Everyone loves traveling, and if you love traveling but have recently become a parent, this hobby of yours might seem impossible now. However, even though sometimes traveling with a baby is challenging, it’s not impossible.
You just need to find all the tips for traveling with an infant, pack properly and be ready for everything. It is a lot to take in, but here is a simple guide on how to travel with a baby and have a great time.
When booking a flight for your family, you have to check the regulations of the airline in question for infant safety regulations. Every airline has different policies and some require an infant to be at least a couple of days old, while other ones require the baby to bee at least 2 weeks old in order to travel. However, what the doctors recommend is that you wait long enough for your baby’s immune system is more developed.
This usually means waiting until your infant is one month old. Some of the doctors may even tell you to wait until your baby is at least 3 months old before flying somewhere, but car rides are perfectly safe even earlier.
If you plan on traveling to another country with your newborn, you have to get them a passport as well. It may seem difficult to you, but it’s not that hard to get the passport for your baby. Newborns are exempt from the eyes open, mouth closed rule, so it’s much easier to get their picture taken. You can take them to the agency in command for making passports and get their picture taken, or you can use passport apps to take their photos on your phone. The latter is a much easier option and it’s less time-consuming. However, make sure to check with the authorities in your country what exactly you need for making the passport for your newborn.
You might think that you’re going to need this and that when traveling with a baby, but that’s not true. Yes, there are essentials you have to bring, but the lighter you travel, the easier it will be. It’s really exhausting to haul a bunch of bags and gear that you don’t actually need all the time. Plus, there is unpacking and packing as well, which is also tiring.
The biggest thing to think about here is your mobility and to pack accordingly. So, if you know that you’re going to be switching flights, trains, and buses, don’t pack too many things and the travel will be easier. However, the most important things to bring along for your baby are enough diapers, a change of clothes and food you prepared beforehand in the food processor. The rest of the luggage can be minimalized, especially if you know that you will be able to wash your clothes at the destination.
You don’t have to bring the entire stash of diapers you have at home. Make sure to bring enough for a few changes on a flight, and the rest you can easily buy at your destination. The same goes for wipes and other diaper changing gear. If you don’t pack too many of these, your travel with an infant will be much easier and you can always buy some more when you arrive.
Since you’re traveling with an infant, you’re probably still breastfeeding. So, if you can, make sure to do so, because then you have to pack less gear. Also, don’t be shy about breastfeeding while traveling, no one is going to judge for that and it will make your life easier. Also, dress for breastfeeding to provide easy access and you will be able to discreetly feed your baby anywhere. However, if you find it difficult to breastfeed while traveling, you can always bring a portable travel bottle warmer to keep the milk warm for your little one. Or you can pack enough prepared bottles for the travel and once you get to the destination, you can pump or find the baby formula.
When you arrive at your destination, probably the best form of transportation around the city is in a rented car. What is more, most rent-a-car agencies offer renting a car with a car seat when travelling with children. However, if you don’t need to travel with one, you can get one that clips in as the seat on the baby’s stroller and then you won’t be stuck with carrying around a car seat.
If you want to travel light and not bring a ton of baby gear, you can always wear your baby. This is a much better and easier option than carrying around a stroller. Plus, you can easily move around, navigate the stairs and generally not have to worry about where you can go with the stroller when your baby is simply on you. What is more, your baby will probably find it very easy to nap like that and even eat, and your hands will always be free for the things you need to do when moving around the city.
When looking for a destination where you’re going to be traveling with a baby, make sure to read about health protocols and health state there. Avoid places where there may be yellow fever or malaria, or any other disease that requires a vaccine.
You can get the necessary travel vaccines, but your little one cannot and they greatly rely on their Mom and her milk for immunity. Also, make sure to have good insect repellent measures and keep the baby cool and hydrated if you’re going to a hot destination.
Probably one of the best tips for traveling with an infant is to eat dinner early. This especially goes for dining at the restaurant. As the day progresses, your baby will become more nervous and they will probably make loud baby noises as babies do. And if you go for an earlier dinner, there will be fewer people to disturb and you won’t get any side looks for bringing a crying baby to the restaurant.
Another thing you should remember here is to bring a carrier and strap your baby to the chair. This is useful when a high chair isn’t available or your baby isn’t old enough to sit up.
If you know that you would like some time off with your SO for a short date night or a dinner, you can look for a reputable and well-vetted nanny and sitter services at your destination. Major cities and destinations will have websites filled with such services and you can get a sitter for a night easily. This will help you relax for a bit and spend some time alone. However, unless you are 100 percent positive that the sitter is well-vetted and you have a guarantee for this, you don’t have to do it.
When looking for accommodation at the destination, make sure to check if they have any baby gear. Traveling with a baby is tough on itself and you don’t want to carry a lot of things. So, check if your hotel or Airbnb can provide a pack and play or a proper crib for your child. This will help you sleep much more comfortable and you will have a place to leave your baby until you prepare the food or unpack.
You can never know when something might happen or you need to contact a doctor just because you’re freaking out a bit. There might be some scary-looking bug bites or a mild fever, and you would like to take your baby to the hospital or to see a doctor while abroad. So, make sure to get proper travel insurance for the whole family and do a little research on hospitals and doctors and their locations. With such a list of essential phone numbers and locations you will be able to relax a bit and know that you got everything covered in case something happens.
While traveling with a baby, you want to avoid any tantrums and nervous babies, so bring some teething toys for entertainment. You don’t have to bring every single toy on your travel, but their favorite stuffed animal is a must. Also, you can download some videos that are designed for small children if you need to keep your baby calm while you’re doing stuff around the room or you’re somewhere out.
However, if you’ve already packed plenty of things and there is not much room for toys, you can practically give your baby whatever and they will be occupied. An empty water bottle, candy wrappers or any other trash can keep your baby entertained for some time. Just make sure that the object you’re giving to your baby poses no threats or hazards and you are all set.
Traveling as a family is always fun and it is a chance for some great memories and pictures. However, you need to know some tips for traveling with an infant and here they are. Be prepared, travel light and remember to have fun and everyone will be happy.