Advice for Traveling with Your Baby
Based on content from Understanding Children: The Guidebook for Children 0 to 3 by Richard Saul Wurman, TOP / Civitas Books, 2002.
Following these simple trips can make traveling more enjoyable for both you and your baby:
- Before you go, pick family-friendly destinations. Choose hotels with children's facilities or lodging and meal discounts. Request a safe crib.
- Take practice trips. Take a day or weekend trip to see how your child adjusts. If your baby is six months or older, you can look at pictures of your destination and talk to her about what you'll do there. Be positive about the trip you have planned, and chances are your child will be positive, too.
- Take it slow. Too many sights and sounds can overstimulate your baby. Limit your itinerary to one activity per day. It will be much easier to make last-minute changes that make everyone happier.
- Take breaks. If it's a driving trip, limit driving time to between 6 and 8 hours and take a brake every two hours for diaper changes or bathroom breaks and play. End your day early so everyone can unwind after a long day on the road.
- If your baby has started solid foods, stock up on snacks. Water, juice, and healthy, non-perishable foods are a must.
- Pack surprises to keep the ride exciting. For babies, consider shiny objects, musical toys, pop-up toys and rattles. For toddlers, consider puzzles, action figures, paper and crayons, and story tapes.
- Ask the hotel if they can baby-proof your room, or plan to do it yourself. Inspect the room carefully. Take masking tape to secure loose items and to cover electrical outlets.
- If you plan to fly, consider buying your baby her own seat for a safer, more comfortable flight. You can bring your baby's car seat to fit into the plane seat. Some airlines offer children's discounts. Feed her during takeoff and landing to help her ears pop, and keep her hydrated.
- Start and end early. If your baby is at her best early in the day, sightsee in the morning and reserve the afternoon for relaxing. Try to stick to your child's routine.
Whenever you're traveling with your baby, be sure to bring along:
- Diapers (one for each hour you'll be in transit, plus a few extras), diaper rash ointment (such as DESITIN® Creamy and DESITIN® Original Ointment), wipes and lotion (such as JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion.)
- Food/formula - take extra in case of travel delays.
- Blankets - one for comfort, shade and warmth, one for lying down, and one for burping.
- Clothes - one or two outfits per day, plus extras. Don't forget socks and hats.
- Collapsible play yard.
- Collapsible or lightweight stroller or a baby carrier.
- A small tub for bathing (for babies and younger babies).
- Car seat.
- Favorite toys, stuffed animals, books, etc.
- Toiletries - in addition to what you normally use at home, you'll find it handy to also bring along easy-travel items such as JOHNSON'S® Take Along Pack for travel sized versions of your favorite toiletries.
- Plastic bags for soiled diapers, clothing and shoes.
- Electrical outlet covers.