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People always make negative references to people who travel with babies. Oh those people with the baby on the plane. The ones crazy enough to drive across their country with their baby. Out there enough to take a baby on a cruise. But we love traveling with our babies. But hey, sometimes travel with a baby is necessary. Family gatherings, for example, which are very common this time of year. And some people are like us and actually enjoy traveling with babies. I love the family bonding and opening our kids eyes to the world from a very young age. And while definitely not easy, and not always fun, every trip has been 100% worthwhile to us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So here are my tips for traveling with a baby:
(1) Pack light. Your baby does get to bring a bag while flying, which helps, but keep in mind when you pack for your baby exactly what you need. Pajamas for every night, an outfit for every day, and a couple of extra outfits for accidents. Remember that almost anywhere you travel you can pick up a bag of diapers and wipes. And when it comes to the baby gear, keep in mind what you actually need. A stroller, probably. And then what really comes in handy when you travel somewhere is something that you can place your baby in for a few minutes, and of course you need somewhere for baby to sleep. To take care of both of these issues with one stone I like to bring with us the Tiny Love Cozy Rocker Napper. It has a seated position for baby to sit and play with the attached toys on, provides an excellent angle for feeding babies from, and then easily transitions to be totally flat for baby to sleep in. The raised corners and wide canopy make it extra cozy so baby can sleep better, even when in an unfamiliar environment. It’s suitable for babies up to 40 pounds so our 19 pounder will still fit in it for plenty of time! The Cozy Rocker Napper is awesome to have at home, but also a great thing to check on the plane or put in the trunk for travel!
(2) Bring a baby carrier. To be fair I hardly go anywhere without one, but not having one while on a trip would be the worst. When in an airport I always tell people to wear baby and push your stuff in the stroller, which makes life so much easier, and even when you drive places there will be times you don’t want your baby crawling around on the hotel room floor so you end up wearing them while trying to get your stuff together.
(3) Relax. I know lots of parents want to keep their baby on a tight schedule with set bedtimes and mealtimes, which is totally understandable when you’re at home. But let it go a little when you travel. Your baby might go to bed really late one night if you’re out exploring a new site or visiting with family and that’s okay. These are memories you will only be making now, and babies are surprisingly adaptable to new routines, and I promise they will fall back in to their old routine when you get home.
(4) Book your trip logically. Even if you are visiting family, will there be room for your baby to actually stay with family members? Will they be disturbed by baby waking up in the middle of the night? Consider getting a hotel room if those will become issues. And if you are planning on booking a room anyways make sure you book one that is well equipped for your family. Do you want a balcony with a nice view to enjoy during naptime? Do you need to reserve a crib? Need bottled water or any other special provisions? Think about those ahead of time to have it all set up.
(5) Always leave early. And even then you’ll most likely still be late. Leave an hour earlier than you would normally need to for a flight. Leave several hours earlier for a 4-6 hour car ride. You’ll want to have time for unexpected diaper blowouts, feedings, and whatever else might come up. Plus it’s nice to have some peace of mind and one less thing to stress you out while on your travels.
Hope everyone has an amazing holiday season and safe travels to anywhere you may be going! Do you have any tips for traveling with a baby? I’d love to hear them below!