Tips for Traveling with Your Little One!
Thanks to all the families who contributed to this crowd sourced list of travel tips! Share your travel tips and we'll add them to the list.
- Set low expectations and don't be afraid to ask for help!
- Don’t stress, have fun and just go with the flow don’t overthink naps and such
- Plan for "quiet/down time"
- Allow time for older babies and toddlers to play before getting on the plane
- For international travel, try Etihad airlines because they have complementary in-flight nannies to entertain children with games and coloring books
- For long drives plan stops with places where you can eat and have access to restrooms. Find parks on the way for a stretch/play break
- For long flights if you can get your baby his/her own seat
- Also for long flights, if you have an infant call the airline and request a bassinet
- Choose flights times around naps or so you arrive at night time and can (try to) get them switched to a new time zone right away
- Nurse, give a bottle or a pacifier during take off and landing even if they are sleeping
- Wear “useful”, comfortable & convenient clothing on the plane: long cardigans you can use to cover when nursing, stretchy tops you can pull down or up for easy nursing, things with pockets. Wear leggings, sweats, or a maxi dress so you don’t have to deal with buckles, buttons, etc when going to the bathroom. Wear supportive slip on shoes
- Dress kiddo in onesie and leg warmers for easy diaper changes on long flights
- Go to the bathroom as soon as you get on the plane
- Use overnight diapers on the plane for extra absorbency
- Find out if the places you are going are stroller friendly in advance
- Going through airport security is easier with a baby carrier than a stroller. Also great for walking the aisle if needed
- Use an infant car seat on a stroller frame instead of a travel stroller for infants because it gives you the option to take taxis or lyft once on the ground
- Try to find a mom and baby yoga class or other class. Then you can talk to local moms about their favorite places and kid-friendly parks, restaurants, etc.
- Consider getting a “Fly Tot” inflatable so kids can lay down on plane and still be buckled in
- For longer trips research whether you can get things like diapers once you arrive. Make sure they are a brand that gets good reviews or you are familiar with to avoid ill fitting diapers and a bunch of blow outs
- Bring water bottles you can fill up after going through security. Collapsible ones are great because they don't take up much room when empty
Packing + What to Take on Your Trip
- Leave the suitcase open on the floor so you can easily throw in things as you think of them
- Make a list (by person) of the things you can't pack until the day of the trip so you don’t forget them
- Don’t over pack for yourself but don’t skimp on baby clothes. They don't take up much room and messes are inevitable. Find out if you can wash clothes at your destination
- Plane temperatures can vary greatly. Bring both a short sleeve and long sleeve clothes for baby so you can change them into something more comfortable if needed.
- Get leashes to attach toys to something so they don’t end up on the floor and under seats
- Bring sanitizing wipes to clean surfaces on the plane, changing tables, etc.
- Make sure to pack spare clothes in your carry on for the kiddos AND yourself so you don't have to walk around with spit up stains
- Prep a changing kit. Include 2 diapers, wipes, changing pad and a change of clothes for baby in it. Just take this to the bathroom for changes instead of a big bag. Refill as needed with more diapers
- Bring reusable “wet bags”* for dirty clothes and or reclosable plastic bags for trash & dirty diapers
- For quick fix childproofing, bring masking tape or duct tape
- Large muslin swaddle blankets* can be used for everything. As a pillow, clean surface on the airport floor, nursing cover, etc
- Take your own unwashed crib sheets so they smell familiar - FYI Cribs may not be the same size in other countries
- Baby Sleep lounger like a Snuggle Me* are great for co-sleeping in beds or putting on the floor
- For solids eaters prep snacks... See Food & Nursing
Food & Nursing
- Pack lots of snack. If possible make them ones that don't need to be refrigerated during the trip like banana chips, cherry tomatoes, grapes. Bring a small insulated bag for cold snacks like cheese, turkey etc.
- If you are bringing an electric pump and are traveling internationally make sure you have a power converter
- Bring a hand pump like the Haaka* or Medela Harmony* for relief in case the time change and jet lags messes with the feeding schedule
- Have the hand pump in your carry on in case your checked bag gets lost or delayed
- Bring an inflatable nursing pillow, like the one from My Brestfriend*, so can have a hand free if baby falls asleep while nursing
Keeping Them Occupied
- Choose 6 10-min activities (any of the following: books, tape play, cars, magnatiles, people watching/walking in the aisle, snacks, stacking cups) and make a loop of those 6 things to fill the hour, then repeat for the next hour!
- Pack lots of snacks or let them pick out a snack and magazine at the airport!
- Fill small baggies with puzzles and games for road trips and airports
- Let your child pack their own bag of toys and things to do
- Washi tape is amazing! Kids can make designs all over the seat, window, tray peel it off, re-stick, and repeat
- Pack a new toy or two and even new or “special” snacks that you don't often let them have. Save until you really need it
- If you will use an ipad or other screen for entertainment save it for as long as you can
Above all.... "For ALL travel, remember to breathe and keep it SIMPLE: If you're not stressed, neither is baby!" - Anonymous travel tips contributor
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