Bon Voyage Baby
Babies are like every other traveler – they’re just smaller and can’t carry their own luggage. While it may seem like a daunting task to travel with a baby, all it takes is some pre-planning. The more prepared you are, the more fun your trips will be, and your baby will become a seasoned traveler in no time.
If you’re traveling by car, sit next to your baby. Have one parent (or caregiver) drive while the other parent sits in the backseat. You won’t have to take your eyes off the road to keep looking back to comfort him, and he’ll feel safe and secure with you next to him. Also, shield baby’s eyes from the sun (and keep him from overheating) by using shade screens for the car's side windows.
Liquid refreshment and snacks are a must. Baby will need to eat and so will you. Especially if you’ll be on an airplane - you both need to stay hydrated. Bring something for baby to suck on to help relieve the pressure in their ears, especially during take-off and landing. If your baby drinks formula, pack more than you think you'll need and put powdered formula into zipper-lock plastic bags to save space.
Don’t be caught out in the cold. Or heat. Bring extra diapers and clothes, and then add more diapers in case of travel delays. Pack at least one extra change of clothes for baby, and an alternate top for you. Baby can be dressed in layers that can be taken off if it’s too hot or put back on if it’s too cold. And you’ll be ready in case of spit up, diaper leak or other mess. Also, throw in some large, resealable plastic bags – they’re perfect for temporarily storing icky items.
Bring favorite items. Pack a favorite toy, blanket and/or pillow. Comfy items that baby’s used to will help with the coziness factor. These can include babyproof mirrors, musical toys, soft animals, plastic keys and teething rings.
No one likes an emergency. Put a small first aid kit together with things you might need for minor medical issues. Include prescription medications, even if your baby only needs them now and then. If he needs it “now” and you don’t have it, well, that can put an end to your traveling fun right there.
Try to schedule trips when baby’s asleep. Have baby fed and burped and ready for bed as soon as he gets on a plane or into a car. With any luck, he’ll go right to sleep and you can travel peacefully.
Sleep tight. If you'll be staying in a hotel/motel, call ahead to request a crib (if you wait until you arrive, you may be out of luck). Check it over it carefully to make sure it’s safe before you use it.
Fly the friendly skies. If you've purchased an airplane seat for your baby, bring a car seat, as this is the safest way for babies to fly. If you didn't buy a ticket for your baby, check with the airline staff at the gate - you might get lucky and be able to use the car seat if there are empty seats on board.
One of the most important travel tips is to try and stick to your routine. If baby’s nighttime ritual includes a bath and lullabies, do it on your trip as well. It will make being away from home a little more comfortable for you both.