We Know: Tips for Traveling with a Baby
1. Scheduling a Flight
When traveling with a baby it is usually best to travel at night. When booking your flight, request the seats in front of the walls/dividers; they have more leg room so you can have your toddler stand up or sit on the floor in front of you.
2. Schedule Your Baby's Feeding
It is best to get on board with a hungry baby that you can feed during take off. Wait as long as you can to start the feeding during take off and again while landing, this will assure pressure relief in the baby's ears.
3. In Flight
When booking your flight and traveling with an infant, know that airlines will provide you with a bassinet upon request. For toddlers under 2, they can travel on your laps. For 2+, the purchase of his own ticket and car seat to are mandatory.
Also, for a toddler, bring a couple of new toys to keep him occupied. Coloring books and crayons are also always a hit.
Bring plenty of fluids for your child and yourself. Flying is extremely dehydrating.
4. Traveling by Car or Train
As for traveling by plane, it is easier to travel during your baby's sleeping time. The widely available portable DVD players help keeping baby occupied. Toy bars or tables that attach to the car seat are also available so that baby can draw, play and stay entertained. They also make feeding baby in the car or train easier.
If you are staying in a hotel, request a crib for the room. Most hotels and motel will provide you with one at no or low cost. Sleeping with your child in a hotel for even a few days, might mean sleeping with her at home for a few weeks upon returning. Bring your child's unwashed sheets and/or blanket with you so that the smell and security of your home travels with her.
When traveling to another city or country, know that there are plenty of companies available trough the internet renting baby accessories. Car rental companies will provide you with a car seat at no or low cost. A playpen, bouncers and even toys are available in most countries for daily, weekly and monthly rentals.
To fight jetlag, it is recommended to drink plenty of fluids and get as much daylight as possible. When arriving to your destination, eat and sleep when local people do. Schedule your child's and sleep as close as possible to the local time. Of course, if your child is too hungry or too tired, do not go against nature.
8. Diapers, Wipes and Other Needs
Many babies are sensitive to a change in diapers and/or wipes. If your baby is, find out if her brands are sold where you are going. If not, send a package to yourself at your destination so you don't have to travel with such bulk in your suitcase.
9. Health and Medications
It is best to take your baby's medicine cabinet with you so you have the products you know on hand. When traveling, especially by plane, the exposure to germs can be harmful. The antibodies we create to fight germs around us at home often fail to protect us against germs in other countries and sometimes cities. Furthermore, fatigue from traveling can weaken one's immune system.
10. Food, clothing and general preparedness
One is never prepared enough to travel with a baby. The internet really has made it easier to get all the pertinent information about our destinations. Weather, types of foods, activities, parks etc., can all be found prior to departing. Make sure you know as much as possible about the place you are going to so that you can keep up with your baby's routine.