: If you are traveling with someone request the window AND aisle seat instead of two next to each other and if you are willing to spend a tad extra do it in the even more space section (available on Jetblue and other airlines) because 9 times out of 10 we get the middle seat to ourselves too! No one wants to pay extra for a middle seat so they will take an aisle elsewhere.
16. HAVE TRAVEL INSURANCE + KNOW WHERE TO GO IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES: You never know when something small or big might happen or when you might have a parent freak out and want to see a doctor over essentially nothing at all. Our travel insurance (the kind your purchase when you purchase your plane ticket) reimbursed us easily for the expenses.
17. BABIES NEED PASSPORT TOO: Make sure you start the process well before your trip if you’re going abroad as expediting can be expensive (and a little stressful…no one likes to rush travel documents.)
18: DON’T BRING SHOES!: Okay okay shoes are cute on babies and I maybe bring one or two pairs of moccasins that fold up small but I mean they arent even walking yet so save the luggage space! Bring socks instead.
19. BREASTFEEDING: Breastfeed as often as possible, if you are. Be prepared and willing to breastfeed anytime and anywhere. Wear breastfeeding friendly dresses or tops that allows you to breastfeed discreetly. Not all babies like the nursing cover so you have to know your own baby.
20. BRING YOUR PUMP ABROAD: Pumps are expensive so I really recommend bringing a hand pump or a battery powered pump! Sometimes it’s necessary to pump when you are feeling engorged BEFORE you breastfeed because you don’t want to be squirting breastmilk all over the place!!!
21. BLANKET OR MAT: Bring 2 blankets; one for you to lay on the floor for baby to roll about before take off, and one for baby to snuggle in when sleeping
22. BRAVE THE GERMS: There is literally NO way to avoid germs when traveling so be prepared for it 🙂 they will be okay! Let them crawl about and explore. It’s a lot better than to have them scream their lungs out sitting on your lap!
22. LET YOUR BABY FLIRT AWAY: While getting on the plane face them outwards so they can smile and cheese it up with everyone. If they love your baby they won’t care so much when they cry 🙂
23. TAKE OFF/LANDING: Nurse/bottle feed during take off/landing but some babies are ok without. I would do it to be safe but definitely don’t wake a sleeping baby to nurse them for take off and if they aren’t nursing don’t stress, it might not bother them and just try to distract them with a toy instead.
**When traveling abroad they will make you attach an orange seatbelt to your seatbelt and fasten the baby in it. So keep that in mind so you aren’t caught off guard.
24. SWADDLING: All babies love a swaddle so, go ahead and swaddle your baby once you have settled into your seat. You may need to wait until your baby settle down from all the excitement first though.
25. BRING MORE CLOTHES!: Babies just go through clothes so dang fast so bring way more than you think you will need. But don’t bring too many diapers! You can always buy diapers at your destination.
26. CHANGING DIAPERS: When on vacation be prepared to change a diaper anywhere – on the ground in museums, airports, ally ways, your lap etc. Just go with it! You can always use hand sanitizer 🙂
27. FLIGHT TIMES: Get a flight time that works with your babies schedule! When they are young usually red eyes are great because they just sleep in your arms the whole time! However if you are going to a completely different time zone get one during the day and try to help them relax and sleep majority of the time.
28. AVOID THE BACK OF THE PLANE!!!: It is so annoying being in the back where people are standing in line to go to the bathroom or flight attendants are chatting. It is distracting for the baby and they have a harder time falling asleep.
29. GET A TUB!: Make sure where you are staying has a bathtub or make sure you have looked at photos and know the sink is big enough. If you have an apartment usually kitchen sinks are big enough. Bath time really helps calm baby down so they are a must.
30. PLAN AN EXTRA DAY: Make sure wherever you are going you plan an extra day. Baby will sometimes have a bad day or, you can tell he just wants to have a chill day at the hotel so sometimes plans have to be pushed back or rearranged. Be flexible and adding an extra day that is unplanned on to all vacations really helps with this. You can space stuff out more or just have an entire day to do nothing but snuggle and recoup.
31. BACKPACK DIAPER BAG: Backpack diaper bags are an absolute MUST for traveling!!! They are so much easier when you are bending over so much, going in and out of taxis, walking a lot, etc.
32. CHANGE OF CLOTHES FOR YOU TOO: Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes for yourself too. You may always end up with either breast milk, poop, pee, spit up, rice cereal, etc. or a couple of the above.
33. DON’T USE WATER ON THE PLANE: You are allowed to bring as many liquids as you want and if you happen to run out you can always ask a flight attendant for a water bottle. Don’t use the water in the bathrooms for rinsing or anything, apparently it is purified with chemicals and can get you sick! I read this online and was pretty surprised. I obviously do not know this is 100% true but I would say to not risk it! Flight attendants will give you as much water or juice as you need!
34. HAVE AT LEAST 2 HOURS IN BETWEEN CONNECTING FLIGHTS: Getting through security for every country is different. Sometimes, you have to check out and check in again from international to domestic flights. Be prepared. Don’t rush for the next flight especially when traveling with kids.
35. REQUEST A BASSINET: Make sure you request for one when you book your flights. Don’t assume that they would know you need one. It’s nice to swaddle your baby and let baby sleep in the bassinet so you could rest your arms!!
36. RENT A CAR WITH A CAR SEAT: You can usually get a carseat with a rental car. If you do need to travel with one, get one that clips in as the seat on your stroller so you aren’t stuck carrying around a carseat
38. EAT DINNER EARLY: The key is go early. If your baby makes unfortunate, loud baby noises as babies do, there are less people to disturb and thus less mortification to be had. And if they’re a little more mobile towards the end, it gives them a little roaming room. Another tip, when a high chair isn’t available and the baby is old enough to sit up, just “strap” your baby to the chair using a baby carrier. If baby is too small, wear a sling, or put baby in the stroller. A lot of restaurants abroad are quite small, so a stroller isn’t the best option in those tight places.
39. KNOW WHEN TO CALL IT: Sometimes an activity or meal or whatever is just a FAIL. Baby isn’t happy, mom and dad aren’t happy, shit hits the proverbial fan. Maybe literally! Call it. Walk out. Go back to the hotel or AirBnB or what-have-you home away from home and live to die another day.
40. DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH OVER “NAP SCHEDULE”: Let your baby sleep whenever he is tired. Try to space out activities in the day and don’t over do it. Your baby will not enjoy being in the sling / stroller all day. They may want to crawl around, or just simply sleep without people trying to make funny faces at them. It helps to find a quiet corner and just chill at times.
The Diaper Bag + Carry On Packing List
- Wet Wipes
- Baby Carrier/Sling
- Extra Clothes – for everyone, mom & dad include — babies blow out, enough said (this was a bigger problem 4-7 months, after which it pretty much stopped)
- Extra Sling – we use a more structured carrier but carry a cloth sling like a Solly Wrap as a back up (in case of blow out emergency) because it’s compact.
- “Toys” – something amusing for baby
- Blankets – handy to cover them up when sleeping on long haul flights or to give them a spot to sit on the floor.
- Snacks – For older babies that have started solids. Fruit, yogurt, bars, all good.
- Pacifier & pacifier clip + back up
- Zip locks bags / trash bag – for dirty diapers and soiled clothing
- Dedicated Changing Blanket/Mat
- Hand Sanitizer/Disinfecting Wipes – I like the ones that smell like lavender! But anything will do.
- Breast Pump & 2 milk bottles
- Stroller – optional
- Carseat – optional