6 Top Tips for Travelling with Your Baby This Summer
Posted on July 26 2021
Approximately 50 million Americans travelled either by highway or skyway this Fourth of July and those numbers will likely continue as summer vacations ebb and flow. If you’re like us, you’re itching to see friends and family across the country after a long year of shut downs and cancelled travel plans.
Of course, if you’ve recently made an addition to your family, travel is going to look a lot different than it used to. Whether you’re travelling by car or by plane, here, you’ll find 6 of the top tips for travelling with your baby.
Set Realistic Expectations
Remember to set realistic expectations for your travel, especially if this is the first time you’re road tripping with your baby. Before your new addition came along, you and your partner could probably drive for seven, eight, nine hours at a time with minimal breaks. But now everything’s different. According to research, newborns need to be removed from their car seat every hour or so. So, when you’re looking at that trip time estimate, make sure you’re adding several hours on top of the drive-time for plenty of breaks.
Choose the Right Time
On the upside, newborns tend to sleep a lot. Therefore, if possible, try to set out around their bed time. One good idea is to go through their entire bedtime routine, get them in some PJs with a cozy blanket but, instead of putting them down in their crib, strap them into their car seat. You’ll be amazed how far you can go while your baby sleeps.
If you want to keep them asleep, play soft music or even audiobooks. Just be careful not to put the driver to sleep too!
This can be the same for airline travel as well. If you’re able to take an evening flight closer to your baby’s bed time, you might have a better experience than if you took a flight occurring when they’re most active.
Bring a Go-Bag
Picture it: it’s almost dinner time, you and your partner have been driving for four or five hours with multiple stops, you’re both hungry, you’re cruising 65 mph to try and get to your destination and then your baby starts screaming. The last thing you want to do is crawl into the back and dig through a giant bag of supplies to try and satisfy whatever need your baby currently has.
Therefore, the best idea is to keep a go-bag within reach filled with absolute necessities. Here’s our list that could easily fill a tote or medium-sized bag:
- Pre-portioned bottles of formula or breast milk with ice packs (or small cooler bag)
- A change of footies or PJs
- A changing pad with three or four diapers
- A travel-sized forehead thermometer
- A travel-packet of wipes
- Three or four small toys
- Baby aspirin
- Another cozy blanket
But don’t forget yourselves too. Upfront, you might want to keep a go-bag for Mom and Dad. This could include phone chargers, a tablet, snacks, a travel pillow, earphones and, of course, earplugs.
This goes double if you’re flying. Having all these items in your carry-on will make a long haul with baby so much easier!
Tag Team It
Travelling with a partner is always easier because you can split responsibilities. If Dad is tired of driving, he can pass off the wheel and, instead, tend to the baby (or catch some Zs while the baby sleeps, too). Same can be said for Mom when you’re ready to trade driving for doody duty. Whoever isn’t driving can sit in the back and keep baby occupied and comfortable.
Stick to the Interstate
No matter how much Dad begs and pleads, no, you will not be going to the reptile lagoon at South of the Border this year. Sure, it’s tempting to take the scenic route. One of the great parts about driving over flying is that you get to see the vastness and diversity of America. But not this time. Maybe when baby’s a little older and walking around you can pull off at the historic Civil War battlefield, but, for now, keep it to the interstate and stop only when necessary for you and your baby.
You’re Going to Make It
Admittedly, this is more of encouragement than a tip or advice but, remember, no matter how stressful it gets, no matter how long it takes—you are going to make it. Even when you feel like throwing in the towel, turning around and going home, you’re going to get there. We promise.
Travelling with your baby can be a demanding experience but as long as you have reasonable expectations, and go prepared, you can minimize your stress levels. Hopefully these 6 tips have helped you do just that!Drive safe and bon voyage!