How-To prepare your baby for long travel?
Prepare your baby for long travel: I have traveled a lot with my newborn baby. The most daring of all was with my daughter who was born on 5th Dec and we traveled to our native for family Christmas on 20th Dec. (it was my third child. So had some inbuilt guts out of experience that helped).
In this holiday season there are few parents who are planning to enjoy a long trip with their families and may be this is their first time to travel with a baby.
After the birth of a child, mothers usually do not want to do long travel in the first few months because a newborn wants undivided attention all the time.
Needs of a newborn baby are not limited to feeding and diapers only and taking your baby on a long trip during the first three months can be risky and make you feel very tired. But can be done if you well prepare your baby for long travel.
But, after the age of three months it is less risky for a baby to travel. It is also less challenging to travel with a baby in this age because he cannot crawl or walk to endanger himself.
It is very stressful for parents to travel with a baby and it causes fear and anxiety in them.
I understand all this. Based on experience, success, and failures I have written this detail article to help you with your adventure. And prepare your baby for long travel.
And make it as comfortable as possible for you during your travel.
Topics covered in this blog
- 4 types of luggage required to be carried
- 15 items checklist to pack for baby bag
- 10 items checklist to pack for baby suitcase
- 8 items checklist to pack for yourself
- Optional items to carry along
- Long trip by plane
- Long trip by a car
- Tips to follow reaching your destination
- How to overcome other infant problems during your stay
- Few more general tips for parents based on my experience
Introduction – prepare your baby for long travel
Though it is very difficult to travel with a small baby, it is not impossible.
You do not know what is going to happen with you during this long travel so prepare your baby for long travel in advance to have fun with your little one.
If travel takes hours then your baby will feel hungry, tired, bored, or even fussy.
To prepare your baby for long travel, parents must pay attention to a few things. Things such as mode of transportation, weather of destination and time of your stay.
And most important thing is packing adequately for this long trip.
4 types of luggage required to be carried
First, we will discuss the necessary things that you need pack to prepare your baby for long travel.
This will prevent you from getting confused at the time of packing.
We have split it into 4 categories…
- 15 items checklist to pack for baby bag
- 10 items checklist to pack for baby suitcase
- 8 items checklist to pack for yourself
- Optional items to carry along
We will address them one by one… And it is given out in the form a checklist so it can help you pack easily.
15 items checklist to pack for baby bag
Follow the checklist given below and it will help you prepare your baby for long travel.
- Diapers: keep enough diapers in the baby’s bag.
- Trash bags/ zip locks: do not forget to keep extra plastic bags in the baby’s luggage to put in solid diapers. It and if the baby’s clothes get stained or soiled. You can put them in a separate plastic bag or zip lock bags until you reach your destination.
- Wet wipes and tissues: wet wipes are used for different purposes during long travel so do not forget to put a packet in the baby’s bag.
- Baby cloths: no harm in having one or two extra pair of clothes, bibs, gloves and socks for baby and mother are also important.
- Baby cream: have cold cream and lip balm if your travel is to cold destination.
- Pacifier/ teether: if you baby is used to a pacifier. Then bring tat along with you. If your baby is teething. Carry a teeter with you.
- Baby lotion: baby sunscreen lotion and moisturizer will come in handy when you are planning on traveling to warm sunny places.
- Baby blanket: keep a baby blanket with you which will be used to spread anywhere during travel. Your Baby can lie down to stretch his body even in the park, hotel room or at the airport.
- Swaddling cloth: have an extra pair of swaddling cloth just in case the one you have wrapped your baby in gets soiled.
- Baby formula: if you are not breastfeeding your child then prepare several servings of powdered milk in small food containers along with a water bottle to make milk during the journey.
- Baby sipper: if you aby has started on semi solids then the regular baby sipper for water to be carried along.
- Snacks: pack in some snacks such as biscuits or fruits and other snack that you usually give your baby.
- Medicines: if you are traveling when you baby is sick. Then the needed medicine to give your baby enroute to be in the diaper bag.
- Toys: put some musical toys in your bag.
- Baby book: throw in a small baby book that your baby loves to keep them engaged during travel.
Do not overdo and have extra, to extra for everything. You do not want a baby bag to look like a stuffed elephant. Plan it well and have just what been needed for the travel duration.
10 items checklist to pack for baby suitcase
Follow the checklist below when you are packing your suitcase. It will help you prepare your baby for long travel.
