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How to travel with a baby

Whether you’re bringing your little one on a train, in the car, or on a plane, any tips on making travel easier can be a huge help. Traveling with a baby is not only complex, but it’s also quite stressful. From controlling a fussy baby to packing their favorite snacks, we have got you covered the next time you need to bring your baby on board.

When is your baby ready to travel?

woman carrying sleeping baby on shoulder
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This question really comes down to preference, doctors’ opinions, the health of your baby, and the type of travel. When it comes to plane travel, airlines have a baby minimum age ranging from 2 days old to 2 weeks old, so it is important to consider this factor when flying. For cars, your baby is typically ready to go right out of the hospital — you do have to get them home somehow. All you really need is a safe, secure infant seat, and you’re ready to hit the pavement. As with any public travel, whether it be planes or trains, many doctors recommend waiting at least one month or even three months until your baby’s immune system is strong and ready to fight off any germs they may encounter.

As with any case, this is typically up to your preference and the advice of your baby’s doctor. Though not advised, unless there are flight restrictions due to your baby’s age, you have the option to take your baby on pretty much any kind of transportation at nearly any age.

Tips for airplane travel

baby peeking over seat on plane
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With delays, cancellations, baggage claim, and security, it seems the only way to make airports more stressful is to bring your baby along. Though evidently taxing, traveling with your baby doesn’t have to be that way. Luckily, there is an abundance of helpful, creative tips and tricks to taking the stress out of plane travel with your little one:

  • Get a bassinet seat for your flights whenever possible. A bassinet seat features a small bed for babies that is mounted on the wall, perfect for your baby to get a long nap in after a stressful day of travel.
  • Choose an aisle seat whenever a bassinet seat isn’t available. Aisle seats will prevent you from disturbing your seat neighbors whenever your baby has an accident.
  • Take advantage of priority boarding that pretty much all airlines offer. This will allow you to board before others to avoid the hustle and bustle.

Tips for car/bus travel

baby boy in car with blanket on him
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When you need to bring your baby on a long car ride or bus ride, comfort is important. Traveling in your own car is often much easier, thanks to your already-attached infant car seat, but this isn’t an option for everyone. So, the next time you’re ready to hop in the car or on a bus, think of these quick tips to make the ride go a little smoother:

  • Ensure your baby is strapped in comfortably to their car seat. There are a lot of high-quality car seats out there, so finding one that is the right size should be easy.
  • On buses, find seats that fold up, so you can easily squeeze your baby’s stroller in without having to fold it up.
  • Plan your bus route, so you know exactly when to get off.
  • Don’t be embarrassed about your baby crying from the bumps on a bus. Many people understand the struggles of parenthood.
  • For car rides, have someone else sit in the back with the baby to keep an eye on them.

Tips for train travel

Whether you live in an urban city that is powered by trains or enjoy train travel across the country, these tips will help you make the process a little more manageable when you bring a baby on board:

  • Try to hop on the train whenever your baby is scheduled for nap time. This will help them sleep through the bumps and noises of a train.
  • Rent a room on the train for extra-long trips.

General tips for traveling with your baby

woman holding baby on lap on plane
Paul Hanaoka/Unsplash

There are some tips that cover all realms of travel, whether it be train, plane, or car. These ideas will take the hassle out of travel, no matter where you are going:

  • Wear your baby on your chest whenever possible.
  • Bring only the essentials for a lighter load.
  • Designate one bag for all of your baby’s essentials, so it is easy to find what you need.
  • Don’t bring what you can buy: Diapers, wipes, etc.
  • Pack a baby first aid kit for emergencies.
  • Download soothing noises on your phone for quick comfort.
  • Ask for a crib at your hotel.
  • Make sure you have your baby’s passport when traveling abroad.
  • Make a list.
  • Expect and embrace mishaps, mistakes, and accidents — they are bound to happen.

As you can see, and probably already expected, there’s a whole lot to consider when traveling with a baby. From food and bottles to blankets and clothes, the list seems endless. The good news is that the more you travel with your baby, the easier it’ll get. Create a travel packing list before any trip to give you time to think of anything you might be missing. Despite it being a stressful headache at times, you’ll enjoy having your little cutie with you throughout business trips, vacations, family get-togethers, and more.

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