Traveling with infants, older babies, or toddlers requires extra planning. Here are some tips that will make the journey simpler and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
For long haul flights, try scheduling an overnight flight that arrives close to their bedtime so they can begin their bedtime routine and hopefully sleep through the entire flight.
Traveling with an infant or toddler can be both physically demanding and rewarding. Parents need to prepare well in advance, whether it’s just an outing to the park or an extended journey abroad; many factors need to be considered and planned accordingly.
Plan ahead by compiling a list of necessities and packing things like a baby k’tan wrap, which will save time and hassle on the day of travel. Make sure to take along copies of important documents like your baby’s passport.
Pack an assortment of clothes when traveling across climates; this will ensure that your child doesn’t get overheated or chilled during flight.
If you are breastfeeding mother, make sure you pack plenty of milk for your infant. Also if your child has been introduced to solids, consider carrying their favorite meal along. This will ensure they don’t miss their usual meals and keep their tummies happy! Additionally, bring along any necessary supplements like Vitamin D or Iron.
Keep Your Baby Hydrated
Babies can quickly become dehydrated when traveling by plane. To keep your newborn hydrated, provide frequent sips of water; the same applies for older infants and toddlers.
If you are traveling with an infant or toddler, be sure to pack plenty of snacks for them as well. Pack their usual foods such as formula/breast milk/solid food for toddlers/puffs/yogurt melts/etc as keeping your child fed is crucial for their mood and sleep schedule on board the plane.
Toddlers and older babies often enjoy playing I Spy or counting objects they see out of an airplane window, such as cows or red cars, giving them some control and making travel more exciting for them. This game can help give them some agency over their travel experience while making it more pleasurable for all parties involved.
If you are traveling with a baby, make sure the flight time corresponds with their sleep routine – especially if they tend to go to bed at night! If they usually nap during the daytime instead, choose an earlier flight.
Bring Disposable Diapers
As travel can present some unique challenges when changing babies in different bathrooms, having some disposable diapers on hand at all times is always smart. This is especially relevant during international trips where diaper changes may prove challenging.
Baby wipes are essential travel gear. Not only are they convenient and more hygienic than cloth alternatives, they can make cleanup quicker too! If you prefer cloth alternatives instead, purchase a wet bag and store extra washcloths inside it; when the time comes to clean your baby up again simply empty out and reload.
If you are traveling for an extended period, consider packing several boxes of disposable diapers as well. That way, one can remain in your diaper bag while you leave one or more back at your hotel room, eliminating the need to carry around soiled ones daily.
If you plan to bottle-feed your baby, be sure to pack at least two bottles, formula and breast pads as well as travel-sized water bottles for both baby and toddler.
Don’t Force Interactions
Traveling with babies can be challenging for everyone involved, so take it in stride if someone stares as you carry a car seat and baby through a busy airport or onto an overcrowded plane. Keep in mind that babies tend to become overstimulated and anxious in new environments; their eyes might just be misreading your body language! Request an aisle seat so you can leave easily in case of turbulence or diaper changes.
Bring plenty of toys and books to keep your baby occupied (although we usually advise against the use of electronic devices for babies under 2), save their favorite toy for flight so they have something fresh and engaging to play with, such as rattles or stuffed animals; even mundane items such as Post-its can provide entertainment; for older children traveling together consider downloading an app featuring educational videos so they’ll have some distraction.
Let Your Toddler Make Some Decisions
Traveling with babies and toddlers is an amazing way to build memories with your family, while creating special moments together. However, it is essential to remember that their immune systems are still developing, increasing their exposure to infectious diseases during travel. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests waiting until an infant reaches six months old and has received some initial immunizations before embarking on their travel adventure.
If traveling by car, try planning the trip around your baby or toddler’s naptime and bedtime schedule; this will help them stay on their normal routine and may make for an easier journey. When flying, consider booking flights that provide overnight layovers or allow rest stops between connections so that everyone in your party can rest while away from home.
As part of your trip planning, bring along your baby or toddler’s favorite comfort item – such as their favorite stuffed animal, blanket or pacifier. This will make them feel secure during their flight experience while acting as an excellent distraction when the seatbelt sign goes off and your toddler begins wandering aimlessly down the aisles.
Encourage New Experiences
No matter the location, babies and toddlers can find plenty of exciting things to enjoy when travelling abroad – which according to experts at Columbia University can actually help their language development!
Parenting coach Tammy Gold advises planning travel around your child’s naptime, bedtime and feeding schedule even when crossing time zones – this consistency will help reduce crankiness and anxiety during flight or road travel.
When flying with children, make sure to request an aisle seat if possible so they can quickly exit their strollers for diaper changes and easily climb in and out. Also arrive earlier than normal at airports or train stations so as to check in and avoid any last-minute scrambling for seats.
Be sure to have plenty of toys and other distractions ready if your baby starts getting restless on a flight or train journey – such as soft toys, colouring books or activity books, snacks and simple games such as I Spy or counting things outside such as cows or red cars, for instance – just in case he becomes bored!
Keep a Scrapbook
Traveling with infants, older babies, or toddlers requires keeping in mind that every trip will differ depending on your child’s individual needs and temperament. Therefore, prioritizing research about your destination so you are well prepared for whatever obstacles might present themselves during the journey.
One way to make your next family vacation more unforgettable is to create a scrapbook of memories from it. This activity will give children something to look back on later when they’re older.
Scrapbooks can be either purchased as kits or made yourself using an old binder and plastic page inserts. To create the best memory book possible of your trip, gather as many photographs and other mementos (ticket stubs, postcards etc.). Incorporate all your memorabilia to help create an aesthetically pleasing album of memories of it all!
As well as creating a scrapbook, taking pictures with your children and adding them to a photo album or family photo book is also a wonderful way to preserve fond memories from travels together and will serve as a wonderful reminder for parents of how far they have come in their parenting journey.