Keep it SIMPLE
Infants and toddlers are busy all by themselves, so when it comes to travel, simple is nice. Here are some tips I’ve learned while traveling with infants and young toddlers.
CAR SEATS & STROLLERS:
Will you even need them? That’s your first question.
driving: obviously your child will be in their usual car seat, think about the stroller you will need if one at all. Sometimes a baby backpack for sling with do.
flying: I have never had my children sit in a car seat while traveling, I do however take their car seat with me and either check-it as luggage (check with your airline they may not charge for this) or carry it to gate and *gate check it. If we take our stroller on our trip with us then we gate check it as well. We have also come up with a system to attach the carseat to the stroller using carbeaners making the trip through the airport easier.
Going through security? well it’s more difficult with a stroller and carseat but some things you just gotta do.
*Gate Check: gate checking something is when you carry it to your gate with you. You’ll need to see an agent to check in and get a tag. You will then drop the item off on the gangway right before you enter the plane. When arriving at your destination this item will then be available in the spot where you dropped it.
driving: pack a pack-n-play and schedule drive times during naps or bedtime.
flying: rent a pack-n-play, here is a state by state list of rental companies, we used Baby Breeze when staying in Washington DC and it was great! When we arrived the 2 pack-n-plays we reserved were waiting under the stairs at the condo we rented and when we left we packed them up and placed them back in the same place. Easy.
For babies, their car seat or stroller work well for a high chair.
driving: see my post, Road Trip Kitchen Travel Essentials, also pack wipeable bibs (take 2), several small packages of baby wipes for clean up. I keep wipes in a few bags so I can just grab one easy. A wet washcloth in a zip lock bag is also nce to have.
With bottle fed babies I have any formula already pre-measured and ready to go. My formula babies used room temperture water so carrying water was easy for us, if you child requires warmer water either take boiling water with you in a thermos, it can be mixed with room temp water when making bottle.
flying: here is the link to the TSA regulations regarding flying with formulas, breastmilk (pumped) and drinks for toddlers and infants. I use a small cooler like this one to keep these item seperate and make for easy access. Don’t ever pack peanut butter I have tried this twice and it’s a no go. Favorite snacks for toddlers.
Schedule your flight either early in the morning when the airport will be less crowded or close to nap time so hopefully baby will sleep on take-off!
If you have electronic tickets you can use your iPad for your child’s ticket to make it easy.
When flying with children under 2, bring along their birth certificate in case they ask for proof of age.
Gum, paci, bottle or nurse when taking off and landing. It can help with ears.
Have some new toys packed for all ages. Pipe cleaners, stickers, dry erase board, books, iPad (we download movies for no wi-fi times). I keep it pretty simple.
Pack snacks. Take an empty water bottle and fill it from water fountain after you go through security. You need to keep yourself fueled and hydrated while caring for a baby.
It’s up to you if you want to stay on baby’s schedule or not. Infants and little, little ones can usually just nap and go with the flow, especially if you use a sling or the like to carry them around.
Older babies who settle in to one or two good naps a day I think do better if they can get a good nap in. Plan your drive and flight times around naps or simply go back to the room, kick your feet up and enjoy the quiet down time as baby naps.
Don’t be a fraid to back out of an activitiy if you think your child may need some nap or down time.
Also remember to get plenty of exercise, play, food and water. If baby is use to it try to continue it.
I like to pack infants and children in gallon zip lock bags. I pack 2-4 outfits per zip lock bag in our luggage or in their own bag and then have a zip lock bag with 2 complete extra outfits always on me for easy access.
In my diaper bag I have a smaller bag that can hold wipes and 2 diapers. This way when changing baby I have a simple, small bag easy to grab with just my necessities in it.
I hope you have found some encouragement in traveling with baby. Start them early and it’ll be second nature to them!