- Diapers and wipes for few days
- Toiletries kit (baby hairbrush, soap, shampoo, moisturizer, powder etc…)
- Breast pump and accessories (pump batteries, charger, any specific pump accessories)
- Extra bottles and accessories (nipple, bottle brush, cleaning solution, wipe cloth)
- Sanitizing bowl: a bowl for sanitizing and thongs (if you are staying in a hotel)
- Baby formula (if not breast feeding)
- For wrapping: two pairs of baby blanket, swaddling cloth, towels.
- Baby clothes and accessories (based on weather conditions)
- Baby feeding items: babycup/ sipper, plate, and spoon (since the baby is familiar with these items you baby will be more at ease while feeding).
- Emergency medical kit: the immune system of infants is not strong, and they are vulnerable to catching cold, flu and other illness. (band aid, antiseptic, thermometer, paracetamol, balm, cotton balls and swabs)
8 items checklist to pack for yourself
While you will be busy to prepare your baby for long travel. You should not forget yourself.
Follow the checklist and it will help you to get the needed items for you during travel.
Have a separate bag for yourself to keep you comfortable during the travel.
- Water: if you are breastfeeding have extra bottle of water for yourself to keep you hydrated.
- Medicine: if you are prescribed any specific medicine to take while travel. Have that handy with you in a separate box or bag. Do not mix it with baby’s medical kit.
- Snacks: you will have hunger pangs while you feed your baby. So have snacks to keep you feed separately for yourself.
- Towel or tissues or wet wipes: you will need towel/ tissues to clean yourself after a feed. Or in case of any spit ups or reflux from your baby while burping.
- Sanitizers: have sanitizers to keep your hands clean after your attend to your baby’s diaper change. Or before or after you visit public places. So, to ensure your hands are always sanitized while lifting your baby.
- Nursing bras: pack an extra pair of nursing bra. In your suitcase. This will help you overcome accidents of milk overflow. So, you have an extra pair to change.
- Extra pair of cloths: while you will surly pack the needed outdoor and indoor nursing cloths in your suitcase. We suggest have an extra pair of outdoor nursing cloth with you. Just in case you need if your baby throws up or potties or pees on you. (accidents happen).
- Emergency details: make a list of all medicines which a child is taking. Keep a telephone number of the baby’s doctor handy with you.
In my experience I have seen that when you travel with family esp. older children. They tend to eat snack or drink water off if it is all combined. So, ensure you pack things exclusively for you. Since your needs will be different than what they have.
Below are optional items that you can carry with you. If your stay is for a longer duration.
- Baby stroller
- Baby carrier or extra sling.
- Other baby favorite items that you think will keep your baby engaged and happy.
Note: in my opinion I always felt that vacations are enjoyed better when you travel light. So, while you prepare your baby for long travel. Be conscious to travel light.
After packing a baby’s bag, suitcase and for yourself. The balance preparations for a long trip depend on mode of transportation.
Long trip by plane
If you are travelling through a plane with a baby under the age of nine months, then you can request for a cot. But you must make a request in advance.
Before travelling you can check the website of that airline up to what age they are providing this facility.
If this facility is not available, then you must carry your baby in your arms.
In this case you can wear an ergonomic pillow so that you can rest a bit.
Read our article How much do you know about baby sleep patterns? to help you with more insights.
If the baby is breastfed, then nothing to worry about but if the baby is bottle feeding then you can carry small containers of powdered milk.
In case you do not have water, you can get on the plane. Small food containers are allowed on the plane.
There is a complete list of items mentioned above for baby’s bag. It is the same irrespective of mode of transportation.
If you are on a long trip with your baby, then forget about style and focus on comfort. Neither over dress nor under dress your child.
Calm down crying baby:
If your baby cries in a plane, do not get stressed and do not panic. Relax, take a deep breath, and calm down your crying baby.
If you get stressed with your crying baby, your remaining journey would be difficult and troublesome for you.
Our article Why is my Baby Crying? Tips to calm your crying Baby will help you immensely.
Few babies feel an earache during landing and takeoff. Offer milk to your baby these two times and keep the pacifier ready for him and persuade him to suckle.
This will help your baby avoid earache.
Long trip by a car:
If a small baby is with you then travelling by a car has many advantages.
To Prepare your baby for long travel by car is easier. Many things are under your control. You can control the temperature and can also take breaks.
You can make your journey comfortable according to your own needs. There are few things which are important to consider while travelling by a car
Time of travelling:
If you are planning to travel at night, then your baby might be sleeping at that time.
But if you want to travel at daytime then prefer the time when your baby is sleeping.
Comfortable car seat:
Make sure the seat is comfortable and the baby is positioned correctly.
Baby should always be in the back seat with a proper belt. Front seat is not recommended for babies.
Take regular breaks. Get up from your seat, eat, stretch your body, and make sure to have a little contact with your baby.
