The holiday season is the time many families choose to travel, either to visit relatives, return home for the festivities or just use the free time to have some fun away from home. And many of these families have young kids who’ve never had a travel adventure before. If this is your baby’s first trip as well, here are a few things that will make it more comfortable for all of you:
Prepare like a boss
No matter if you’re driving or flying, you need to start your journey with a packed tote bag full of kid’s things. Having a blowout diaper or experiencing a plane delay or traffic jam is always a possibility so it’s best to be prepared with many baby things. Pack things like extra onsesies, diapers, wipes and blankets in there, and add an extra shirt for yourself. You probably won’t need to use all of the extra items, but it’s better to be prepared.
Get a small stroller
Your big stroller is comfortable and safe for the kid, but having it with you in the car or schlepping in through security is a bother. Instead, buy or rent a smaller model just for traveling that will reduce some of the stress. You can put your baby in a baby carrier and wear it through the airport security and boarding (and put carry-ons and diaper bags in the stroller).
Grab a new toy for the occasion
Toys are great for keeping your baby calm and entertained through flights and drives, especially new toys that they have never seen before. Look into engaging infant toys, pick something that looks interesting and introduce it to your baby during your trip. And it doesn’t have to be anything too big—a new sensory ball, a new chewy toy or a new plushy will do the trick for any baby and keep them occupied for hours.
Prep the food
If you’re breastfeeding during your travel, that’s great and easy, but if your baby is using formula, this is a little bit more complicated. However, you can easily find instant formula sticks that you can get through security without any issues, mix with water on the plane and have safe and delicious feeding. To quickly make a bottle in the air, especially for shorter trips, just prefill the bottle with water, add the stick and voila! For road trips, you can get a small cooler bag and fill it with bottles and formula, but also easy and safe snacks for the road.
Give the baby a break
Whenever you get the chance, get your baby out of their seat and let the move. This will not only reduce the wiggles but also make them more comfortable as they stretch.
When traveling, sleep can go askew for everyone, babies included. So during the trip, return to your old habits and sleep whenever the baby is sleeping. If you’re staying at the hotel and your baby hates to sleep there, you can use your stroller to introduce stroller naps that always work. And you can use the time that your baby stays quiet and calm to visit places like galleries and museums.
It’s not going to be perfect
Your first trip with your newborn will be hard and stressful. If you’re feeling stressed, know that you’re not the only one who’s ever traveled with a baby—and all of those people before you made it successfully. Set your expectations low and remember that as long as you get to your destination, you can call your trip successful!
With the tips above in mind, you’ll hopefully be brave enough to travel with your baby. And once you get a grip on things, your entire family will adore your family trips and make a lot of memories on the road.