Vacationing with a bundle of joy challenges even the most seasoned of travelers, but a trip with your baby gives you a chance to show off your parenting prowess. Diaper changes on an airplane? No problem. Working around a baby’s nap schedule? Challenge accepted. With your planning and quick thinking, your baby will jet set with the best. Here are our tips for bringing your baby on vacation with you.
Do Your Research
Most of the planning process involves research about your mode of transportation and your destination. If you road trip with your baby, check the route for plenty of stops. When flying, check with the airline about boarding early or getting help with your gear. Most airlines allow you to gate-check strollers so you don’t have to carry your infant through the airport. Find out if the hotel offers portable cribs. You’ll save space and muscle by leaving yours at home. Review the minimum age or restrictions for activities you plan to do on vacation. Better to find out now that your little one can’t participate in a certain activity than when you arrive.
Pack Like a Pro
Packing for yourself is enough of a challenge. Now you get to master the art of strategic packing for your baby and his must-have gear. Fortunately, baby clothes are a lot smaller than your favorite threads, but you may need more outfit changes to account for messes — especially if you won’t have access to laundry facilities. Pack a separate bag with essentials, including a change of clothing, to keep close to you whether you drive or fly. If your plans include a plane ride, review the Transportation Security Administration’s guidelines. Formula, breast milk and baby food containers are allowed through security in larger quantities as long as you declare the items. Plan for any baby gear you carry on the plane to go through the X-ray machine.
Baby on Board
The car is filled to bursting with all the baby gear and you’re ready to hit the open road. Whether you’re driving cross-country or just to the airport to catch your flight, you want your baby comfy. Choose stretchy clothing that is easy to change for on-the-go diaper changes. If possible, feed and burp your baby before you leave. Offer baby toys, board books and other baby-friendly entertainment options during travel. Singing and talking to your baby can calm him — and you — while you travel.
On Location Tips
Vacation takes away the convenience of being at home, but recreating those comforts when you arrive eases the transition. Unpack your bags so all the essentials are easy to grab. Keep your baby’s schedule as close to normal as possible. Nap time and meals should stay the same to keep your baby content. Instead of packing in a whole day of sightseeing, break your activities into shorter spurts with rests at the hotel in between. You cover the same highlights while keeping your baby content and smiling.