For a lot of people, if you tell them you’re traveling with an infant, you’ll either get a grimace or a look of complete sympathy. Nearly every frequent traveler has been serenaded by the screams of an unhappy baby on a flight. It can be stressful to try to calm a baby down during a long flight when their regular routine is disrupted. No matter how much you’ve traveled, traveling with a baby is a new challenge. There are a number of things new parents can do to make that flight go better for baby (and everyone else).
Make a checklist for the items you need for daily care for your baby. Keeping her routine the same as much as possible for feedings and diaper changes will go a long way towards having a calm, happy traveler. Get your paperwork together and yes, your newborn will need a passport, we can make this process easy!
2. Travel Light
There are several types of travel strollers that combine a collapsable stroller with a car seat to make it easy to take your baby from the stroller to the rental car or taxi. Many parents use a diaper bag as their carry on to keep baby’s gear near during the flight and then check the rest of their bags.
3. Consider a Bulkhead Seat
Another thing you can do is see if your airline has any bulkhead seats available. Additionally, some airlines have bassinets you can get to keep your baby as comfy as possible during the flight. If not invest in a soft travel bassinet. Most will collapse down to fit in your luggage when not in use, making them very convenient to take along.
4. Pack Extra Clothes for Yourself in the Diaper Bag
Babies are notorious for spewing when you least expect it, so expect it and bring another shirt for yourself at the very least. Never assume you made it through the flight without getting spit up on until you’re 100% off the plane.
5. Take-Off and Landings are Prime Feeding Times
The pressure change during flight can hurt your baby. One way to avoid dirty looks from travelers who aren’t’ very sympathetic to traveling with an infant is to feed your baby during take-off and landing. The movement of his jaw and sucking motions will help stop the pressure feeling from building up in your baby’s ears.
6. Invest in a Baby Carrier or Wrap
Baby wraps let you “wear your baby” and they are awesome for those times you need to pull luggage and carry a sleeping baby at the same time. Baby carriers work well too, however, they are a little more rigid.
7. Jetlag Happens
Keeping your baby on a schedule may be a real challenge when traveling internationally. Usually after a few days at your destination, your baby won’t be confusing the night with the day. But expect a few long days and nights until your baby gets into the groove of the new day/night hours.
Those are just seven tips for traveling with an infant. What’s your favorite way to keep your baby a calm, happy traveler?