I want to share what it was like traveling with a newborn for the first time and also give you some of the best tips and tricks I know to help make the traveling process smoother for you and your little ones as you continue to incorporate travel as a lifestyle for your family. These tips don’t only apply to air travel. They will be helpful for any form of travel you decide to embark on.
When Is It Safe To Travel With Your Newborn?
The question about safety was one I thought about a lot because I didn’t want to travel with my baby too early and risk his safety, health, or comfort. And if you don’t know, I am a traveler and expat. I currently live in Ecuador so traveling back with our baby was inevitable because we had to get back home eventually after the birth.
Before we go any further, check with your child’s pediatrician before you travel. They will be able to give you specific information and guidelines for your baby and let you know if you should or should not travel with your little one.
Get Your Child Immunized
I think it’s safe to travel with your newborn once they’ve at least had their first round of vaccinations, which I believe takes place at the six-week mark. You have to remember your baby is still developing its immune system. Exposing them to large crowds of people is not ideal if they do not have some level of protection for their immune systems.
Ensuring your child is up to date with their immunizations is especially important for overseas travel. Unfortunately, there may not be much your child’s pediatrician can give your baby that is country-specific. Still, as they grow and develop, there will be more options your baby’s pediatrician can share with you.
Basic Safety Precautions You Can Take
- Avoid crowds as best as you can
- Buy a seat for your baby and use your car seat during take-off and landing
- Frequently wash your hands and use hand sanitizer
- Wipe down surfaces you plan to touch that your baby can also touch
VIDEO VIEWS SO FAR!
Get everything and bring everything!
Documentation includes passports, birth certificates, medical reports, and vaccination records. I think it’s wise to have a copy of these documents in a folder. If you are flying, check with your airline to see if copies of your child’s important documents are okay to use.
Leave Early And Give Yourselves Extra Time
You don’t want to scramble to get to the airport, train station, or even your car! Instead, give yourself tons of extra time to ensure that you have everything you need for yourself and your baby, that you have a good attitude and aren’t too stressed, and that your baby is safe.
Do Your Research
You can do research in terms of what to pack for your baby and your destination. Also, look into travel policies to see what travel companies offer to parents with babies. For example, can you request bulkhead seating to use the bassinet on your aircraft? What form of transportation will be best for your trip?
Lastly, don’t forget to research what type of baby items are allowed on your aircraft or mode of transportation for free… trust me, you don’t want to miss this information.
Regarding baby items, think about what would be essential for you to bring on your trip to best care for your baby during the adventure and when you arrive at your destination. Some hotels may offer essential items, so you can check on that when researching. I prefer to take my baby’s crib on the plane to my destination since most airlines will allow you to check it for free or qualify it as part of the baby’s baggage if I purchase a seat.
I also like to have a diaper bag as a carry-on for my essentials. In addition to a diaper bag, I will have a ziplock back within a purse or diaper bag for easy access. This bag will typically have an extra diaper or two, a pack of travel-sized wipes, and maybe an extra change of clothes (optional). This is also useful if you are traveling with a partner. They can take your premade bag of essentials into the restroom and change the baby so that you can take a break!
Don’t forget to count your baby’s favorite things as essential too! For example, if he has a favorite stuffed animal, pacifier, or blanket, bring that along too! That way, he’s comfortable.
Feed Your Baby When They Are Hungry And Stay Hydrated
As moms, we have a schedule for everything! That includes feeding our babies. When I traveled with Gideon, I found it helpful to drop my regular schedule, and I fed him when he was hungry. Which was not every moment during the flight, so it was manageable.
I also used feeding to comfort him when he seemed anxious or scared of the plane noises. Feeding can also help with popping ears during landing and take-off, so if your baby is awake, try to feed them to ease some of the pressure and pain they may be experiencing.
Bring snacks for yourself! Having your favorite healthy snacks on hand is always helpful when you cannot get up and buy something. This is even more important for my breastfeeding mommas! You want to ensure you are well-nourished and have enough calories to continue feeding your baby while you are out and about.
Wear Your Baby
Using a carrier or wrap is handy while traveling because you can be hands-free. Baby is also better comforted when he is on you, especially if his surroundings are new and a little scary.
Carrying your baby can also make life easier if you are traveling alone. You can still carry your little one while rolling your suitcase through the airport and for bathroom trips.
Those are my tips for traveling with a baby! I hope you found them helpful. If you did, feel free to share this post with a mom friend looking to embark on her first trip with her little one.
If you have any more tips I did not mention in this post, feel free to comment!