Traveling with Baby -- Survival Guide
Nervous about traveling with your baby?
The key to traveling with a baby is preparation, flexibility and realistic expectations.
Read on for my tried and true tips for enjoying travel with your bebé.
Prepare, Plan and then...Let Go
If you will be using a travel crib, the week or two before your trip, practice setting up the travel crib. Extra points for napping your baby/toddler in it.
Don't overpack. Check out baby-rental-gear company Baby’s Away or www.babyquip.com-- a full service rental company with play yards, highchairs, cribs, pack-n-plays, and bouncy chairs and will deliver and set up in most major cities.
Pack the essentials in your carry on. Always bring your baby/toddler’s sleep sack, lovey, snuggly sleep items, pj’s, blankie, and bedtime books. You may want to pack these in your carry on, in case you anticipate weather delays or cancelled flights. Here are some recommendations for all of these tried and true products.
Put the medicine cabinet in your carry on. Luggage can get lost or you may find yourself mid flight needing some pain reliever (for yourself or baby!). Be sure to pack what you need and have it nearby. Bring, at minimum, baby Benadryl, baby Tylenol, homeopathic remedies, diaper cream, a baby thermometer, and adult ibuprofen, Emergen-C or coconut water for hydration.
Ship items ahead. There is no need to pack dozens of diapers, wipes and bottles of food or formula when you can send it all in advance. Save room in your suitcase for clothes and other essentials you may need when you land and ship the rest.
Schedule a flight or long drive during your baby/toddler’s during naptime. For cross-country or international flights, schedule the flight for your little one’s bedtime.
Listen to good music! Happy parents make a happy baby so enjoy yourself with your favorite artists. Above all, enjoy the drive. Figure in that it may take twice as long as it normally would so set your expectations on that and be willing to pivot and change the plan if needed. For some inspiration, check out this spotify playlist.
Curbside Check in--Need I say more?
Be strategic: If you are flying, have your partner board early with all of the gear and set up shop while you wait in the boarding area. If you've got a toddler, run them! Then, board last. Boom. No need to sit and wait for everyone to board when you can walk around.
Sanitize everything. Bring wipes and sanitizer for the car, plane, bathrooms, shuttle service.
The Baby Carrier is your best friend. Easy to breastfeed in, you can walk straight through security with it, it keeps your hands free for holding items, and it is an easy way to nap your baby if needed. Also, walking the aisle of the plane has never been so easy. Drape a light muslin, breathable blanket over the baby and you are all set.
Equalize their ears. When flying, plan to offer the breast, bottle, pacifier, or sippy cup for toddler, for take off and landing (not taxi-ing on the runway).
Let it go, let it go...
You are packed, on the plane or on the road and your vacation is ahead of you. Now...let go. Drop your shoulders. Tell yourself kind things. You did it. Put on this playlist and enjoy the flight or drive.
Expect that there will be surprises, unforeseen circumstances, delays, traffic, or an upset baby.
Parenting on the go is all about flexibility and humor. Take it from me, I once spent 15 minutes sitting in the airplane bathroom (eeww!) with my crying baby just so I could sit and have a cry with her. At the time it was not funny but now we laugh about it.
Take it one minute at a time, remember that the other passengers will have grace for you and if they don't, it's not your responsibility.
Travel with Baby Class
If you want to embark on your upcoming trip feeling confident, check out my Traveling with Baby Class - now available on demand!
In this class, I cover:
- time zones,
- setting up baby’s sleep environment,
- understanding when to be flexible (and when to provide consistency and routine) and
- so much more!