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We recently took a trip across the country with our 7 month old son. Traveling with a baby takes a little extra planning and preparation. Here are some tips to help your travels go smoothly.
1. To help baby’s ears, make sure you can breastfeed during takeoff and landing. You can also use a bottle or a pacifier ready.
2. Bring a new toy. The excitement of playing with something new will really help to keep the baby distracted. We bought a cheap rattle before this trip. We only pulled it out when the baby was really having a hard time. It worked well! There is no need to be fancy here. We also learned that plastic water bottles make great toys. Our son loved the sound they made when he squished them.
3. Have a novel snack ready. We had Baby Mum-Mum snacks for this trip. They were great! Babies can have them as soon as they are ready for solid foods-no teeth required! They also come in serving size packages, so they were perfect for being on-the-go.
4. Put your purees in reusable pouches. These were awesome to have on our trip. Feeding the baby is much easier and cleaner with a pouch. Baby Brezza pouches are great because they can hold up to 8 ounces. (They say 7, but we’ve done 8 with no problem.) They have a side zipper to fill them, and they are dishwasher safe. We use these all. the. time. For our vacation, we brought 3 of these with us. When we arrived at our destination, we bought baby food and poured it into these whenever we were going to be out and about for a meal.
5. Pack a silicone bib. These are super easy to clean, and you’ll only need to bring one!
6. On the subject of food, if you plan to bring an ice pack, make sure that it will still be frozen when you get to TSA. When we were returning, a TSA agent took our ice pack because it had melted, and it was over the limit for liquid ounces. Lame. Good to know for next time though.
7. Use your nursing cover to help baby sleep. We knew our kiddo was tired when we were on the plane, but he was having a hard time settling in. There were way too many interesting new things to look at! I put the nursing cover over both of us while I held him. Just like that, he fell asleep.
8. Another helpful tip for sleeping is to put the baby in a carrier if at all possible. If your only option is to hold the baby, your arms will hurt by the end. When we put our son in the carrier, we also put a hat on him and slid it down over his eyes to reduce stimulation.
9. If at all possible, DO NOT TAKE A RED-EYE FLIGHT. Our return flight was red-eye, and it was miserable. We learned that it was much easier for our baby to have interrupted naps than interrupted nighttime sleep. For our next vacation, we decided that it’s worth a little extra money to take a better flight time.
10. Many of the tips for flying work just as well for driving. Here are a few more that are specific to driving.
11. Have someone sit in the back next to baby. It gets lonely back there! If baby is really fussy, try sitting with him or her for a while. They’ll be happy to have someone to play with.
12. Again, the nursing cover can be helpful if baby needs to sleep in the car. If you have a nursing cover that doubles as a carseat cover, use it to help baby sleep.
13. Plan ahead for stops. Baby will need to eat and get diaper changes. It’s also helpful to let them play.
Most of all, no matter how you are traveling, just be mentally prepared to be flexible!
Well, what did I miss? What tips and tricks have been lifesaving for you while traveling?