Categories
Planning

How to Travel with a Baby

How to Travel with a Baby

Traveling with your toddler is like traveling with a rock band: it’s all about tote and carry. My motto: you have to be prepared. If you are prepared ahead of time, you and your child will be better suited for a successful travel experience.

Here are 12 Tips for Traveling With a Baby or Toddler:

1. If you’re traveling by plane, book a seat that has a bassinet connection, and a separate seat for your older child, if needed. During the pre-boarding phase, have one parent pre-board the bassinet or the toddler’s car seat, then de-board the plane until it’s closer to take-off time. This way, the bassinet or car seat is ready to go, but you and your child can use the extra 30 minutes walking around being active instead of waiting out that time seated on the crowded plane.

2. Be prepared with snacks and fluids. Be sure to pack nonperishable foods. Keep baby hydrated because airplanes are drying. I also recommend bringing a sippy cup or bottle — something to suck on to help relieve air pressure, especially during take-off and landing.

3. Bring lots of extra clothing and diapers. If traveling by plane, dress your baby or toddler in layers that can be taken off if your child gets too hot, or layered back on if your child gets too cold. A cold baby is a crying baby. And remember, whether you are traveling by plane or by car, messes can happen, so always have an extra outfit and diapers close by and easily accessible.

4. Bring favorite items that your child associates with sleep. Bring his favorite toy, favorite blanket, and favorite pillow, so he is both comfortable and cozy. You want to bring things onboard that your baby associates with bedtime, so that you can give him cues that help put him to sleep, rather than having to give him medicine for sleep. And finally, pull down the shades in the airplane. In a car, you can use sun shades to block light out from the windows. All of this can help baby calm down and go to sleep.

5. Bring your child’s favorite toys. Make sure you bring only soft toys – nothing that has sharp edges or that can hurt him if there is turbulence. Having his favorite toys with him will help him feel secure and comfortable, and keep him happily occupied.

6. Bring wrapped toys, treats, or activities. I used to wrap up small and soft toys for my children, so that it took time for them to open and kept them occupied. A toddler, especially, will industriously focus on whatever is hidden in a surprise package. This can be an exciting activity for him. Keep these toys in your bag until he starts getting tired or cranky, and you will have something new and exciting to both distract him and peak his interest.

7. Pack fun items that have to do with the countries or states you are visiting. Bring snacks that are special to your final destination. Tell him stories about the places you are going. Pack a portable DVD or load up your iPad with apps or games. Also, include games and storybooks about the countries or states you will be visiting. Thus, a family trip can become both a fun and memorable journey, as well as a teachable moment.

8. Try not to take trips that are longer than 6 hours. Children are little people and if they are sitting in a particular spot for long periods of time, it’s unhealthy, just as it is for adults. If you are driving, try to plan stops along the way that are safe, public, and allow you to walk around a bit. Do your homework and plot out well-lit rest stops, restaurants, or malls along your route, so that you can all get out of the car, and so your baby or toddler is not confined to a seated position for hours.

9. Consider scheduling trips around your child’s sleep time. Your child can get into his jammies as soon as he gets onboard a plane or into a car, and, fingers crossed, go right to sleep.

10. Always sit right next to your baby. You are his comfort zone, you are HOME to him. mom and dad are everything. So if you’re driving in a car, have one parent drive while the other parent sits in the backseat with your child. This way, you don’t have to keep looking back to comfort him, because he will feel safe and secure with you seated next to him.

11. When driving, keep your child interested with music and games. Sing songs, tell stories, make up rhymes, and play games. the key is to keep him interested. Playing Baroque music can also help calm and soothe your child; therefore, keep it handy so that you can reach it whenever you need it.

12. Pack fully-charged technology — and don’t forget portable chargers. Prepare ahead of time and make sure that your tablet and phone are fully charged, and that you have extra chargers readily available with you on the plane or in the car, in case the batteries run low during your trip.

At the end of the day, whether you travel by plane, train, or automobile, the idea is to be sure you are prepared. Plan well, pack well, and schedule well. Children will look forward to trips if you make them child-centered, fun adventures. Remember, you are only as happy as your least-happy child, so keep in mind the age and needs of your little traveling companion, and a good time can be had by all.

Travel Tips

How to Travel with a Baby

(Photo: Empty airplane seats image by TekinT from Fotolia.com )

Related Articles

  • TSA ID Policy for Infants
  • Air Travel With a Baby
  • What Do I Need to Travel With an Infant on US Airways?
  • Air Travel Information for Children

Flying with an infant, no matter how long the flight, can be stressful. Parents often worry about their baby crying and disturbing other passengers, about discomfort in cramped airplane seats and about the potential inconvenience of traveling with all manner of baby paraphernalia. However, booking an infant seat on a flight need not be a concern. It can be done easily as part of the usual booking process, requiring only that you input your infant’s personal details along with your own. The specific seating options, fees and regulations for flying with an infant vary somewhat by airline, but it takes only a few minutes of research to learn about these after selecting your preferred flight.

