Traveling is a wonderful way to create lasting memories with your family, and it’s never too early to start exploring the world with your little one.
While traveling with infants may seem daunting, with some careful planning and a bit of flexibility, it can be an enriching experience for both you and your precious cargo. Let me share valuable tips to make traveling with infants a smooth and enjoyable adventure.
The key to successful travel with infants is meticulous planning. Before you even book your trip, consider the following:
Choose a destination that’s family-friendly and offers baby-friendly amenities, such as changing facilities and quiet spaces.
Opt for accommodations that provide cribs, baby-proofing options, and space for your little one to move around safely.
Select flight times that align with your baby’s natural sleep schedule. Red-eye flights can be an excellent choice as they might sleep through most of the journey.
Create a comprehensive packing list, including essentials like diapers, wipes, baby food, and extra changes of clothes. Don’t forget your baby’s favorite toys or comfort items.
Ensure you have all the necessary travel documents for your infant, including their birth certificate, passport (if required), and any visas needed for your destination. Make copies of these documents and store them separately in case of loss or theft.
Consult your pediatrician before traveling with your infant, especially if they are very young. Ensure your baby is up to date on vaccinations and discuss any specific health concerns related to your destination. Don’t forget to pack any necessary medications and baby essentials like a thermometer and infant pain relievers.
Feeding and Nutrition
Breastfeeding can be convenient while traveling, but if you’re bottle-feeding, be sure to pack enough formula and sterilized bottles. If you plan to feed your baby solid foods, consider bringing pre-packaged baby food or prepare homemade options before your trip. Don’t depend on your destination having everything you need; different destinations carry different products. Note that breast milk and formula are exempt from the liquid restrictions on flights.
Traveling with a Stroller and Car Seat
A lightweight, compact stroller can be a lifesaver while navigating airports and exploring your destination. Many airlines allow you to check strollers and car seats at the gate for free, so it’s worth bringing them along. Consider using a car seat that’s suitable for both travel and your rental car. I always take a stroller bag to put the stroller in for being stored under the plane.
For added comfort during the journey, consider packing a baby carrier or sling. These can be especially helpful during airport layovers and when navigating crowded places where a stroller might not be practical.
When on the plane, make use of in-flight amenities for infants. Many airlines provide bassinets or “baby cots” for long-haul flights. Don’t hesitate to ask the cabin crew for assistance, as they are often experienced in helping parents with young children.
If your baby has a sleep routine, try to stick to it as closely as possible. Familiar items, like a favorite blanket or sleep toy, can help your infant settle in unfamiliar surroundings. If your accommodation doesn’t provide a crib, consider a portable travel crib or safe co-sleeping options.
Stay Calm and Flexible
Traveling with an infant can be unpredictable. Babies may experience discomfort from changes in air pressure, climate, or routine. Be patient and adaptable. If your baby becomes fussy, try soothing techniques like gentle rocking, singing, or feeding. A pacifier, bottle, or breastfeeding can help on an airplane to relieve ear discomfort for takeoff and landing.
Traveling with infants can be both rewarding and challenging, but with careful planning and a relaxed attitude, you can create memorable family adventures. Embrace the opportunity to introduce your little one to new experiences, cultures, and sights from an early age.
As your baby grows, you’ll have a travel companion who appreciates the world’s wonders as much as you do!
We hope that the team at Embrace the Journey Travel has helped ease your mind a bit when it comes to traveling with young ones. When you are ready to plan your next family adventure just reach out to one of our Journey Planners.
A special thank you to Journey Planner Angel Waite for writing this blog. Learn more about Angel here.