15+ of the Best Baby Travel Tips

15+ of the best baby travel tips

15+ of the Best Baby Travel Tips

Traveling with children can be rough but traveling with a baby can be even harder!  Maybe it’s your first time taking your baby on a plane and you’re a little nervous, I can completely relate!  My husband’s first trip on a plane with my son ended with him buying the guy next to him a drink because my son might’ve head-butted him a few times.  Your trip doesn’t have to turn out this way, my husband was just over-confident and didn’t plan ahead enough.  This week’s guest post is from Izzah at TeaForTurmeric.com and she’s traveled quite a bit with her baby and had a few great tips to help you on yours!

*This post was first published on www.teafortumeric.com and was edited for reader preferences.  See the original post here.

15+ of the best baby travel tips

15+ of the Best Baby Travel Tips

By 11 months of age, my daughter had been on about 30 flights! I often get asked how these flights went. While I’d love to say they were all a breeze – in reality, some flights were difficult and a couple of them downright painful (Thailand to Lahore, I won’t forget you!). But for the most part, someone usually comes up to me post-flight and says, “she did good,” as I let out a sigh of relief.

Because most of our family and friends live many hours or plane rides away, and because we LOVE to travel, we haven’t put a pause on our traveling post-baby. I truly believe families shouldn’t confine themselves to their homes once they have babies. Routines are nice, but I think it’s essential to raise children who are broadminded, connected to their loved ones, and not to mention who get to enjoy the new and exciting experiences that come with traveling. My daughter learned to wave from the friendly strangers in Thailand, she got to enjoy the perfectly warm, crisp waves of the ocean, and I still remember the contented look on my mother’s face when she hugged her first grandchild for the first time.

Note: I’m a breastfeeding/co-sleeping mom so I may not have the information necessary for bottle-fed babies. Nonetheless, I hope you find the tips below to be useful.

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please visit our disclosure page for more information about this disclaimer.

Planning and Packing
  • Get vaccinated.
    • Go to the CDC’s website, choose your country, and select “Traveling with Children” for health information and recommended vaccines for your destination.
  • For international flights, request a bassinet.
 
    • The bassinets are located on the first row behind class cabins, so you get extra legroom as well.
      • You must take your baby out every time the seat belt sign turns on. But overall, it helped much more than it hurt.
  • For domestic flights, book a window seat.
    • It helps if you want to breastfeed your baby. If the flight is not full, ask if you can be seated next to an empty seat.
  • Comfort first.
    • If breastfeeding, wear a nursing-friendly outfit.
      • My go-to airport outfit is leggings, a zip-down nursing-friendly tunic, a cardigan, scarf, and comfortable slip-on shoes. Nursing tanks would be very helpful too. 
  • Take advantage of items that go for free.
    • Car seats and strollers should go for free. We’ve also taken a baby high-chair, a walker, and similar baby items.
      • Also, I must mention it’s very difficult to consistently use a car seat in a developing country.  Every country’s idea of good parenting is so different.
  • Ask the hotel for cribs.
    • We co-slept, but most hotels will bring you cribs upon request. If not, you can also bring a portable play yard.
  • Less is more. 
    • The less you bring, the less you have to keep track of.  Of course, there are some essentials:
      • Baby vitamins & Tylenol
      • Layers of clothing
      • Food such as baby cereal, dates, fruit, or purées in pouches for babies over 4-6 months.
      • Bottled water at all times (they let you take it past security if you mention it’s for baby).
      • For non-crawling babies, I recommend bringing a thick mat or something on which she can lay and stretch out her legs.
      • Leave the big stroller at home and pack an umbrella stroller.
  • Be hands-free.
    • I think everyone who ever travels with babies knows this well because I’ve rarely seen mothers or fathers carrying babies in their arms. They usually wear their baby through the airport with a solid baby carrier such as the ErgoBaby. Cloth carriers work when the baby is younger, but they’re not as travel-friendly.
    • To further free your hands, use a messenger or backpack diaper bag, and transfer your essential purse items to that instead of bringing your purse.

