Most jet-setters have heard similar refrains when a little one is on the way: "Get your travel done now, because once that baby comes . . ." it's hasta la vista baby. Traveling with babies sounds like such a hassle, but, given the right practice, patience, and planning, traveling with your baby is beneficial to you both. Babies can smell, feel, hear, taste, and see. They have the same sense as adults, so it's unlikely for them not to learn anything when traveling even in the simplest form. To help you along the way here are also some recommendations for nappy bags and totes to make that trip that bit easier.
Everyone loves babies. They are definitely easier to deal with than energetic kids. They sleep a lot and bring joy to strangers with just a simple cute little smile.
Baby Travel Tip - The Ideal Age for Baby Travel
Some reasons depend on the policy of the airline. There are airlines that require the baby to be at least two weeks old while some let a two-day-old baby fly. On a different note, it is recommended by pediatricians to wait for the baby's immune system to develop and get stronger. The most ideal age to travel with a baby is to wait until he/she turns three to six months old.
Baby Travel Tip - "Wear" Your Baby
Using a carrier and wearing your baby gives you more freedom to move. Also, babies love the connection and being close to their mothers (or fathers), so it can promote physical closeness between parent and child. Babies can easily take a nap when wrapped around you while you are able to navigate, move, eat, reach and carry things as you please.
Baby Travel Tip - Pack Light During Baby Travel
It is a given that packing light is always the best way to go when traveling (without or with kids!) But traveling with babies has a lot of prerequisites. There are changing clothes, milk, pumps, medicines, and the likes. Apart from that, parents also need to bring their own belongings too. Given the right checklist, planning and bringing only what's necessary will ensure a smoother trip. On that note, here are our minimalist baby travel essentials:
• Diapers • Wipes • Baby Carrier • Extra Clothes • Extra Sling • "Toys" • Blanket • Snacks • Pacifier & Pacifier clip + back up • Zip locks bags/trash bag • Dedicated Changing Blanket • Hand Sanitizer/Disinfecting Wipes • Travel Stroller
Baby Travel Tip - Look For The Best Mode of Transportation
When in another country, it is best to opt for the safest mode of transportation. Renting a car is by far the most ideal. Aside from you having the freedom to drive anywhere you want (please request a baby car seat), your family will enjoy your own time on the road. Saying that, and as an example, When your family is traveling in Europe, hopping on a train is the second-best option.
Baby Travel Tip - Place Dinner Reservations Early
You'll never know how crowded the restaurants can be in the evening. Having a baby in a crowded, noisy, and busy restaurant is not the best idea. Apart from the fact that you will not be able to enjoy dinner if your little one is unhappy (aka crying), your baby too is for sure not enjoying it as well. Hence, to avoid such problems, book your dinner plans in advance.
Baby Travel Tip - Gauge For Local Nanny Services
It is always best to be prepared when things go sideways. Having a backup nanny when you travel with a baby will come in handy. Before you fly with a baby, look for reputable nanny services online. Hiring from an agency is safer than just entrusting your baby with a random applicant. If you are staying in a hotel or resort, enquire about their babysitting services as most hotels nowadays try to accommodate traveling families. You definitely deserve that candlelight dinner with your partner for one night! Also, if you have friends at your destination, you can ask them for assistance too.
Request a Crib In Your Airbnb or Hotel Room
If it's not ideal to bring a crib with you, upon booking, you can include a crib in your package. So, when you get to your hotel or Airbnb, your baby's bed is already in your room.
Baby Travel Tip - Be Willing to Pay a Little More
If you can afford it, be willing to pay a little extra to get the best flight that suits your family travel. Traveling internationally can be a drag when on the plane especially with a lap child. So, if you want to travel with convenience, book your flight in advance so you will get a good deal. If you failed to do so, you can opt for adding a little extra to upgrade your plane tickets.
Fees When Flying With A Baby Not all airlines let babies sitting on their mother's lap fly for free. There are companies that will ask for a fee if you are flying with a baby. So, to avoid misunderstandings, delays, and hassles in the airport, it is best to inform the airline that you are traveling with a baby. Doing so will save you time and the unnecessary hassles at the airport. You can pay the fee online or pay the lap child fee over the phone. The price could go around $200 depending on your destination.
How to Deal with Gate Check with Strollers
Parents usually bring strollers when traveling with their babies. A stroller will give your shoulders a rest when your baby is napping. The typical airport will let you check in your strollers without a hassle. Just make sure you get a tag for your stroller or car seat to avoid any questions when on the plane or about to fly with your baby.
