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Tips for Traveling with Your Baby

Planning a family vacation with a young baby can be a bit worrisome and feel overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you may expect. In fact, some of the greatest memories are made when traveling with your baby during this time in his or her life.  Just be sure to take proper precautions.

There are wonderful tips on the internet as to how to make arrangements and pack for your vacation.  Here is a traveling checklist from Baby Zone to assist you in preparing for your trip.

Now I will offer you some advice on what to expect after you have made all the preparations and are ready to be on your merry way.

At the Airport:

If you know that you will be traveling alone with your baby, or if there might be an instance where you will have to manage the entire luggage by yourself, you should see about getting an Escort Pass.  Some airlines allow these passes for a spouse or other helper to assist you with carrying your luggage all the way to your gate.

Security:

Be sure to arrive to the airport extra early in order to provide ample time for the security checkpoint. It is safe to say that you will not be treated any differently because you are traveling with an infant, so have all of your items in plastic bags and ready for inspection.  Read up on the TSA guidelines ahead of time for traveling with formula, breast milk, or juice.  If you are traveling with a carrier for your child, be prepared to remove him or her and send the carrier, sling, or stroller through the X-ray machine.  You are legally permitted to opt out of the X-ray machine if you do not want to subject you or your baby to the harmful radiation that is emitted from the machine. (If you don’t know about these harmful, cancer causing machines please read this

Boarding the Plane:

Most airlines will permit you to board early if you are traveling with a child. If possible, purchase a ticket for your child so he or she can have their own seat. It is much safer and will be more comfortable for you and your child, especially if your flight is particularly long. Find out if your airline offers 50% off the ticket price for young children.

If you are travelling with a stroller, get a tag for it so you can check it at the gate before you board the plane. You will be able to pick it up in the same spot at your arrival destination.

On the Plane:

Prepare to have a bottle or pacifier for your baby during the take-off and landing. The change in cabin pressure at those times can be painful for your child and can cause extreme discomfort.  

Babies under 6 months will most likely sleep on the plane. If your child is older, be sure to bring an age-appropriate toy and a teething ring for when your child gets fussy during the flight. You could also bring a baby sling to walk with your baby up and down the aisles. 

Nursing is convenient and easy to do during your flight. Consider bringing an extra pillow to support your baby and a blanket for extra privacy. You can book a window seat in advance if you would like additional privacy. 

Most planes have fold-down changing tables in the bathroom, but if your baby is small enough you may be able to change him or her in your seat. Remember to bring extra plastic bags to dispose of the smelly diaper.

Now take this advice from Parenting.com as to how to best manage with your infant once you arrive to your vacation destination.

Strategic Unpacking

Do it immediately.

Designate a baby-changing station.

Create a play space…

…and a kitchen.

Napping Smarts:

•          Start walking

•          Wear your baby

•          Go for a scenic drive

•          Take turns nap-sitting

Easier Bedtimes:

•          Do some trial runs

•          Give it a few days

•          Book the right room(s)

•          Stick to the routine

•          Get adjusted

Meals on Wheels

Breakfast in Bed

Nurse wherever you feel comfortable

Eat early

Now, go enjoy your vacation and be confident that everything will go smoothly and according to plan. The last thing you want is to let the stress of traveling with your infant ruin your trip. Embrace the moment and this time in your child’s life and gain timeless memories while you have the chance!

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