Traveling With Baby –  Having a baby is a joy and a challenge. Once a family has settled into new routines, traveling may be an option. This may sound like quite an adventure. Although driving may seem like a logical choice, getting on a plane can help save time on transport. This creates more available time to spend with family and friends. However, traveling with baby for the first time (or fifth time) can bring some challenges.

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Traveling With Baby
Flying With A Baby

Traveling with kids can be a fun experience when done right. For first-time parents traveling with infants, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, mothers are allowed to carry on breast milk, provided that it is shown at all security checkpoints at the airport. However, there are limits to what can be brought, so review the guidelines provided by the TSA. [1].

Here are a few more recommendations to consider:

Research various airlines

Research airlines days, if not months, in advance to understand the rules regarding traveling with kids. With kids, expect more luggage. You may want an extra seat for your child. Determine both seating and additional luggage carry costs, and check out the airport. They may have special accommodations for children.

Save your spot

When choosing an airline, see if it offers a discount fare for children. Otherwise, parents have to pay the adult fare for their children. An extra seat offers the option of bringing a little one’s car seat or backless booster seat on the plane. Make sure that the child-restraint system (CRS) that you are using is allowed on the airplane. For a baby or toddler who weighs less than 20 pounds, choose a rear-facing car seat. If the child weighs 20 to 40 pounds, forward-facing child restraint systems are recommended. Depending on the airline, babies may be able to fly free of charge if they are sitting on a lap (and only on a lap). Confirm any costs when booking a flight on any airline.

Pack some snacks

Pack enough snacks, or even a full meal, for a child. For mothers who are breastfeeding, bring enough bottles to last throughout the flight. Bring a bottle or container of baby food on the airplane in accordance with regulations. For children old enough to chew, carry something they can chew during takeoff and landing.

Store everything safely

When travelling with baby, pack everything safely in the carry on. There should be no loose bottles of medicine that a baby or child can access. Any toiletries should be stored and sealed properly.
Tie the toys securely. Booking an extra seat when traveling means that a baby’s car seat can come on the plane. Tie all toys and binkies to the car seat properly and securely to avoid them falling or getting lost. Pack extra just to be sure.

Start small and local

Travelling with baby is going to be a challenge. So, start small, and fly domestic. The idea here is to experience having a baby with you during take-off and landing as well as throughout the flight.

Bring any required IDs and boarding passes

Regarding either domestic or international flights, a baby may need an ID and a boarding pass. A baby’s birth certificate may be able to be used for verification purposes, or the airline may require a passport for travel.

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Top Ten Guide For Travelling With BabyTop Ten Guide For Travelling With Baby

The goal of traveling with children is reaching the destination without any drama. However, children are unpredictable as is traveling itself. Bringing an infant or child on a trip is easier if there are certain plans in place [2].

Pack with purpose

Pack things in an orderly fashion in order to easily find items while on the trip. Place the baby in the travel crib while unpacking items. The child may welcome familiarity.

Maintain bedtimes

Do not overlook bedtimes when traveling with a baby. Some children have a hard time adjusting to unusual activity. One way to help babies adapt is to let them sleep in the travel bed a few days before travel. When traveling to a destination that has a different time zone, adjust the sleep time gradually before travel, if possible, to make the transition for babies and children comfortable.

Bring a child’s favorite items for sleeping

When planning to travel with a child who is one to two years of age, bring some favorite items to help the child settle on the plane. It may be a blanket, toy or pillow. Bringing these on the plane helps the child quiet and calm down during the flight. Close the shades on the plane to simulate night time. If traveling by car, bring a sun visor to help cover the child’s face.

Avoid traveling for longer than six hours

Children can get fussy missing nap times and changing schedules. When traveling by car, include rest stops, malls or restaurants to give parents and children time to walk and stretch. A baby will also enjoy this respite from being strapped to a car seat. When traveling by car, never place the baby in your lap.

Pack extra clothing and diapers

Always pack extra clothes and diapers. If traveling by plane, dress babies or toddlers in layers. This way, it will be easier to peel off layers depending on the temperature and temperament of the child. A baby may have a diaper emergency, so have a new set of clothes and plenty of diapers handy.

Choose a bassinet for long flights and the aisle seat for domestic flights

Booking an extra seat when traveling with children, especially an infant, can help make things easier. On international flights, some airlines offer baby bassinets that are attached to the bulkhead. Some of these are on a first come, first serve basis at the boarding gate. The best thing to do is to make a note when booking the ticket, and get to the airport as early as possible.

Baby jet lag can happen

Babies can experience jet lag. The longer the distance, the more time it will take a baby to adjust to the new schedule. Schedule some nap times during travel.

Keep nap time consistent

Some babies may require a consistent nap time to fall asleep, but some will nap wherever they are. Many babies adjust to their parents’ schedules when traveling. Remember that nap times should be a priority to provide babies the restorative sleep they require.

Decide the best place to stay

Determine ahead of time if you should stay in a hotel, Airbnb or apartment. A child who is just a few months old may require extra laundry needs.

Bring a mat or blanket

Another challenge when traveling with babies is the waiting time prior to boarding. Let them expend their energy while at the airport. Bring a mat or blanket to lay on the floor, and allow the baby to crawl and roll on it.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling with Young Children
Do’s And Don’ts Of Traveling With Young Children

No one enjoys being homebound. Here are some further do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when traveling with young children.

Do bring your child’s favorite blanket

Parents often bring their child’s favorite blanket when they travel. Make sure it does not get mixed up in the laundry.

Do bring electrical safety plugs

Bring safety plugs when traveling with an infant or a young child as not all hotels are equipped with them.

Do not let your child push the elevator buttons

Children are often curious about their surroundings, but never let them push all the elevator buttons. Either press the chosen floor yourself or instruct your child about which button to press.
There will always be challenges when traveling with baby. Proper preparation can make the trip a wonderful memory for all.

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Traveling With Baby Resources

[1]   Healthy Children; Travel Safety Tips.
[2]   Sleep Org; Traveling With Baby?.

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