Adding an Infant to Your Ticket

Adding an infant to your airline ticket is very simple—just add the infant as a passenger using the online booking system for the airline or travel site. You’ll need to input the baby’s age and name and indicate whether she’ll be a lap infant or have her own seat on the plane. If you’re booking flights over the phone, the process is just as easy; you’ll simply tell the agent that you’ll be traveling with an infant.

Before you get to the point of booking your airline tickets, be sure to add your infant as a passenger while browsing and checking prices for flights. Fees added for lap infants and for infants with their own seats vary considerably by airline, so be sure to factor in these costs when comparing flight options. Know that infants are generally welcome to fly from 14 days old and that airlines categorize infants as any children under the age of 2.

Infant Seating Options

Infants can either sit on your lap during a flight (“lap infants”) or sit in their own seat next to yours. The fees for these options vary by airline. For domestic flights, some airlines allow lap infants to travel free of charge. Others charge a flat fee or a percentage of the full adult fare. A 10 percent fee is typical. All airlines charge a fee for lap infants on international flights. If you opt to purchase a seat for your infant, expect to pay less than the full adult fare, but more than the rate for lap infants. Most airlines charge from 50 to 75 percent of the full adult fare.

If you purchase a seat for your infant, you have the option to bring an approved car seat on board for the baby to sit in during the flight. For long-haul flights, many airlines offer bassinets for lap infants, which typically bolt into the wall in front of a parent’s front-row seat. There’s not usually an additional charge for use of a bassinet, but quantities are limited and age and weight restrictions might apply. Bassinets are usually available on a first-come, first-served basis, so call the airline to reserve one immediately after booking your ticket.

Infant Passports and Other Paperwork

For international travel, all passengers, including infants of any age, are required to have a valid passport. Any applicable visa requirements for your foreign destination normally apply to infants as well. Some countries might require an infant’s birth certificate for entry. For domestic flights in the U.S., infants rarely need their own ID when traveling with a parent. An exception is when a lap infant appears to be closer to the age of 2. If the airline has any reason to suspect that an infant is 2 years of age or older, they might ask for proof of age, such as a birth certificate. Additionally, if only one parent is traveling with an infant, it’s advisable to carry a letter from the other parent acknowledging that parent’s awareness of the travel plans.

Infant Baggage and Liquid Allowances

All major airlines make allowances for extra baggage and special items needed by parents who are flying with an infant. Typically, you may bring a stroller and/or car seat free of charge to check with other luggage or at the gate. Be sure to check in advance, online or over the phone, for your airline’s policies.

Pumped milk, premixed formula and baby food are not subject to the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, so you can bring more than 3 ounces of these items. However, you do need to remove them from your luggage and place them in clear bags to be scanned. These liquids are also limited to reasonable amounts needed for the duration of your flight.

Disclosure

Leaf Group is a USA TODAY content partner providing general travel information. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

Traveling with baby can be a little more complicated than before your bundle arrived. There is more planning involved and certainly more things to bring along. When taking a trip, it is helpful to know what you may encounter along the way. Read below for some more tips on how to travel with your little one.

Flying On an Airplane
If you’re traveling in an airplane, the change in air pressure can How to Travel with a Babycause discomfort in baby’s ears. Feeding baby may help “pop” their ears the same way adults can by swallowing or yawning. To reduce the pressure, try feeding your little one during takeoff or landing.

It may also be helpful to choose a seat on the airplane that will make the flight easier for you and baby.

Many parents enjoy the bulkhead rows because they may accommodate a bassinette. Sometimes seats near the engine are also good options because the humming noise will help your little one sleep. Before booking your flight, you can call the airline company to learn more about seating options and stroller policies. Many airlines allow strollers to be checked for free.

Bring Familiar Toys and Items from Home
Does baby have a favorite toy that they usually play with? Maybe they also have a preferred blanket or comfort object. Bringing along these items will help baby feel more comfortable in a new environment whether it be on a plane, in a relative’s house, or in a hotel room.

Dress Baby for Quick and Easy Diaper Changes
That onesie may come in handy more than you thought. It will give you quick access to diaper changing when on an airplane without a changing table or in a crowded airport bathroom. To keep baby’s legs warm, try pairing it with some high socks or baby leggings. It is also best to avoid outfits that are too constricting, have too few or too many layers, or will not travel well.

