Helpful Tips For Traveling With Baby

Whether it's a wedding, a holiday or a pre-planned trip, traveling with a newborn is a lot different than traveling without one. These helpful tips and reminders will make your trip a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.

baby in car seatCar travel with a newborn

  • Plan for a longer trip

If you're traveling by car, expect your trip to take longer. You'll need to stop for diaper changes, feedings and fussy/inconsolable moments.

  • Introduce a pacifier

If you know you'll be embarking on a long car trip -- and if you're not against a pacifier -- it might be a smart idea to see if your baby will take a pacifier.

  • Packing the car for a newborn

Pack a separate small diaper bag or reusable bag full of changing supplies just for the car trip. Keep a changing pad, wipes, diapers, extra clothes, diaper cream and hand sanitizer ready and available so you don't have to unpack or dig through bags to find the items you might need.

More car travel tips

  • Your newborn may not be big on toys yet, but have a few handy just in case.
  • Plan to sit in the backseat with your newborn.
  • Check to make sure the car seat is properly installed before your trip.
  • Bring a battery-operated sound machine to help soothe and calm your baby while in the car.
  • If your newborn likes to be swaddled, bring a swaddle blanket that is approved and can be used while your baby is properly restrained in the car seat.

Air travel with a newborn

  • Arrive early and take your time

If you're traveling by plane, plan and schedule to arrive earlier than you normally would. Getting out the door with a newborn (and all the gear a newborn requires) can take a while. Plus, your newborn can sense your frustration and stress -- so take your time and plan ahead so everyone has an enjoyable trip.

  • Take-off and landing

A pacifier, clean pinky finger or nursing can help calm and soothe a baby during take-off and landing.

More air travel tips

  • Purchase a ticket for your child, and bring your FAA-approved infant car seat with you.
  • If you do not purchase a ticket for your child, bring your infant car seat to the gate with you. Some airlines will allow you to bring your infant car seat on the plane if the seat next to you is open, and the flight is not full.
  • Don't forget to bring your car seat! Even if you do not have a seat for your baby on the plane, you will need your car seat when you arrive at your destination.
  • Always place your newborn or infant rear-facing in his or her car seat while in the airplane seat -- just as you would in a car.
  • Remember to check with your airline to determine if your stroller is under the weight/size limit to be checked at the gate. Consider a stroller bag if you check your stroller -- and keep it protected and clean.

General travel tips

  • Check your wallet to make sure you have all medical insurance cards with you.
  • Call your insurance provider to find which out-of-network hospitals and urgent care centers your child can be seen in the event of an emergency.
  • Print out a safety list of medication and medical information about your child. -- being in a new city when your child falls ill or gets injured is stressful enough. This way, you don't have to remember all the little details when asked by a new doctor.

More on traveling with baby

Travel with kids -- pack it up!
What a trip! Air travel with an infant
Top 10 baby travel tips

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