Our favorite tips for traveling with a baby!
If you’ve just had your baby and you’re itching to travel as soon as you can, you are in good company with Ally and I! Both of our girls took their first plane ride at just four months old and… almost two years later, I can say that it is 100% worth it to hop on that flight and show your babe the world! It can be so daunting figuring out where to go, what to pack, and worrying about how your baby will do on the plane. We have compiled some of our favorite tips for traveling with a baby! This will be the start of a series where we will talk about beach travel, city travel, snow travel, and international travel, and general tips for traveling with a baby. To start, we are going to share general tips to get the best out of your trip!
1. Plan, plan and over-plan for the plane!
Planning for the plane will look different depending on the age of your little traveler, but a few things will remain the same. In an upcoming blog post, I’ll share my plane packing lists for infants and for toddlers but first, here’s a general list that we stick to:
- Diapers and wipes: Pack enough for the entire flight and some extra, just in case. If your baby is anything like mine, they’ll probably decide that that plane journey is the perfect time for a blow out! That brings me to…
- Change of clothes: Accidents happen, so be prepared with a change of clothes for your baby and for YOU! On Blair’s first international flight I was holding her when she leaked out of her diaper and all over me (yikes…). I was so grateful that I could easily grab a new shirt for myself after getting her cleaned up.
- Feeding essentials: If you’re breastfeeding, you’re golden, but plan to bring a hand-pump just in case! If you’re bottle feeding, my favorite tip is to get several of these formula holders! You’ll get through security with the formula with no problem, and then you can buy the water on the other side! Pro tip: pre-measure the formula into each of these containers and you can just tip it into the bottle when you’re ready for it!
- Entertainment: A favorite toy or a small book can help keep your baby occupied during the flight – when Blair was four months, all we needed was a Paci and a blanket. Now that she’s older, we bring ALL of the things (Stickers, busy books, fidget toys)! But remember, ANYTHING can be a toy! Put your bag In the overhead bin and now you need to grab a toy for your little one? Let them play with the “book” with the flight instructions, or the empty cup from your drink!
- Baby carrier or sling: This can be a lifesaver when navigating the airport or calming a fussy baby on the plane – and the best part is that when your babe falls asleep, you can too without worrying about them!
- Pacifiers or comfort items: If your baby uses a pacifier or has a favorite comfort item, don’t forget to bring it (or several!!)
2. General Packing:
Again, in a future post I’ll be sharing exactly what I pack when we go on vacation, but for now, here’s my general list:
- Clothing: Pack weather-appropriate clothing for your destination and plenty of it, especially if you won’t be somewhere with a washer and dryer. Don’t forget extra layers in case of unexpected changes in weather.
- Diapers: I usually bring enough diapers to get through the first couple of days so that I don’t have to stress about immediately buying them – I’ll usually buy a box to get us through the rest of the trip and then bring them home with us!
- Medications and baby first aid kit: Include any necessary medications, baby sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit, thermometer, nose sucker, gas drops (I usually put this in my carry-on!).
- Baby food and snacks: If your baby has started eating solids, bring some of their favorite snacks or pouches for convenience – you can usually purchase these at your destination but I always like to bring enough for the first few days so that I’m not scrambling!
- Monitor, sound machine, etc: For us, our sound machine is a MUST, and we always bring the monitor too (whether we are in a hotel room and want to sit on the balcony after Blair goes down, or we are in an airbnb, we always bring our monitor).
3. If you can, leave room in your budget to rent the big things!
Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE to wait at baggage claim and will do everything possible to not have to do this! Every destination that we have gone to so far has a way to rent baby equipment. I will always rent a car seat and a pack and play or crib. If we are staying in an airbnb and will be spending a good amount of time there, I’ll usually rent some “big” toys too (bouncer, high chair, activity table etc). It’s usually super affordable, and soooo worth it to not have the stress of all of the extra “things” in the airport.
4. Don’t plan too much in a day
This is probably my # 1 tip and was a change for us! Don’t over plan! Keep your itinerary flexible. Don’t overplan your days with too many activities. Instead, aim for just one or two things you want to do each day and be prepared to follow your baby’s lead. Remember, traveling with an infant is a different pace, and everyone will enjoy it more with less pressure and more spontaneity.
Showing Blair the world is probably my favorite thing in the world. Some of my favorite destinations take on a whole new lens when I see them through Blair’s eyes. Even though it takes more planning, and the days are less packed, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Mamas, this is your sign to book the trip and go!