Stick with Baby’s Normal Patterns and Routines
Help baby maintain their normal patterns as much as possible. Extended travel times or a change in time zone can disturb baby’s sleeping schedule, so it is best to plan your vacation activities around baby’s schedule until they are fully adjusted. For example, if baby wakes up early, you can start and end your activities earlier. Baby’s internal clock will adapt after a couple days of being in a new place. You can help the adjustment by exposing them to sunlight during daylight hours and not over scheduling during your first few days.

Make Sure Hotel Cribs Meet Safety Standards
Sometimes cribs at hotels may be older models that are no longer recommended. It is important to look up the model of the crib to determine whether it is safe for your baby. If it is not, consider bringing your own portable crib or bassinet.

Promote Baby’s Development On The Go
Traveling is a great way to introduce new language and sensory experiences to baby. While your little one is on the airplane listening to the humming noises, explain how they are coming from the jets. Once you’re at your destination, let baby smell the foods cooking in restaurants and in the home of family members. You can talk about how they are being prepared or what they taste like. There are lots of opportunities to get creative with introducing new sensory experiences on vacation and talking about them will help develop baby’s language skills.

How to Travel with a Baby

Related Articles

  • Wheelchair Tipping in Airports
  • How to Survive Long Plane Trips
  • What Kind of Cabin Baggage Should You Carry When Traveling With an Infant?
  • Is Driving or Flying Better to Travel With an Infant?
  • Baby Milk & Airport X-Ray
  • How to Get a Suitcase Zipper Unstuck

The stress of air travel can make even the calmest 4-month-old baby fussy and difficult. Popping ears, unfamiliar faces and turbulence are often unsettling for little ones. Although there are many aspects of your journey that are beyond your control, an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure. Pack and plan carefully and you may be rewarded with a smooth, uneventful trip with your baby.

Pre-Flight

Choose a flight that will coincide most closely with your baby’s nap time or bedtime. A sleeping baby is easy to deal with; one who is awake and crying, not so much. If the flight is particularly long, give yourself more room by purchasing an extra seat. If an extra seat isn’t an option, choose an aisle seat so that you can walk your baby up and down the aisle without disturbing your seatmates. Pack smart, but don’t underpack: It’s more hassle to have to launch a search in stores or an airport for a needed item than to just carry it along in the first place.

Getting through Security

It’s possible to breeze through security, even with a baby, if you’re prepared. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires all passengers – including babies – to undergo a security check. You may carry your baby through the metal detector, but keep in mind that if you carry her in a sling, you may be required to undergo additional scrutiny. The TSA does not limit the amount of formula, breast milk or liquid baby medication you may take on board, so pack as much in your carry-on baggage as you need for the flight.

All baby gear, such as strollers, will be sent through the X-ray machine, so pack only the necessities and fold or break them down while in line to minimize time spent at security. If you are traveling alone and get overwhelmed trying to juggle luggage and baby, ask TSA staff for help. Don’t try to carry or grab more than you can or you’ll risk injuring yourself or your baby.

Boarding, Takeoff and Landing

Because fewer and fewer airlines are allowing families with small children to board the airplane first, babies are often thrust into the throng crowding toward the entrance. Carry your baby in a sling against your body and try to keep one hand free to shield her head. When you get on to the plane, watch the luggage bins – a falling suitcase could seriously injure your baby. During takeoff and landing, give your baby something to chew or suck on to minimize the discomfort caused by popping ears.

During the Flight

Keep your carry-on bag within easy reach at all times in case you need to grab a diaper, spit-up cloth, bottle or pacifier. Keep a blanket and baby lotion handy to combat the cold, dry cabin air. If your baby is awake during the flight, chances are she’ll cry or fuss at least briefly, so be prepared to deal with other passengers’ grimaces or complaints. Stay cheerful and apologetic; you may not quiet your baby, but you’ll probably win your neighbors’ empathy.

Debarking

When the plane lands, stay in your seat until everyone else has debarked. You can then gather you things unhurried and proceed to the gate and pick up your stroller (if you checked one). Check that your baby is securely in his sling or car seat before moving, especially if you’re loaded down with luggage. If your destination is a foreign country, use the extra time on board to find your passports and travel documents and place them within easy reach for the journey through customs.

References

  • Parents: How to Fly with a Baby
  • Transportation Security Administration: Traveling with Children

About the Author

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

How to Travel with a Baby

  • Share this on Facebook
  • Share this on Twitter
  • Share with a friend through email
  • Share this on Pinterest
  • Share this on Facebook
  • Share this on Twitter
  • Share with a friend through email
  • Share this on Pinterest

Preparing for your first trip with an infant or toddler? We know how stressful it can be and are here to help with all the answers to your most common (and less common) questions, from how to gate check a car seat to whether or not you should travel if your child has an ear infection.