Avoid wool, coats and avoid very light clothes. Babies can be bothered by uncomfortable clothes and seats.
A baby’s skin can be hurt by the stress of the seat exerted on the baby’s skin and if the baby is overdressed, this will make it worse.
If your baby is crying, give him something to suckle. Do not remove him from his seat again and again.
Reading or singing to your baby is a good way to pacify your baby. Hugging your baby also helps to give your baby reassurance.
The articles you might be interested to read are…
- Is Hugging your baby very good?
- Benefits of singing to your baby
- How to Read to your Baby: 7 Simple Techniques
Tips to follow reaching your destination
To Prepare your baby for long travel is not just the duration of the journey. It also included the stay and the return.
If your plan is to stay overnight, then there are few tips that will facilitate you in this adventure with your baby.
Arrange your room:
The moment you reach your destination, prepare your room immediately according to your baby’s comfort.
Put your baby on the bed and give him toys to play. You can also ask your husband to take care of this little star so that you can unpack and arrange things properly in your room.
Because, arranging all items that you are carrying will facilitate you throughout your stay.
Make a play area anywhere in the room where the baby can play safely and feel like home.
Changing clothes area:
Put diapers, wet wipes, and baby mat in a specific area so you can change the baby’s diaper and clothes any time without disassembling the baby’s bag again and again.
Baby food area:
There are no kitchens in hotel rooms, but you must make a separate corner for baby’s food items like water bottles, feeders, cereals etc.
Give baby a massage and a hot water bath:
Give baby a good massage and a hot water bath. Tis will help ease the travel aches your baby will have. Also, while massage, engage with your baby and make it a fun activity. This will help ease your baby into the new surrounding well.
Read the following articles to help you with this…
- How to give a baby massage and why?
- How- To TALK to your baby ~ Baby Talk
- 12 Everyday activities that WILL impact baby’s development
How to overcome other infant problems during your stay
While you might be all set to prepare your baby for long travel. But be prepared for unforeseen issues that can crop up.
So, I have listed below few of the infant problems that can possibly crop up.
1- Your baby wants to sleep as babies have different sleeping schedules, but you cannot spend your holidays in one room. When you go outside, put your baby in a stroller and take him with you on a walk. This walk will make him sleep. You can also try a baby carrier during your walk to make your baby sleep.
2- If the baby is fussy in the beginning, this is because of the new environment. Your baby might feel difficulty sleeping on a new bed. After some time, he will be used to it and the remaining time of your stay will be fun.
3- Do not disturb the baby’s routine. Follow his time of sleeping, eating, and bathing during your vacation.
4- When you go for dinner, make space for the baby’s stroller near you. Feed your child first when you are waiting for an appetizer. This full stomach will make him sleep and you will be able to enjoy your dinner.
All these will help ease anxiety in your baby. Also know about your baby common body language. This will help you understand your baby’s needs better and address it quicker.
Few more general tips for parents based on my experience
- Wearing a hat is essential for babies to avoid hot and cold.
- Before starting your journey, make sure that your baby is not hungry.
- Start feeding baby before takeoff and landing. Will help prevent ear block.
- Request airline staff for seat that has an empty seat next to you if it is available.
- Learn to give towel or sponge bath during travel.
- Give a good massage and a hot water bath to calm any aches and pains after travel.
- Try booking accommodation that can support you with your hot water and sterilization needs.
- Do not worry about your baby sleep schedule. Just accept erratic sleep schedule and go with the flow.
- Do not introduce any new food a week before travel. We do not want a stomach upset or allergic reactions due to this.
- Try and travel light. Do laundry on the go (at least small items).
- Use day-to-day items as toys (a spoon and a plate can be a good musical instrument)
- Do not try new things for baby while traveling. (even a new pair of cloths or shoes can cause all the discomfort). Try to keep it as familiar as possible.
- A baby bag need not be only a shoulder bag. I found a small backpack bag to be more comfortable. Esp. When its tourist visits that take a day.
- A baby sling one for my spouse and one for me. Gave the extra freedom to move around. It also was a backup incase of accidents (vomit, reflux, diaper accidents).
- Talk to your doctor on your travel plans and take their guidance. If there is an emergency contact your doctor has in your destination place. Do take down the number.
By following the guidelines above. You would have covered most of the things needed to prepare your baby for long travel.
With proper planning, traveling with a baby will be more pleasure and fun.
Long trip with a baby requires patience, before and during the journey. Be calm.
Take a deep breath and enjoy this new adventure of life – with your positive approach and planning, it will be easier beyond your imagination!
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Let us know your travel experience with your baby? Leave your comments below…
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