45 Must-Know Travel Tips For Traveling With A Baby
Don’t let the unknowns hold you back from traveling during your little one’s first year of life. Take a look at 45 must-know travel tips for traveling with baby provided by the baby experts at Mustela. These tips will make traveling with your little one as smooth as possible.
Traveling With Baby: General Tips
1) Make A Checklist
To avoid forgetting anything, make a checklist ahead of time.
2) Plan Ahead
Search places, dates, and availability before leaving. Plan ahead what you may need to purchase for your upcoming trip.
3) Stick To Your Routine
Nothing makes for a fussy baby like getting them off schedule. As best as you can, keep your little one on their normal sleep, feeding, and play schedule.
4) Be Flexible
We suggest sticking to your little one’s routine to the best of your ability, but also be flexible when unexpected changes come up.
5) Find A Local Doctor
Research a local doctor’s office, urgent care, or hospital in your destination area so that if sickness hits, you know exactly where to go.
6) Leave The Shoes
Even though shoes and booties are cute on babies, they aren’t a necessity except in the fall and winter. You can leave them at home during warm months.
7) Pack Large Resealable Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are useful when you have dirty diapers or clothes that need to easily be stored away.
8) Organize Outfits
Pack your little one’s main outfits in a clear bag labeled with the specific day. Of course, they probably won’t stay in that outfit the entire day, but at least you have it planned out and ready.
9) Do Your Research
Wherever you decide to go, research the area first to find out if it’s baby-friendly.
Traveling With Baby: Tips For The Plane
10) Always Bring Your Safety Seat
The FAA highly recommends any children 40 pounds or less have a child restraint system that is approved for use on a plane.
11) Properly Install Safety Seat
Upon boarding the plane, properly install your child’s safety seat. If your baby weighs under 20 pounds, install the seat rear-facing. If your little one weighs more than 20 pounds, you can install the safety seat in the forward position.
12) Pack Extra Clothing And Diapers In A Carry-On
You never want to run out of diapers and onesies on a plane. Make sure to pack enough for the plane ride.
13) Purchase Diapers At Your Destination
Rather than packing diapers for your entire trip, just pack what you think you’ll need for the plane ride. Upon arriving at your destination, purchase a box of diapers for the remainder of your trip.
14) Pack Extra Clothes For Yourself
Accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Be prepared by having extra clothes on-hand for a quick change.
15) Bring Comfort Items
When you’re away from home, comfort items (like a blankie) will help soothe your little one.
16) Bring A Favorite Toy
Along with comfort items, bring one favorite toy you know your little one enjoys.
17) Pack A New Toy
Packing a new toy allows for longer entertainment during the plane ride.
18) Prepare Bottles In Advance
When you’re going to be traveling on a plane, prepare bottles ahead of time. Most planes are equipped with warm water for coffee or tea, so as long as you have enough formula in the bottle, you can mix while you travel.
19) Throw Breastfeeding Fears Out The Window
Are you hesitant about breastfeeding on the plane? Bring a cover-up to calm your fears.
20) Pump Ahead
If you’re not able to nurse on the plane, we suggest having your pump and bottle ready right before boarding.
21) Use A Backpack
Use a backpack rather than a bulky diaper bag on a plane. A backpack gives you the freedom your hands need when traveling with your baby.
22) Prepare Your Carry-On
A few days before your flight, prepare your carry-on. A few important items to include are:
- Gentle wipes
- Change of clothes
- Changing pad
- Bottle and nipples
- Storage bag for diaper disposal
- Travel-sized lotion
23) Book The Flight Around Your Baby’s Sleep Schedule
If you know your little one is a great nighttime sleeper, plan an evening flight.
24) Use A Lightweight Stroller
A lightweight stroller is best in this environment. It allows you to move throughout the airport with ease.
25) Check Your Stroller At The Gate
We suggest checking your stroller at the gate rather than packing it.
26) Have A Boarding Plan
Avoid extra time on the plane. If you’re traveling with another adult, have them board first with carry-ons and install the child safety seat during boarding time. Then you and your baby can board with ease next.
27) Adjust Your Schedule Around Time Zones
If you’re traveling to a different time zone, adjust your baby’s schedule a few days before your trip. For example, if the time difference is one hour ahead, start putting them down one hour earlier than normal for naps and bedtime, and adjust feedings in-between.
28) Bring A Blanket
Flight delays are inevitable. If you have a blanket on-hand, you can lay it out with your baby’s toys so they can stretch their limbs during this time. Use Mustela’s Cleansing Wipes to clean their hands after playing.
29) Avoid The Back Of The Plane
Avoid the back of the plane for the following reasons:
- Stronger turbulence
- Restroom location
- Passengers coming and going
30) Prepare For Layovers
As with flight delays, sometimes layovers are inevitable. Be prepared to gather your little one’s belongings in enough time to make it to the next flight. We suggest allowing for more time between flights during a layover when traveling with your baby.
31) Fly During Off-Peak Seasons
If possible, fly during an off-peak month for the following reasons:
- Relaxed flight crew
- Smaller crowds
- Relaxed airport environment
32) Make Changing Pads Easily Accessible
Pack an easily accessible changing pad in case you get stuck in an airport or have to do an emergency diaper change.
33) Protect Your Baby’s Ears
During takeoff, your little one may become uneasy. Soothe your baby with the following ideas:
- Spongy Earplugs
34) Use A Front-Carrier or Sling
If you opted out of bringing a stroller altogether, using a front-carrier or sling frees up your hands and lets your little one snuggle up to you.
Traveling With Baby: Tips For The Car
35) Factor In Stops
Are you traveling by car and need to arrive at your destination at a certain time? Be sure to factor in stops for stretching and eating.
36) Check The Car Seat
Before traveling a long distance, check to make sure the car seat is properly installed and secure.
37) Install A Sunshade
Your little one may sleep during the car ride, and you don’t want the brightness from the sun to wake them up.
Traveling With Baby: Tips For The Destination
When you arrive at your destination, it’s best to unpack right away even if you’re tired from traveling most of the day.
When you unpack, give yourself a system for all your baby’s essentials (like Mustela’s Bebe On The Go set). Organize a changing area and feeding area.
40) Designate A Play Area
Whether your destination is a family member’s home, a hotel, or a condo, designate a play area for your little one.
41) Bring A Portable Play Yard
A play yard will give your little one a child-safe area to play no matter where you are.
42) Request A Crib
If you’re staying in a hotel, don’t forget to request a crib at the time of booking. This keeps you from having to bring your own portable crib or bassinet.
43) Inspect The Crib Before Use
Upon arriving at your hotel, you’ll want to inspect the crib carefully before letting your baby sleep in it.
44) Bring Your Own Sheets
If your accommodations do provide you with a crib, plan to pack your own sheets.
45) Research Baby Gear Rental Services
If your accommodations do not provide a crib (such as at a family member’s house), research the area for baby gear rental services beforehand. If you don’t find a rental service in the area, you’ll need to pack your own baby gear.
As much as you want to prepare for your trip, remember to be flexible. Your little one can sense when you’re stressed. If you’re relaxed, they will be relaxed. Keep these 45 must-know travel tips in mind before traveling with your baby, and enjoy your journey!