In This Article:

  • Prepping for Travel With Your Infant or Toddler
  • What To Know Before Travel
  • How to Pack
  • Entertainment and Snacks for the Flight
  • Train or Taxi Travel
  • At Your Destination

Prepping for Travel With Your Infant or Toddler

Global Entry for Infants

Infants need to have an application filled out to be eligible for Global Entry (even if the parent already has it). You’ll also be required to pay the $100 application fee. An “interview” for your infant is required, but it’s just a formality where you have to present them in person at a Global Entry enrollment center, available at many airports.

Can a 2 month old baby travel on a plane?

Yes, two months is old enough for healthy babies to travel on a plane. Some airlines, like Southwest, may require medical releases for babies under 14 days, while others put the cut off at a week old. If you’re traveling with an infant shortly after their birth, bring along hand sanitizer and be sure to frequently wash your hands.

The OP is not driving or renting a car while in San Francisco. The question is what to do about the baby and a car seat when using public transportation, like a taxi. Obviously, a taxi driver will not have a car seat in the car and you don’t want to be hauling a car seat with you from place to place, not to mention the time it would take to fasten the car seat each time. What do people do when traveling with a baby?

I don’t have the answer, but it is a good question.

In NYC people take their babies in the back seat of the taxi with them, no car seat.

Honestly, in the city when taking cabs you don’t use a car seat.

I understand the question. The solution is to leave the car seat at home.

I have never seen anyone use a car seat in a taxi; most drivers would be unwilling to go to the time and trouble to let you install one just for a short ride. Other modes of public transit, such as trains, buses, and subways, do not have seat belts or other means for installing one.

We lived in NYC when our kids were very small–two were born there—and I was absolutely paranoid about being in the backseat of a taxi with my “unprotected” child. We didn’t even have a car in the city for 7 years, so I kept my carseat in another state.

There’s no good way to handle this, drummer. You either walk, and push the child in a stroller, or use public transportation without the car seat. In a taxi, if the seat is not tethered properly (and I don’t mean just by the seatbelt) it doesn’t work as designed, anyway. Our Junior League sponsored a day each year where parents could come and have their safety seats checked by a certified installer—over the years I only saw ONE that was put in the right way. So, you have to wonder how much actual protection an average child has in a carseat.

If someone won’t take their child in a taxi without a carseat, the only viable solution is to leave the child at home until they don’t need one or postpone the trip for a few years.

Most of us grew up without ever using a carseat, and everyone I know never uses one when they’re taking cabs in the city.

I can remember as a child standing up in the front seat of my parents car driving down the road.

That and laying in the back windshield of the car on long road trips.

When did car seats become mandatory?

I understand the inconvenience of it. I am 55 years old, so I certainly grew up without using a car seat and obviously lived to tell about it. However, we know more now and many people are very hesitant to take their child in any car without the child being restrained.

My son is almost 20 years old, so I don’t have to worry about it any more. However, I have a good friend who drove to Chicago this weekend with her family and the only reason they didn’t fly is because they have two toddlers and refused to get in a taxi without the children in car seats.

It certainly is a legitimate concern of parents. Of course, the odds are that nothing will happen. Some folks just aren’t willing to gamble. I can appreciate that.

Mikesmom, I don’t think I’m disagreeing with you.

Whenever I took my kids to the city (which was often), we went by train, then taxi, no carseats. I think if some parents aren’t willing to do what 99.99% of parents who live in cities do, they have to postpone the trip or do what your friends did. although I find it hard to believe they drove around in their car in Chicago rather than taking public transportation. Seems a little extreme to me. If you’re in midtown chances are you won’t go over 15 mph anyway. Anyway, if it made them happy.

My friend was very adamant about traveling in a taxi without car seats for her children. I’m not sure I would worry about it quite as much as she did. I agree that they wouldn’t be traveling far in a taxi and probably not at high speeds except, of course, the trip from the airport to downtown Chicago. She felt it was just too risky, so they drove to Chicago.

I’m sure most people just go with the odds. Probably what I would do.

sfamylou – I know for sure that in Chicago and NYC, taxis are exempt from the carseat law for children. Not sure about SF. I know they also are required to wait for you to install the carseat if you choose, but that doesn’t mean they all will.

Still, even if you find a cab willing to wait while you install a car seat, you’re then stuck with a car seat while you’re out all day unless you use the Sit N Go type system.

And for everyone who says, “We rode around standing in the front seat, riding in pick up truck beds, etc. and we lived to tell about it.” consider that you’ll never hear from those who didn’t live to tell about it, because they didn’t live. Progress is a good thing . . .

I don’t mean to imply that it’s wrong to ride in a cab with an unrestrained baby. Just that carseats in general are a good thing that shouldn’t be looked down on or ignored just because they didn’t used to be available and people lived.

