I had a rough time when my oldest was born and even though I was young and strong, recovery took longer than I expected. Nathan was barely 2 months old (and I was barely recovered) when we had to travel from New Hampshire to Ohio. My husband, Nate, was in the Air National Guard and had to go to Texas for training. Since I didn’t want to be alone with Nathan for 5 long months, we drove to Ohio where my dad lives so I could stay with him. It was great because Dad loved seeing his first grandson so much.
But before we could leave, I had to pack. It was a semi-move too with a 14 hour road trip, so it was daunting to say the least.
I remember being very overwhelmed – I was doing pretty well with the whole new-mom thing, but traveling with a baby was definitely out of my comfort zone.
Thankfully the trip went smoothly – actually much smoother than our later road trips with older babies/toddlers/children because Nathan slept most of the time – but I definitely learned some things along the way. And now with four kids, I’ve definitely done the whole travel with baby thing a time or two.
Today, I want to share a few tips for traveling with baby that I’ve learned along my journey as a mom of four. Because it doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming. With a little planning, organization, and perspective, you can have a great time traveling with your little one.
11 Tips for Traveling with Baby
1.) Plan ahead when you can, but leave room for flexibility. Definitely be prepared, but also be ready for things to not go as planned – if you expect that, you’ll be less stressed. (Maybe that’s not you, but that’s definitely me!)
2.) Think about your options for feeding baby. If you’re nursing, that’s easy enough, but if you’re using formula, you’ll need to consider a few things. Do you warm bottles? If that’s going to be difficult (maybe on a long car trip), you may want to transition baby ahead of time to room temperature feedings. Pack extra formula, bottles, or food too. Sometimes, it may be easier to skip the solid feedings for a day if you’re traveling. These are all things to think about before you leave. Babies R Us has some great options for making it easier to feed baby while traveling – this Bottle and Baby Food Tote is a great way to carry bottles or baby food when you’re on the go!
3. Make sure you’re prepared for changing baby as you may not always have access to those Koala changers in the bathrooms (even so, you may not want to use them – I always avoided public restrooms as much as possible.) Pack extra clothes, plenty of diapers and wipes, a changing pad, and at least one or two drool cloths that can be used for shielding yourself from peeing babies or simply cleaning up messes. Remember that wipes are useful for wiping sticky fingers and drool to even cleaning your own hands, so pack plenty. Babies R Us also has great options for changing baby on-the-go too, like this handy Changing Station. Don’t forget your trust Pampers wipes too – I love those handy carry-along wipe packages.
4. Where is baby going to sleep when you get to your destination? You may want to start baby sleeping in a pack ‘n play before you leave if they don’t go to sleep easily.
5. Pack a few small toys to keep them occupied. Even younger babies can be entertained or soothed with a favorite rattle. One more tip – hide those toys for at least a couple weeks before the trip so baby is more interested when you hand them out.
6. Make sure to pack medication for possible issues – teething, fever, etc. I go by the motto – if you don’t pack it, you’ll need it. Pack it and you probably won’t. Even if you can easily buy something from a nearby store, if your little one wakes up screaming with teething pain at 2am, you may be out of luck when you’re away from home and your usual medicine cabinet. Tylenol and teething tablets only take a little room in your suitcase anyways.
7. Pack extra favorite and essential items. No binky,no sleep? Pack extras!
8. Don’t overpack. Hauling around unnecessary gear can be more hassle than it’s worth. Do you really need the bouncer seat when Grandma won’t let her grandbaby out of her arms? Also, if you’re going to be near stores, you can always buy what you need when you get there. If you’re visiting family, ask them to pick up a decent pack ‘n play or bassinet from a yard sale or consignment shop and save you the hassle of bringing one yourself. Of course if Grandma’s willing, there’s plenty of selection and great sales at Babies R Us too!
9. Think ahead for convenience – it may be easier to go out to a restaurant earlier when it’s less crowded than at the peek dinner hours. That’s less stress for you and everyone around you.
10. Try to keep your little one on their usual schedule as much as possible while you’re away. It may be tempting to let the aunts and uncles spoil her and keep her up late, but you’ll pay for it later. That’s not to say you shouldn’t allow any flexibility, but just keep that in mind.
11. Have fun and enjoy your trip! Remember babies are resilient and adjust quickly. They’ll pick up on Mom’s stress level, so if you relax, they might too!. Even if they’re fussy and giving you a hard time, remember this too will pass!
I’ve created a free printable checklist for things you’ll need when traveling with baby. If you don’t need it now, pin it and save for your next trip!
Click here to download: Checklist for Traveling with Baby
Don’t forget to check out Babies R Us for any supplies you might need. They’ve got some great deals too:
- From May 3-May 16th: Duracell Coppertop AA & AAA 8-pack are $6.49, Duracell Coppertop D4 pack, C4 pack, 9V2 pack are $6.99, and Quantum AA 6-pack, AAA 6-pack are $6.49
- From May 24-May 30th: All Duracell Buy One, Get 2nd 40% Off
- From May 1-May 31st: $5 off Dreft 150oz
- Also be sure to check in store for special offers on Pampers all month long!
1 lucky winner will receive a traveling-with-baby kit, including:
a $75 Babies “R” Us gift card, Two packages of Pampers Wipes, Babies “R” Us changing station pad, and a Babies “R” Us 2-in-1 food tote
This giveaway ends on May 29th, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.
Open to the US only, ages 18+.
Click here for complete rules and disclosure.
Enter the giveaway by leaving 1-2 comments:
1. Required for entry: Tell me what’s your best tip for traveling with baby.
2. Optional: Join our newsletter and confirm.