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Flying
  • For privacy, look for a nursing room
. In domestic as well as international airports, there are often nursing rooms available where moms can nurse or pump in privacy. They often provide cribs and changing stations too, so regardless of if you’re nursing, you can use these rooms to relax as a family.
    • MomsPumpHere is an app that helps you locate nursing rooms wherever you are.
    • MomAboard also provides a list of nursing rooms at domestic as well as international airports.
    • The CDC’s recommendations for traveling as a nursing mom can be found here.
  • ID/Paperwork and Checking in.
    • Domestic Flights
      • Domestic flights are free for babies under 2.  You need a scanned copy of her birth certificate or any document that shows her age.
        • Showing the copy on your phone will be fine. Most airline staff has been pretty lenient on this except that one time when we were about to miss our flight.
    • International Flights
      • International rates vary — mostly you just pay taxes. For international travel, your baby will need to have a passport.
  • Don’t board early.
    • You, as a parent, are the best judge of this, but I’ve found that boarding close to the end has been the best way to keep my daughter relaxed and occupied (she’s a people watcher).
      • If you fly American Airlines, note that as of March 1st, they do not allow families of small children to board early.
  • Nurse during Takeoff/Landing.
    • It’s often debated how you should manage your baby during takeoff and landing. Some airline staff has advised me to keep my baby upright in case of turbulence. But that’s not always practical. Most moms will advise feeding your baby (or giving a pacifier) to prevent ear popping. Luckily, our daughter had no ear popping problems, so I just went with the flow and fed her or sat her up as necessary.
  • Keep your baby engaged.
    • Board books, squishy balls, and any non-choking hazard items you have in your purse are all game.
      • As I’ll discuss in my next point, less is more. My daughter loves in-flight “toys” such as plastic cups, magazines or the disposable diaper bags. I’ve heard parents have great luck with iPads and phones preloaded but I’m a bit iffy of too much screen time.

While there
  • Take it easy
    • Be mentally prepared for the baby to dictate your travel plans..and plan to do less than what you’re used to.
  • Buy ease
    • I don’t regret spending extra on the ease at all. At the end of the day, happy baby = happy you. 
      • Pay for breakfast at the hotel
      • Time the flights around baby’s nap time
      • Book nonstop flights and go for shorter layovers
  • Be flexible
    • Strict schedules and routines need to be thrown out the window
    • “To See” lists need to be shortened
    • If you are visiting family, and they want to keep your baby up a little later, let them. Your baby will only be that age once. Let others who adore her enjoy their time.
And finally…
  • Relax.
    • I’ve noticed that many people believe traveling with a baby is very nerve-wracking and anxiety-provoking. Perhaps being a bit relaxed about it makes it easier. In ‘regular’ life, I’m a pretty high-strung mom. But traveling with my baby has forced me to focus on what’s really important. I understand parents’ concerns: all of the enjoyment in the world means nothing if your baby isn’t happy. But an unhappy baby usually has an unmet need. Do your best to intuitively give her food, shelter, sanitation, warmth, rest and most importantly, attention and love. You’ll find that traveling lets you spend quality time as a family without the pressure of endless daily tasks. So just let go of fear and enjoy the travels!
Bonus tips!
  • Massage your baby
    • This is a very old-school Pakistani tip. Throughout your travels, before bedtime, massage your baby gently over her clothes or with a light oil (such as jojoba). It helps relax their muscles and they may sleep better.
  • Quick and clean diaper change
    • Here’s the magic plastic bag diaper changing method — Place the open side of a plastic grocery bag underneath your baby’s bottom before changing. Throw in all the dirty wipes, diaper, etc. as you change her. This helps keep everything compact and mess-free. And even if she leaks, it’ll be inside the plastic bag!

About the Author: Izzah

Izzah is a Pakistani-American blogger at TeaforTurmeric. Through her blog, she hopes to share her passion for traditional and modern recipes, culture and motherhood.

TeaForTurmeric | Instagram

 

 


 

Hope these tips were useful and inspirational. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!
What do you think about traveling with a baby? What are some baby travel tips you’ve learned?

Please us a comment and tell us what you think! Enjoyed this post? Don’t forget to share!

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  • Wendy Lemeric

    Wow! Thank you for this! I’m glad I found your post since we plan to travel a lot more in the future.

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      That’s great Wendy! I’m so glad you found some value in it for you! I hope these tips help you in your future travels! Thanks for visiting!

  • Aryn Hinton

    These are awesome tips! Traveling with a baby (or kids) is like a whole new adventure

  • Elizabeth Uchealor

    I will give you thumbs up for continuing your travels despite baby. I have travelled with my kids for some few times. usually long haul flight. I can’t say it was event free. welldone

  • Mamabops

    I definitely agree with the window seat for breastfeeding. It helps to have that little nook in the window to rest your arm!

  • http://awayfromtheblue.blogspot.com/ Mica

    These are good tips! While my youngest isn’t quite a baby any more, we do have a flight coming up so I read this with interest and picked up a few tips 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Hope you are having a really good weekend!

    Away From The Blue Blog