Travel Tips

How to Travel with a Baby

Give your baby peace of mind by taking care of his ID requirements. (Photo: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images )

Related Articles

  • The Documents Required When Flying With Children
  • How to Obtain a Transit Visa
  • How to Carry Legal Drugs on an Airline
  • How to Travel With a Minor to Jamaica

Everyone who enters an airport, including babies, needs to show some form of ID, but while a government issued photo ID is required of adults, often a birth certificate will do just fine for infants and children when traveling domestically. For a journey outside the country, however, each passenger, regardless of age, must possess a valid passport. Make sure that infants have the proper ID to board the plane before they reach the airport, or the trip might be cut drastically short.

The Baby’s Birth Certificate

The most acceptable form of ID for babies traveling within the country is a birth certificate. This will prove the baby’s age and parentage, so be sure the certificate contains the names of both parents including the mother’s maiden name. In order to obtain the baby’s birth certificate, make sure to write to your local county Department of Vital Records in order to order it. Sometime, hospitals will provide the parents with an order form for the birth certificate while still at the hospital.

Parent’s Letter of Consent

If traveling without the baby’s other parent or legal guardian, the lone parent might want to have the other parent write a “letter of consent,” stating that the accompanying parent is allowed to travel with the baby. It is important to consult with the airline to see if this step is necessary when traveling domestically or internationally. Similarly, if one parent is deceased, make sure to carry that person’s death certificate when traveling with his or her baby.

Passport Requirements for Babies

It is important to know that babies, just like children and adults, are required to have a valid passport and the requisite visas when traveling internationally. No person, regardless of age, will be allowed on board an international flight without a passport. Make sure to check with the U.S. State Department about obtaining a passport for an unborn or newborn infant before traveling.

Traveling with Babies

As an adult traveling with a baby, the parent will need the same type of ID as when flying solo. Furthermore, the ID should ideally link the parent to the baby. For example, the parent’s name should be on the baby’s birth certificate. If traveling with an adopted baby, it is important to be sure to travel with the child’s birth certificate and adoption papers, as they should verify that parent as the legal guardian of the baby.

Disclosure

Leaf Group is a USA TODAY content partner providing general travel information. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

I love sorting through vintage photos. They make me nostalgic, and in our family, especially remind me of traveling with a baby, our baby. Based on tried and true experience, successes and challenges, I want to share my best tips for traveling with an infant.

Babies Can Get Passport Stamps, Too!

Time flies and our baby turned fifteen this year. He’s learning to drive now. Before he was a year old, our firstborn son had traveled on many adventures. Our now awesome teenpreneur was born in Las Vegas, Before his second birthday, he had been through at least a dozen states, taken a trip to Thailand, and joined us on the trip of a lifetime via planes, trains, rental cars and our Volvo SUV (from their overseas program) across Spain, Las Islas Canarias, Portugal, Morocco, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. I still dream of recreating that incredible trip with both our sons now that they are older, and have more stamps in their passports than most grandparents.

How to Travel with a Baby

This post contains affiliate links which support our family and inspiring content.

Planning a road trip with baby? How about traveling on a plane with baby? I’ve got ten tips below sure to get you excited and inspire you to get your passports ready!

Ten Tips for Traveling with Baby without Losing It!

1. Be flexible. Know in advance things will be different. Have extra grace, patience and love for one another, and you’ll enjoy the adventure!

2. Flying with Baby? Plan a bit of extra time at the airport. Breastfeeding while traveling is entirely possible, and even beneficial. A nursing baby on takeoff and landing will have less pain and pressure change in their ears, and that equals a less fussy baby and stress on mom.

3. Use a sling or metal-free baby carrier instead of a stroller as much as possible. You can even slide through TSA security with baby on your chest with the right baby carrier. If you must take a stroller, use a simple folding one, not a big jogging type and never keep your valuables inside. (Ask me how I know!)

4. Travel light and pack smart. Stick to a backpack style diaper bag as your carry-on, and nothing else. I loved my Petunia Pickle Bottom bag, and they’ve only improved them over the years. Ideally, you’ll already be carrying baby and they’ll be on your lap in the flight. That’s enough precious cargo for anyone. Remember to pack your nursing cover and an extra top for mom in case baby gets sick. Make a printable list for traveling with baby.

5. Remember to pack your favorite toiletries for baby, like natural baby sun block, insect repellant and any other hard-to-find items. Leave the easily accessible things, such as wipes and diapers, for your destinations. It will help keep the bags light.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Airport agents are glad to offer their services, most of the time!

7. Teething soothers. If baby is teething, make sure you have what you need to keep them comfortable. We loved the natural teething melting tablets and our mesh feeding bag. We could safely put some ice or an apple wedge in when baby was teething. Now, they have awesome teething jewelry for mom that’s just perfect if you’re wearing baby and amber necklaces for baby which release a natural pain reliever, and can even sooth stress, gas and colic. Don’t leave home without one.

