Traveling with a baby on a plane for the first time is an exciting though sometimes frustrating experience. Some parents with newborns, often choose to put off traveling with a baby for the first few months. This gives mom time to fully recover and your baby time to acclimate to his/her new environment.
Traveling with a baby on a plane (especially a newborn) should be avoided due to the poor air quality on a passenger plane. Though the air on a plane is filtered and recirculated, it cannot be completely cleaned when there are hundreds of people on the plane. A newborn’s immune system is rapidly developing during the first few months, constantly making antibodies to airborne viruses, allergens, and other pathogens. The more time you can allow your baby to develop antibodies the better.
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When you do start traveling with your baby, most will agree it can be a challenge at first. Some infants travel very well and some do not. If your baby tolerates travel well, consider yourself fortunate.
Travel preparation is the best way to avoid getting frustrated or having a meltdown. Below are some helpful hints to avoid foreseeable problems that could occur when traveling with a baby.v
7 Must-Know Tips For Traveling With A Baby:
1. Relax and be flexible.
Traveling with a small baby can be very stressful. If flying, you want to leave plenty of time to get to the airport to get through security screening. If you’re flying, don’t forget the car seat.
Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before you travel. Keep a positive attitude and don’t stress.
Bring snacks and fluids with you and schedule stops. It is particularly important to stop periodically if you are postpartum to stretch your legs and avoid phlebitis or blood clots resulting from long trips.
Traveling with a baby is tiring, eating and drinking will help you keep your energy levels up and help keep you from getting cranky and overwhelmed.
2. Call ahead to check on the baby gear situation at your destination.
Do you need to bring a Pack N Pay? A stroller? Carrier? You’ll want to call your destination and check on the availability of baby gear. If you are traveling to see family you may need to bring your own.
It may even make sense to purchase those items when you get there. You could purchase them on Amazon and have them delivered to your final destination.
3. Remember to pack your baby’s birth certificate and health records.
You may need the birth certificate at the airport to show the baby is under 2.
4. Try to stick to a schedule.
It can be helpful to try to stick to the same feeding, napping and sleeping schedules. This can lead to a much happier baby and Mom.
This can be difficult if there is a big time difference, so keep that in mind and plan accordingly.
5. Make sure you pack an oversized diaper bag with all you’ll need.
Be overprepared when traveling with a baby. Bring wipes, diapers, burp cloths, bibs, bottles, disposable bags, onesies, sleepers, blankets and don’t forget pacifiers and clips.
If you formula feed, bring extra formula and bottles just in case you run into any delays. The weather can be unpredictable in the late fall and early winter.
Plan for the weather.
When traveling with a baby for a long distance, it is important to remember that your baby cannot adapt to extreme weather conditions should travel conditions become hazardous due to extreme heat or cold.
For those who live in moderate climates or have never been stuck in a winter storm / severe weather, this may seem like a very unlikely scenario. However, talk to someone who lives in extreme weather and you will find that getting stranded or needing emergency services is not uncommon.
Where there are extreme weather conditions, consider downloading an app to help you get around safely. The following are some apps that offer travel information, advisories, lodging, etc.:
Waze Navigation and Live Traffic App
- Avoid traffic, construction, accidents, police
- Find the least expensive gas along your route
- Routing changes for best directions
- Voice navigation
- Road travel companion
- Places to go along your route
- Save travel itineraries
- Book hotels along your route
- Find restaurants
It can be cold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Anticipate the worst weather when traveling with your baby. You can always remove or add layers if it gets too warm or cold.
The Weather Bug app is a great app to install on your phone. It will keep you informed about current weather conditions. Though many individuals may be familiar with this app., there are a number of weather apps and it was years before I found this gem!
Weather Bug App
- Real-time radar
- Closest lightning strike
- The immediate and 10-day forecast
- Air quality information and alerts
- Severe weather alerts
Bring your gear.
Remember to bring your phone, chargers, tablet, wallet, and ID with you. If flying, print out boarding passes at home and print a copy of your hotel reservations. When traveling with a baby, try to anticipate any tasks that can be done ahead of time.
Other articles you may find helpful:
- The 5 Biggest Parents Make When Choosing A Pediatrician
- 5 Best Baby Monitor Reviews: Essential Gear For New Parents
- 10 Tips For Baby’s First Halloween