Have Baby, Will Travel

baby travelWhether you’re taking a road trip or facing a long flight together, the thought of traveling with an infant can be daunting, especially for first-timers. But, the trip doesn’t have to be a hairy one.

In fact, infants often make for much better travel companions than their squirmy, mobile, older siblings! Consider these tips from the experts for smooth, stress-free travel with your baby this summer.

Tips for Traveling with Infants

  1. Travel Light. We think babies require a lot of stuff, but whittle down your daily baby care items to the bare essentials, and you’ll be surprised at how little a baby really needs.Unless you’re headed to a remote location, you can lighten the load significantly by renting the big, must-have items and have them waiting for you when you arrive. Rental companies such as Baby Away and Travelingbaby.com will deliver to your destination, so no need to lug a crib or pack-n-play, jogging stroller, high chair, bicycle baby carrier, swing or baby gates.
    • They’ll also deliver car seats, but most rental car carriers also offer them when you pick up your car, which is a better option since you’ll have them when you need them. Just be sure to request one, making sure it’s the appropriate size, when you reserve a car, since supplies seem to be limited.
    • Another helpful hint for keeping the packing to a minimum –  purchase diapers, formula and extra baby wipes when you arrive, rather than carrying a large supply with you.
  2. Think ahead and be prepared. Ever try to carry a baby through a busy airport, thinking it was easier to check the stroller at baggage claim? Ever try to hold an infant while using a public restroom? Not fun. Make it easier on yourself by becoming one with your stroller while traveling. Not only will it save you from having to carry your precious cargo, it will also provide a place to change a diaper or let a tired little one get some rest.Along with the stroller, be sure you have an especially well-packed diaper bag, carry-on or tote. A diaper bag packed for an infant should include:
    • at least two changes of simple, low-fuss clothes and socks (blow-outs happen when you least expect them!)
    • diapers and plenty of baby wipes
    • a bottle and formula if you are bottle-feeding, a pacifier (especially helpful to combat air-pressure changes while flying)
    • hand sanitizer
    • light blanket to warm a chilly baby, serve as a nursing shield or provide a place to lie your baby down for a stretch.
    • Don’t forget to also bring along any necessary medications, sunscreen, and diaper rash cream.
  3. Keep to a schedule. Most parents agree with the experts who tell us that babies who stick to a schedule or routine are often the most content.
    • While it’s not always possible to follow the exact routine you have at home, you can typically feed, change and put your baby to sleep with some consistency. You and your baby will have a happier trip if she’s not skipping naps or missing bottles or snacks.
  4. Incorporate time for yourself and time with your spouse or partner. No matter how well you plan and prepare, travel with a baby can be stressful and tiring. Give yourself a break by making time to take care of yourself and your adult relationships. Let Dad do solo duty for a bit while you splurge on a spa treatment, take a nap or simply lounge by the pool with a good book.
    • You can both get a break and a chance to see the sights by taking advantage of a local babysitter. Hotels can often recommend local babysitters, though it’s typically less expensive and more convenient to find and book a trustworthy babysitter on UrbanSitter. You’ll have greater peace of mind leaving your child in a new sitter’s care after reading her profile and other parents’ reviews on the site.

Before long, your tiny travel companion will become an energetic toddler in tow! Check back with us for tips for happy traveling with tots and little kids. Bon voyage!