8. Ride in the back seat with baby if you can. This is where you and your hubby can even change spots at times, to be right there when baby needs you. Sitting next to baby’s rear facing car seat on road trips will keep both you and baby calm and secure. You can be there to grab the dropped pacifier, sing a lullaby or just hold a hand.

9. Plan extra time into road trips for nursing, feeding, changing and Starbucks stops. 🙂 Set realistic expectations on time of arrival, and start small on road trips with baby. When Makani was only two weeks old, we had begun to go stir-crazy in the house and hopped in the car for a three-hour road trip and few days in Zion National Park. They are some of our most priceless newborn memories.

10. Have extra patience and grace for each other. I may have said that twice. 😉 Consider this a dose of wisdom, like when things are mentioned twice in the Bible. Heed the message and your travels with baby will be beyond blessed and can set you up for a lifetime of adventures. You never know where or when Jesus will say GO, so be prepared- He is the best adventure, and traveling with a baby can be one of the best, and most exciting, preparations for life!

Luis and I still made time to enjoy our favorite hobby, traveling, right from the start. As baby grew, road trips were just part of life, and this early traveling with baby made it easier through toddler, elementary and even now into our young adult years.

Laura Begley Bloom, travel expert and Forbes’ travel contributor echoes my advice here when she shared with me one of her stories: “We’ve done some great road trips with my daughter. My biggest piece of advice is to start small – and start early – and then work your way up to longer trips. We have a friend who did a epic road trip from New York to Florida when his baby was really little. The baby wasn’t used to traveling, and it scarred him for a long time; he would scream and cry whenever they got in the car. We have a place in the Hamptons, and we started taking our daughter there when she was just 1-week-old. We started venturing on longer road trips and took her to Cape Cod when she was about 4-months-old. It really helped prepare her for longer road trips.”

As I often say, don’t let having a baby stop you from traveling, just travel differently!

Do you have experience and other tips for traveling with an infant? I’d love to hear from you!

Traveling while Pregnant?

Are you pregnant and reading this? Be encouraged! You can still live your dream adventures with baby in tow! (Make sure you prioritize taking a babymoon, traveling with your spouse before baby arrives! We’ll talk tips for traveling while pregnant another day.

How to Travel with a Baby

How to Travel with a Baby

Emily Glover

There is something about early motherhood that makes you feel all at once in awe of this incredible new human and concerned about the fate of the old human you that existed. Between endless feedings, nights of little sleep and a never-ending stream of diaper changes, it can be difficult to even think about getting out of the house. But in fact, getting as far out of the house as possible was just what I needed to find myself again.

One year and family trips to 10 states later, I am a complete advocate for traveling with a baby. Not only did our getaways help me thrive in my new role, but the adventures also brought us all closer as a family and had an untold number of benefits for my son’s development.

1. Travel helps bridge the gap between couple and family: My husband and I joke that sharing the experiences of travel has always been our “love language.” We discovered early on that getaways deserved to be priorities for us — so nearly every other weekend of pre-parenthood was spent exploring. When we were expecting our son, I worried those days were over. But then, when we took our first family trip, I sat across the table from my husband while he bounced our son on his knee and realized it was even better than before. Traveling not just as a couple, but as a family, made me fall even more in love with the person I was lucky enough to have as a partner.

2. The dedicated family time may curb behavioral problems: The time together as a family didn’t just help my relationship with my husband, but may also deserve some credit for our son’s temperament. Based on a 2012 study published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, children whose fathers are more “positively engaged” with them before 3 months of age are already shown to have fewer behavioral problems at the end of the first year.

3. If you can travel, everything else seems less daunting: There is nothing like taking a two-week road trip in a small camper with a baby to make an ordinary trip to the grocery store much less intimidating. Between nursing sessions in the middle of hikes, completing clothing changes on the ground of national parks and surviving meltdowns in airports, traveling taught us to handle any of the ordinary baby challenges thrown our way — which gave us even more confidence when faced with those same challenges in more accommodating situations.

4. You learn to love simplicity: It’s so easy to get caught up in everything babies should have. Then along come airlines with luggage restrictions and suddenly you have to decide what you really need. As it turns out, babies really can stay content with just a toy or two when you don’t give them the option of a whole basket of gizmos all the time.

5. Actually, babies are super portable: The ability to keep our son close in a front pack or hiking backpack meant we didn’t have to make many modifications to the activities we were used to doing. Now that he’s bigger and eager for his own independence, wrangling him makes everything more complicated. (No more taking in the views near the side of a cliff!) Plus, when it comes to nap time, all you need to do is hop in the car or offer a dark place — unlike when they are older and need a pitch-black room with their special lovey, their favorite lullaby and the temperature set to precisely 72 degrees for sleep to even be a possibility.

