Whether you’ll be away from home for an afternoon, weekend or week, the key to travelling with a baby is to be prepared for anything. For the first few months with your baby you’ll probably want to keep trips short and close to home. Newborns are more susceptible to infection but that doesn’t mean they need to be quarantined. Just be protective and picky about the places and people you visit. Once you are ready for a longer trip or vacation, plan it with your baby’s schedule in mind. Select locations that are baby friendly and family oriented. Perhaps a place where you can settle in and set your own routine such as an all-suite hotel, cabin or house rental or a resort that caters specifically to families. Chances are these places will have more patience, amenities and services available to make your stay easier and worry-free.
Wherever you go, you’ll need a well-stocked diaper bag. Even if traveling far from home, you’ll eventually venture out and need a compact bag to prevent little surprises from becoming big problems. Pack plenty of diapers, wipes, ointment, tissues, a changing pad, a blanket, burp cloths, pacifiers and a change of clothing to start. Remember medications, baby aspirin, teething ointment or other doctor recommended supplies for ailments that just might creep up. Snacks and sunscreen are essential for babies and couldn’t hurt for moms too. Plus a laminated phone list in case emergencies pop up and arrangements need to be made in a hurry. Pack everything in plastic bags to keep them organized and use later for dirty diapers or wet clothing.
If traveling by air with your baby, be certain your pediatrician agrees that a trip is all right. Most babies in good health are completely safe to fly, but let common sense and your special knowledge of your baby dictate your plans. International flights usually require a greatly discounted ticketed seat for babies while most domestic flights allow a child or baby that can ride on your lap to fly for free. However, the Federal Aviation Administration recommends that babies under the age of two sit in an air travel-approved car seat which is buckled into the airline seat. Though the airline seat is an extra charge, it is often discounted and will allow you the freedom of space and convenience. When making reservations keep in mind these tips to make travel even easier: request bulkhead seats for more leg room, travel during off-peak times to increase the likelihood of an empty seat next to you, and select non-stop flights if possible. Since unfamiliar surrounding and schedules can disrupt your baby’s sleep patterns, bring their favorite blanket or toy for comfort. In addition, to ease the ear pain caused by pressure changes babies should be sucking during take off and landing. Try to schedule feedings and/or offer a pacifier or snack during this time.