Traveling with a baby is perhaps one of the most stressful experiences a new parent goes through. From figuring out what you really need to lugging a car seat around with you, parents who bring their little one along know it isn’t easy.
Gone are the days of fitting a vacation’s worth of items into one carry-on suitcase, because now your baby will need a whole bag to themselves. If you’re getting ready to embark on your first trip with an extra little passenger, here’s some tips to help you learn to travel with a baby, and make that flight as smooth as possible.
Make a Checklist
It’s always best to bring extras of everything in case of unforeseen incidents. To make sure you don’t forget anything, make a packing checklist and gather up your items at least a few days before you depart.
Use a diaper bag that has plenty of compartments to keep everything organized. Find one that can be carried or easily attached to your stroller, like the Doona All Day Bag, so your essential items will be within reach at all times.
Even if you’ve already checked the airline’s policies, it’s best to call before you fly. Confirm any specific seat assignments or extra boarding time, and be sure to ask about their rules regarding car seats onboard.
Leave Yourself Time
On the day of travel, get to the airport with plenty of extra time just in case you run into any complications. Remember that going through security and navigating the airport with a baby may take a little longer than on those solo trips.
Now that you’ve got a plan in place to make you and your baby’s travel experience as stress-free as possible, let’s get into your baby travel checklist.
Car Seat & Stroller Combo. It’s always safest for infants to sit in a car seat on the plane. Find one that is aircraft approved, like the Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller. It fits down most airplane aisles, is approved for flying, and if you prefer to keep baby on your lap, it can also be easily stored in the overhead compartment. Then, when you’ve arrived at your destination, it transitions into a stroller with one click – making the transitions from flying to sightseeing to public transport simple and convenient.
Antibacterial Wipes. Using these to clean surfaces near the baby while flying will reduce exposure to sickness.
A New Toy. Bringing something new and exciting will help keep your little one occupied while in the air, but opt for soft toys to prevent any potential injury during turbulence.
Changing Supplies. A good rule of thumb when it comes to diapers is to bring one for each hour you’ll be in flight, plus a few extras to account for any unforeseen delays.
Extra Clothes. To ensure you and your baby are not stuck traveling with dirty clothes from accidental spills, pack a clean outfit or two for them, and some extra clothes for you, too.
Breast Milk or Formula. Make sure you have plenty of breastmilk or formula for your journey. These are usually exempt from the 3.4 fl. oz liquid limit, but check with the airport ahead of time.
Blankets. These can be used to help baby sleep, as burp cloths, to cover while breastfeeding, or as a place to play on the floor to keep baby entertained.
Baby Medications. You don’t need to pack the whole pharmacy, but bring the essentials like infant ibuprofen, antihistamines, and/or any prescriptions.
Playmat. Bringing a playmat along is an easy, portable way to keep baby entertained in the hotel, at a restaurant, or anywhere else you may be.
Baby Wash. Traveling to a new place and flying on an airplane can be a cause for illness, so it’s best to keep up with your regular bath time routine.
Clothes and More Clothes. One or two changes of clothes will be plenty for the plane, but you’ll definitely want more for the rest of your vacation. Two outfits per day is a good guideline to start with.
Feeding Supplies. If your baby is eating solids, bring an easily washable and portable utensil set. If they drink from a bottle, bring plenty, and if you’re breastfeeding, don’t forget a breast pump.
No matter where you’re heading or how you get there, the key is being prepared and organized. Making sure your little one’s needs are met will keep them happy, help you stay stress-free, and make your vacation one to remember.