6. It’s so much cheaper than when they’re older: We are all about the rule that most airlines don’t make you purchase a second seat until your child is 2 years old. Besides flying, traveling with babies is also cheaper because you don’t have to pay for additional meals, beds or entrance fees. (And when you go out to eat, you don’t have to worry about accommodating a toddler’s picky palate!)

7. There are no temper tantrums: I’m never going to claim that babies are easy — but at least when they decide to pitch fits, the outbursts are generally for good reasons, such as hunger or exhaustion. Not because you didn’t let them push the elevator button. And even if they aren’t happy about it, other people tend to be much more forgiving of crying babies on planes than kicking toddlers.

8. New environments jump-start language skills: A change of scenery really does everyone in the family some good. According to a 2014 study published in the European Journal of Social Sciences Education and Research, “rich, varied” environments promote early language skills. And according to the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale, young babies who are exposed to nature are generally more advanced than their peers when it comes to science and reading years down the road.

9. You’re teaching them to roll with the punches: Habits established during babyhood lead to good practices during the toddler years and beyond — and we’re definitely already reaping the rewards of shaping a little traveler. Now, he is unfazed by the Pack ‘n Play, (relatively) content during road trips and happiest when he’s outside.

As with everything, traveling certainly is more complicated with a baby in tow. But trust me when I say it’s also worth it. Although I know my son won’t remember his earliest adventures, I will never forget them.

by Jenée Naquin

You and your partner were drawn to each other by your shared wanderlust. No place was too far, exotic or dirty for your insatiable appetite of adventure. Now that there is a baby in the mix, get a passport, stat! The wanderlust must continue. Traveling with a baby takes a little extra planning to make sure everyone is safe and having fun. Here’s my top 5 tips to getting it together and getting out in the world.

  • Get it sooner than later. It will be one last thing you have to worry about when planning a trip.

Everything you need to know about getting the proper documentation, to the baby’s identification picture, can be found on the U.S. Department of State site. Note: You and your baby must be present to apply for a passport. If both parents cannot be present, here are your options.

Some countries require more than just a passport. Check here to find out what you need.

2. Research

  • If you insist on letting the direction of the wind lead you where you may, unless it’s a sailing adventure, then this article is not for you. A little planning goes a long way with a baby in tow.

Consult friends (via phone or FaceBook) who have traveled to your desired location

If that does not pan out, Lonely Planet guides have been my go-to since college and have never lead me wrong.

3. Resources
While planning the fun stuff, take some time to plan for the What Ifs.

  • Consider looking at some of these sites for any red alerts or health concerns: Travel Warnings,Center for Disease Control (hello, Zika). Also call your health insurance provider to know what is covered out of the country and if you should consider travel insurance.

Make copies of your passports and pack them separately from your actual passports. Perhaps even jot down a note of the closest embassy.

4. Luggage and Packing
Face it, for now, you have to haul more stuff. While it’s a pain to lug this stuff around, it would be more of a pain to be a million miles from home without it and no way to procure it.

  • Pack the family in one large suitcase and check it curbside. The secret to enjoying travel with children is convenience – Think security lines, going to the restroom. running to catch your flight! Most airlines will check your car seat, stroller and baby carrier at the curb or gate for FREE. Check with your airline before you go.

While you can wear the same outfit more than once, a baby cannot. Don’t skimp on the extra clothes for the baby.

5. Surviving the Flight

  • Put your baby in night time diapers. When the fasten seatbelt sign is on and you are stuck in your seat, they will buy you some extra time.

My favorite plane toys include wind up toys that can hop around on the tray table, interactive books, and soft fabric blocks.

You have done a lot of work to get here. Now try to relax, make beautiful memories and show your offspring what a pleasure it is to travel the world. You might be in bed/hotel room every night at 8 . But on this vacation, take the time to catch up on your sleep, read a book or spend some alone time with your partner.

This piece was originally published by Jenée Paquin on Well Rounded NY. Jenée Naquin is a Fashion Brand Builder, an Adventure Seeker and now, Mother. She resides in Brooklyn with her toddler and husband navigating a Cajun-Jewish household. Just before giving birth, she helped launch a new fashion company 1 Atelier which is Redefining Luxury. She always makes time for a great adventure from staycations to the exotic, now with baby in tow. Growing up Cajun, making it in New York and figuring out how to raise a healthy interfaith family takes a lot of “Jenée” Sais Quoi which she pens on her personal blog jeneesaisquoi.com and photo documents on Instagram.

Please share your opinion below! For more original content, check out Well Rounded NY.

Follow Well Rounded NY on Instagram and Facebook

I love sorting through vintage photos. They make me nostalgic, and in our family, especially remind me of traveling with a baby, our baby. Based on tried and true experience, successes and challenges, I want to share my best tips for traveling with an infant.

