Don’t Just Wing It: 5 Simple Tips For Traveling With A Baby
As one of the best ways to enjoy quality time with your loved ones, who doesn’t love a family vacation? It’s probably even more exciting when you’ve been looking forward to a particular trip for a while. After all, every parent’s gotta have a vacation to refresh every once in a while! To make sure everything goes off without a hitch, here are some of our favorite tips for traveling with a newborn. Reading through our baby travel checklist now will ease your pre-vacation anxieties and prepare you for what’s ahead.
Keep it simple
As you’re planning your getaway, stick to fewer activities. Before, it might have been easy to cram hikes, boat tours, wine tastings, and other festivities all into one day. But things are different now! You’re going to need to slow down and do everything in baby steps – yep, pun definitely intended. 😉
Take one day to explore the woods, the next to shop the local markets, and the one after that to visit a museum when traveling with babies. You can even plan an extra day to recoup in between everything, especially if you have a long flight or car ride ahead of you. Straightforward plans aren’t just key to a happy baby, they’re key to a happy vacation because when they’re feeling good, you’re feeling good.
Kids can handle longer trips once they grow up, but for the moment, we recommend keeping your flight or car ride shorter than six hours. If you have family members who live farther away, be sure you take frequent potty breaks and pack plenty of travel food for babies. Your little infant can stretch their legs, and it’ll feel good for them to finally leave their car seat.
Hold their attention
For your little to feel at home on vacation, the best solution when it comes to traveling with a baby is to keep them occupied. Provide familiar stuffed toys and blankets, and just like you’re at home, encourage them with play. We always like to make up fun road trip games and activities along the way!
It gets pretty lonely in a rear-facing seat, so if you’re traveling by car, pull over every now and then. Try scooting into the back seat and reading together. We’ll always recommend reaching for Dr. Seuss because who’s more fun than Thing 1 and Thing 2?
However, pulling over isn’t always an option. Well, most of the time it isn’t—especially if you’re on the highway. If you’re buckled up and strapped in for a long car ride, music, television shows, and movies will be your new best friends and make the ride a lot more comfortable. Just make sure all of your devices are fully charged before the trek–and don’t forget to bring all the right chargers!
Sometimes, an infant just needs your voice. So, don’t be afraid to turn down the jams and go a cappella. You can also count the cows or sing songs your little one knows to keep them soothed. The key is to keep them entertained.
Pack the extras
A fussy baby is the center of attention on a crowded plane, and trust us, you don’t want all eyes on you.
If you don’t know what to pack when traveling with a baby, always remember to bring things that will make them feel more comfortable, like items they associate with sleep. Some items on our baby travel list include a favorite stuffed animal, a pillow, and a blanket that will keep them calm and take them to Dreamland. Don’t forget to pull the shades!
You should also pack extra snacks and keep a bottle handy for your little one, especially during take-off and landing when air pressure becomes the most intense.
Another tip is to have extra outfits on hand. Definitely pack well-ahead of time to make sure you have everything. And don’t forget extra diapers and Baby wipes, too—you’re going to need more than you think! If you think you have enough, add some more… and then a little bit more.
Trust us, a messy baby isn’t a happy one. With a Parasol subscription, you can also ship diapers and wipes to your destination to save precious packing space—and everything will arrive right as you need it!
Pick the right destination
For your little’s first few years, opt for someplace close. A long journey overseas will likely call for lots of sitting, meaning you’ll have a cranky baby on your hands.
Sometimes, the best baby-friendly vacations are those close to home. Don’t underestimate the relaxing powers behind a local beach house. Depending on where they live, it might not be often that the kids see Grandma and Grandpa, so you could always pay them a visit.
If you’re itching to get to a tropical destination (and who isn’t?), your best bet is a cruise line that specifically caters to babies and toddlers. Find cruise lines that offer play areas and larger family rooms, such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and even Disney.
Oh! And don’t forget to choose baby-friendly airports and airlines! It’s a weird thing to consider and is something you might not have thought about, but it’s totally a thing that exists, and it’s something that should definitely be thought about. Seriously, as strange as it sounds, some airports and airlines are just more accommodating to babies and families than others. You’ll want to find something that has plenty of changing stations and places for your little to play.
No matter where you decide to travel, we’re sure your next trip will be one you won’t soon forget!
Look for convenience
This is a biggie. No matter where you go, look for ways to make the trip go as smoothly as it possibly can. Always have a backup plan! Some might suggest having a backup for your backup, but if your vacation ever comes to that, it’s probably just best to go with the flow. You and your little will be so much happier for it.
While taking trains, taxis, and Ubers was easy to do pre-baby, rent a car instead. Having your own vehicle for the trip allows you to store equipment you’re not using. Plus, you’re not confined to a set schedule. because when you have a little one with you, anything can happen.
If you’re traveling by plane, either request a seat with a bassinet or buy an extra seat. This way, your little gets a seat that’s all their own. While a baby in your lap can be incredibly uncomfortable, your baby isn’t benefitting from it either. In fact, they’re more prone to injury or severe side effects from turbulence. You’ll thank us later.
A hotel room on the ground floor is going to be your saving grace, we promise. Carrying a heavy stroller up endless flights of stairs is never fun. Another option we love is booking a vacation rental like a cabin or condo. Not only do you experience a new area like the locals but you have more space for items like bags and strollers. Win-win!
We have a tip that works like magic: schedule traveling around your baby’s naps. If you’re traveling just a short distance, doing so during naptime is more convenient because your little is more inclined to fall asleep. Once he or she wakes up, they’ll be ready to hit the beach or town right away.
When you know how to travel with a baby, taking trips is a heck of a lot easier. It might take a little bit of experience and some trial and error, but with the above baby traveling tips under your belt, you’ll be ready for pretty much anything. Even if something doesn’t go according to plan, embrace it! As your little grows, family vacations will be what they’ll remember years down the road.