Baby Travel Tip - Passing Boarding, Security, and Customs With a Baby
It's easier to get through the priority lane when traveling with infants. You get the convenience of organizing your things in the overhead bins without a lot of people bumping onto your left and right. However, not all airports can be this generous, so, for a family who travels with a baby, it is best to organize your things when in the airport, wear your baby, and prepare necessary documents.
Baby Travel Tip - How To Deal with Baby Jetlag
If you're traveling with a baby on long or international flights, it is best to stay at your destination longer to help your baby get over jetlag. Although babies sleep a lot during the flight, sometimes it will be harder for them to adjust when you get to your destination. Baby jetlag is not a major concern, but parents need to embrace that this could happen too. On a brighter note, babies can overcome jetlag faster than adults because they are still more attached to their physical bodies. So, when baby jetlag happens, keep your baby awake as long as possible when you get to your hotel. Wait for the evening before you put them to sleep so their body clock goes back to its usual schedule.
Baby Travel Tip - Bring Only Your Baby's Favourite Toy
Infants can't really tell the difference between a toy or a random empty plastic bottle. Every inanimate object is a subject of interest for babies. Even insects or cars will entertain the eyes of your child. Anything new really. Thus, traveling will open your child's eyes to countless new images that he/she will not see back home.
Baby Travel Tip - Don't Stress Nap Schedules
If your infant has a strict schedule for nap times, try to alter it a little bit when traveling. You'll never know how they would react to all sorts of noise such as white noise or random people chatting. Family travel is a fun time for everybody and that includes your baby. If your infant is enjoying the moment as you do even if it's time for a nap, let him/her be. it's not all the time your baby gets to be in that place, at that moment, savoring every minute of it.
To easily deal with the napping schedule of your baby, have your luggage-stroller hybrid with you. Let your little one take naps when he/she is sleepy. Don't push them to sleep because the itinerary says so. Keep in mind, your baby is also learning from your adventure, so let your little one enjoy as much as you do.
Baby Travel Tip - It's Okay To Get Dirty But Be Smart
It is normal for parents to want their baby clean all the time. However, when you are gallivanting with your baby in an unfamiliar city or country, it will be quite a drag to have to clean your baby every time he/she gets dirty. But, given the fact that babies' immune systems haven't fully developed, they are more prone to nasties. What parents can do is keep their hands clean and have wet wipes ready after going through a dusty or open space. Also, clothe your baby appropriately so he/she won't get dirty easily and bring extra clothes in case you need to change them.
It's also always great to be prepared, especially for medical emergencies. Before the trip, list down the doctors and hospitals near your accommodation so you have them handy with you.
Laundry On The Road
Instead of bringing a lot of clothes with you when traveling with your infants, it's better to do laundry at your destination. It will give you more room for other essentials and you need not bring or carry too many things. Most hotels nowadays have their own laundry area or laundry services so please make use of it.
Baby Travel Tip - Don't Worry About Changing Diapers in Public
When you have a baby, it is given that you will be changing diapers here and there and in the most inconvenient time and place. Most people get that. It is something parents do when they have to. So, for parents to feel a little more at ease and comfortable when changing diapers in public, have small trash bags ready, or any plastic bag you got from a grocery store that you can dump dirty diapers in and straight into the bin. It is also a great idea to have a blanket or changing pad handy for your baby to lie on when changing.
Baby Travel Tip - Take Advantage of Sinks and Buckets
When traveling, you will need to make use of what's available. It's not all the time you get to enjoy the convenience of hotel room amenities when bathing your baby. So, if you're someplace where buckets or sinks are your only option, take advantage of it. The only time you really need to bathe your baby is when he/she is stinky because of his/her loaded diapers.
Baby Travel Tip - Checklist When You Travel With a Baby
• baby-safe sunscreen (if you're going to tropical destinations) • small hand breast pump (when on the go) • a couple of glass bottles (for extra feeding bottles) • nose aspirator (for babies whose having a hard time breathing through their nose) • bed of some sort • medical supplies • baby clothes • sleep sack or swaddle • a few days worth of diapers & wipes • extra blankets
Traveling with a baby is an effective way to instill an adventurous spirit. So, break the status quo and unleash your wanderlust. Gift your baby an experience that will help shape his/her consciousness. Let your baby see, smell, taste, and hear things out of the ordinary. Let your baby learn through experience by traveling. They're never too young to learn and you're not too old to gain new experiences.
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As a bonus, here is The Ultimate Guide to Fun and Practical Kids Luggage. So pack your bags and round up the family and unleash your wanderlust.
Stay well, be well and stay social