All Aboard! Your 11 Step Guide to Traveling with a Baby

Trains, planes, boats, or automobiles — however you plan on traveling with your baby and kids, check out this list of 11 surefire ways to help your travel plans go off without a hitch.

  1. Secure your seats and make sure you have a place to put all your travel gear. Notify your airline, bus line, or rail company ahead of time if you have any special requirements.
  1. Bring an emergency sheet handy with your child’s name, health information, allergies, and emergency contacts.
  1. Write down a travel packing list for yourself and for each of your little ones beforehand so you don’t forget anything. Everything from clothing, diapers, and medicines to games, music, and phone chargers should be considered. Always pack extra, and bring something handy like a towel to clean up accidents and spills.
  1. Map out rest stops for long trips so you can use the bathroom safely, fill up on refreshments, and change diapers.
  1. Security checkpoints can make you feel like you have your hands full (only because you do). Take your baby out of the stroller, fold the stroller, and put it through the scanner. Same goes for car seats or carriers. Help older children put their things through, and encourage them to go through the security gate ahead of you or right behind you. Make sure everyone has slide-on shoes and no jewelry. When flying, breast milk is considered legally exempt from liquids rules and is separate from your own cosmetics — you can bring more than 3 ounces on your flight. This also applies to formula, juice, canned baby food, or teethers filled with gel, although all of this may be subject to extra screening, so allow plenty of extra time. Many airports have places you can nurse, so ask your airline where the nearest station to your gate is located in the airport. Check the TSA site for updated security procedures.
  1. Keep your children occupied when traveling on long trips with arts and crafts, games, books, videos, and more. Charge up all electronic gadgets before you leave the house. Try to get up and walk around the plane or train every hour.
  1. Be mindful of ear pain and pressure when flying or going through the mountains — it helps if your baby has a pacifier to suck on during takeoff and landing, or even better can nurse then. Make sure your older children have something to chew on if they have ear issues. Also, if you are traveling on a cruise or by boat, make sure you have medicine for seasickness, like Bonine for Kids.
  1. Schedule travel time with sleeping schedules in mind, and account for jet lag when you land. You’ll thank me later.
  1. Have everything put away and ready to go before you land or get off at a stop.
  1. Bring positive reinforcements or things that make your children happy, like a teddy bear or a lollipop.
  1. Try to stay calm yourself. Realize that most people have traveled with children at one point or another and can sympathize with your extra responsibilities. Be courteous, patient, and in control and enjoy your family vacation!

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Johnelle is a freelance writer and editor. She enjoys all things good for the soul: fitness, painting, traveling, taking photographs of her dog, yoga, dancing, and singing in her Southern California band.

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