Whether you plan to travel with your baby or you want to stay home as much as possible, sooner or later you’ll probably embark on an overnight trip with your child. Even if you are a homebody, going on day trips requires a lot of planning and gear too.
Tips on How to Travel with a Baby
To travel with a baby successfully, you need to come up with a plan ahead of time. You don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Here are some things to do:
- Feed your baby right before you go: You don’t want to get in the car only to hear your baby start to cry from hunger.
- Pack everything you need: Make a checklist and doublecheck it. You’ll need a lot of items when hitting the road with your child.
- Bring something to carry your child around with: That can include a car seat, a stroller, or a baby carrier. You’ll need something to do the heavy lifting for you.
- Bring plenty of snacks: If your baby is at the age for solid foods, make sure you bring snacks.
- Don’t forget a toy: Toys can be enough to distract your baby some while you’re traveling. That can help you keep your sanity.
- Pack more than you think you’ll need: Look at the baby clothes and diapers you’ve packed and then add a few extra. The extras won’t take up much room and you may need them while traveling.
- Take frequent walk breaks: If you’re driving, plan on stopping every hour or two to let them play in a safe-looking park or to stretch their legs and run around for a while.
- Book a hotel if possible: Hotel rooms can be immensely boring for young children and they aren’t child-proofed, which can make you nervous. Pools can be a great source of entertainment for them and they’ll love having your undivided attention in the water.
It can be scary traveling with a baby because there are so many unknowns out there. To keep your baby safe, make sure you are completely aware of where they are at all times.
If you’re walking in a strange city, it might be a better idea to wear your baby in a carrier than keep them in a stroller. If you get distracted and turn to look at something for a minute, it’s a possibility that someone could grab your child, especially if they aren’t belted into the stroller. But with a baby carrier, they are nestled next to you and are much safer.
Before you leave on your journey, make sure your baby’s car seat is as secure as it can be. Ask around in your city and see who can review your car seat installation to make sure it’s secure. Sometimes, police departments offer free checks.
When traveling, your baby is surrounded by unfamiliar sights and sounds. To make them feel more secure, you may need to be in close proximity to them all at times. Your presence will soothe them.
A good way to stay connected to them without tiring out your arms and shoulders as much is babywearing.
There are several kinds of the best baby carriers for you to choose from, including these popular choices.
- The best baby wraps.
- The best ring slings.
- The best structured carriers.
- The best Mei Tai carriers.
- The best backpack carriers.
They all have pros and cons, so you’ll have to choose which one works best for you and your child.
Car Seats and Strollers
While buying a car seat, decide whether you want a system or just a sole car seat. The best convertible car seats can be money savers because they grow with your child, turning into a booster car seat when your child gets older.
You should always buy a new car seat because the materials degrade over time, making older seats less safe in case of an accident.
When buying the best stroller, look at what you’ll need it for. Are you a frequent traveler? You’ll be better off with a light, compact stroller if you are.
Are you going to be taking long walks with a lot of gear? Get a full-sized, heavier stroller with a lot of storage space and a sun canopy.
Gear You’ll Need for Traveling
You’ll want to have most of this on hand.
- Pacifiers for soothing.
- Feeding supplies.
- Bathtime supplies.
- Diaper changing supplies.
- Clothes, sleep sacks, bibs, burp cloths.
- Car seat.
- A playpen for baby to sleep in. Some hotels charge extra for cribs, so bringing your own sleeping quarters can save you money.
- Stocked diaper bag.
- White noise machine for better sleeping.
- Baby carrier.
- Sanitizing hand wipes for dirty surfaces.
- Dish soap if you’re using bottles.
- Bottle brushes.
- Nursing cover-up if you breastfeed.