Babies Can Get Passport Stamps, Too!

Time flies and our baby turned fifteen this year. He’s learning to drive now. Before he was a year old, our firstborn son had traveled on many adventures. Our now awesome teenpreneur was born in Las Vegas, Before his second birthday, he had been through at least a dozen states, taken a trip to Thailand, and joined us on the trip of a lifetime via planes, trains, rental cars and our Volvo SUV (from their overseas program) across Spain, Las Islas Canarias, Portugal, Morocco, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. I still dream of recreating that incredible trip with both our sons now that they are older, and have more stamps in their passports than most grandparents.

How to Travel with a Baby

This post contains affiliate links which support our family and inspiring content.

Planning a road trip with baby? How about traveling on a plane with baby? I’ve got ten tips below sure to get you excited and inspire you to get your passports ready!

Ten Tips for Traveling with Baby without Losing It!

1. Be flexible. Know in advance things will be different. Have extra grace, patience and love for one another, and you’ll enjoy the adventure!

2. Flying with Baby? Plan a bit of extra time at the airport. Breastfeeding while traveling is entirely possible, and even beneficial. A nursing baby on takeoff and landing will have less pain and pressure change in their ears, and that equals a less fussy baby and stress on mom.

3. Use a sling or metal-free baby carrier instead of a stroller as much as possible. You can even slide through TSA security with baby on your chest with the right baby carrier. If you must take a stroller, use a simple folding one, not a big jogging type and never keep your valuables inside. (Ask me how I know!)

4. Travel light and pack smart. Stick to a backpack style diaper bag as your carry-on, and nothing else. I loved my Petunia Pickle Bottom bag, and they’ve only improved them over the years. Ideally, you’ll already be carrying baby and they’ll be on your lap in the flight. That’s enough precious cargo for anyone. Remember to pack your nursing cover and an extra top for mom in case baby gets sick. Make a printable list for traveling with baby.

5. Remember to pack your favorite toiletries for baby, like natural baby sun block, insect repellant and any other hard-to-find items. Leave the easily accessible things, such as wipes and diapers, for your destinations. It will help keep the bags light.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Airport agents are glad to offer their services, most of the time!

7. Teething soothers. If baby is teething, make sure you have what you need to keep them comfortable. We loved the natural teething melting tablets and our mesh feeding bag. We could safely put some ice or an apple wedge in when baby was teething. Now, they have awesome teething jewelry for mom that’s just perfect if you’re wearing baby and amber necklaces for baby which release a natural pain reliever, and can even sooth stress, gas and colic. Don’t leave home without one.

8. Ride in the back seat with baby if you can. This is where you and your hubby can even change spots at times, to be right there when baby needs you. Sitting next to baby’s rear facing car seat on road trips will keep both you and baby calm and secure. You can be there to grab the dropped pacifier, sing a lullaby or just hold a hand.

9. Plan extra time into road trips for nursing, feeding, changing and Starbucks stops. 🙂 Set realistic expectations on time of arrival, and start small on road trips with baby. When Makani was only two weeks old, we had begun to go stir-crazy in the house and hopped in the car for a three-hour road trip and few days in Zion National Park. They are some of our most priceless newborn memories.

10. Have extra patience and grace for each other. I may have said that twice. 😉 Consider this a dose of wisdom, like when things are mentioned twice in the Bible. Heed the message and your travels with baby will be beyond blessed and can set you up for a lifetime of adventures. You never know where or when Jesus will say GO, so be prepared- He is the best adventure, and traveling with a baby can be one of the best, and most exciting, preparations for life!

Luis and I still made time to enjoy our favorite hobby, traveling, right from the start. As baby grew, road trips were just part of life, and this early traveling with baby made it easier through toddler, elementary and even now into our young adult years.

Laura Begley Bloom, travel expert and Forbes’ travel contributor echoes my advice here when she shared with me one of her stories: “We’ve done some great road trips with my daughter. My biggest piece of advice is to start small – and start early – and then work your way up to longer trips. We have a friend who did a epic road trip from New York to Florida when his baby was really little. The baby wasn’t used to traveling, and it scarred him for a long time; he would scream and cry whenever they got in the car. We have a place in the Hamptons, and we started taking our daughter there when she was just 1-week-old. We started venturing on longer road trips and took her to Cape Cod when she was about 4-months-old. It really helped prepare her for longer road trips.”

As I often say, don’t let having a baby stop you from traveling, just travel differently!

Do you have experience and other tips for traveling with an infant? I’d love to hear from you!

Traveling while Pregnant?

Are you pregnant and reading this? Be encouraged! You can still live your dream adventures with baby in tow! (Make sure you prioritize taking a babymoon, traveling with your spouse before baby arrives! We’ll talk tips for traveling while pregnant another day.