Tips For Travelling With Baby
TPC’s top 6 tips for traveling with baby: It’s all in the planning…
We all know how stressful the idea of travelling with your baby can be. It is emotionally exhausting imagining all of the ‘what-ifs’ that come with being away from your home base where you have all of your systems in place. That said, with a bit of planning and some key travel items, you will discover that your imagination is much worse than the reality!
When booking, plan your flight around your baby’s nap schedule and plan your seating ahead of time. Try to organize for the bassinet and stay as close to the front as possible, to minimize time being stuck on the plane and hopefully ensuring space for your carryon luggage. If you can afford to, book your baby their own seat and keep them in their car seat.
Obviously, the key to success is making a list!
Think of everything you use for your baby from morning until night. Will they have any of these items where you are going? Can you get some items at your destination or should you really pack them?
Hand luggage prep is key! Do you have plenty of extra diapers, wet wipes, pacifiers, anti-bacterial wipes, everything for feeding, bottles/nipples/formula, extra clothes for you both, a few toys and a blanket? I once had an explosive diaper incident almost immediately after takeoff and realized that while I had 5 days worth of clothing for my baby, I had nothing for me and had to sit through an international flight smelling rancid. Don’t neglect yourselves, ladies!!
Bring a baby carrier on the plane – it allows you to carry your baby hands-free and it can be a nice way to soothe a fussy one who is struggling to sleep.
Dress sensibly! Those days of wearing skirts and heels on a flight are long gone.
Some additions that might get forgotten but are really useful are:
– a small first aid kit
– large muslins which are great for protecting baby from the sun
– your pump, if you are using one
– disposable changing pads can be used anywhere and fold up into nothing in your handbag
– large ziploc bags for storing stained clothing or bibs (these came in very handy for my aforementioned exploding diaper…)
– a cot sheet, just in case
Its better to be over-prepared than stuck without something that you wish you had!
3. Bottle feeding:
If you are bottle-feeding, you can either take with you the already prepared milks in the mini bottles or you can bring your own bottles. When bringing your own, you will need some way of cleaning them – you can get sterilizer tablets or bring a microwave sterilizer, if you are staying somewhere with a microwave. Bring a small amount of dish washing liquid and your own bottle sponge so you have peace of mind that your bottles had been washed properly.
If you are exclusively bottle feeding and are not sure about being able to buy formula where you are going, pack an additional 2-3 days of formula, just in case.
4. Pre and During flight:
Don’t leave getting to the airport or to the gate to the last minute. We all know that those last minute mishaps happen with baby and if you leave yourself loads of time, it is much less stressful.
It is helpful to know that some airlines offer family passes through the security, which can shorten your line waiting times and just by asking a friendly question at the security check in, you might find yourself cutting the line!
Keep baby sucking on something for take off and landing if they are awake. Boob, pacifier, bottle! Be prepared to give extra fluids as everyone gets dehydrated during flying, including you, so make sure to keep drinking.
If you know when you get to the other end, you then have an extended car journey, consider sitting in the back with the baby. It will save a lot of stress if you can catch baby before he/she starts to get fussy. Have a few toys to hand to keep them amused and of course bottles/pacifiers too!
5. Once you arrive at your destination:
Try not to over-schedule the first day or two at your destination, if you can help it. See how baby settles first. If you are entering a different time zone, realize that it will take a few days to get onto the new schedule. Aim to adjust by an hour or two a day if you can and plan your activities accordingly.
Traveling with baby is almost never as stressful as you think it will be and is (with the minor hiccup here and there) a pleasant surprise. Try to stay upbeat and not get too anxious. Vacation is meant to be relaxing and with a bit of planning you can enjoy every minute!
Jessica is the Founder of The Parent Collective (TPC), which offers a new approach to prenatal classes which helps couples establish friendships among couples who live local to one another and are due at the same time all while skipping the judgments and agendas of other classes. Inspired by the NCT of the UK, TPC is an alternative to other childbirth education classes which lend themselves to a more intensive, one-and-done model and we hope that couples taking a TPC series will cultivate a social network through weekly participation, forge a robust prenatal/parental support system and of course, gather playmates for the little ones on the way. Classes are currently running in Fairfield County CT, Westchester, NY, Manhattan, Long Island and New Jersey. To learn more visit: www.theparentcollective.com