Ahh... traveling with infants. Nothing strikes more fear in the hearts of first-time parents than those three little words. Although 35 percent of families plan to hit the road or fly the friendly skies each year, traveling with children can be an overwhelming experience - even for experienced parents.
Whether you're new to parenting or you've traveled down this proverbial road before, we've got some great tips for how to travel with a baby. Continue reading below and rest easy knowing you're about to have a stress-free vacation.
How to Travel with a Baby
When planning on traveling with a baby, don't let a lack of preparation stress you out. Try these five helpful ideas to give you and your family a smooth travel experience.
1. Prep Ahead of Time
Traveling with an infant means you're an instant jack-of-all-trades - chef, performer, naptime wrangler. To avoid complete meltdowns at five to seven miles in the sky, prep as much as possible before you board that plane, train, or automobile.
Make your lists and check them twice. Remember to pack medications, extra changes of clothing, snacks, favorite toys, diapers, and a disposable changing pad. There's nothing worse than an exploding diaper mid-flight with three more hours to go.
2. Walk the Walk
If you have a newborn baby, then your little bundle of joy will probably sleep for most of the plane or car ride. But if you're teetering on toddlerhood, then their restless energy levels are likely to be high.
Help balance their need to move by squeezing in a walk before a road trip. Or visit the airport's play area for a good romp. The point is to exercise them as much as possible to avoid a tantrum.
3. Consistency is Key
Being away from the comforts of home can be disruptive for an infant. But establishing a regular schedule helps make the adjustment part easier. Eat, nap, and bathe your baby at the same time every day, just like at home. The more consistent you are with your baby's schedule, the more it teaches them to trust you as their parent or caregiver.
4. Pay for Peace of Mind
If you're crossing your fingers, hoping there might be an empty seat next to you for your baby - forget it. Nowadays, most airlines operate with full flights. So do yourself a favor and reserve and pay for your baby's plane ticket and reserve a seat instead.
Not only will your baby be able to rest easy the whole flight in their safe car seat, but you can squeeze in a little shuteye, too. There's nothing more uncomfortable than having to balance a baby in your lap for a 10-hour trip to Europe.
5. Safety Dance
Whether you're staying with friends, family, or at an Air BnB, it's important to keep your baby safe. That's why bringing along a travel bag full of babyproofing supplies is key. Don't wait to find out that grandma doesn't have a safety gate or outlet protector after you arrive.
Eliminate the stress of having to find babyproofing supplies at the last minute. Instead, arrive confidently knowing you can keep your baby safe no matter where your destination is.
Need More Great Travel Tips?
Ready to pack your suitcase? We hope our list of how to travel with a baby was helpful to you on your journey to planning your next family trip! For more great travel tips for parents, remember to visit our blog for the latest updates.