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Tips for Traveling with an Infant

Updated on April 11, 2015

Traveling and going on vacation is supposed to be a fun, relaxing time for your family. Adding an infant to the mix can complicate things. This spring my family went on an international vacation and had an amazing time. Here are some of the things we did to have a successful and (almost) stress free trip.

The Plane Ride

Flying with a baby can be stressful. If you've done it before you know; the looks from other passengers as they board the plane and see the baby... they're thinking "this baby better not cry"! There are a few things you can do to ensure your family and the other passengers have a peaceful flight.

  1. Signup for TSA Precheck. My family flies a lot so this was a good investment for us. Even if you don't fly very often it can be worth the expense. TSA Precheck allows you to going through airport security a little easier - you can keep your shoes on, your laptop or tablet can stay in your bag and you don't have to scan your liquids separately. Have you ever tried to hold a baby while kicking off your shoes, loading your bags on the scanner and removing your liquids all at the same time? If so then the $80 fee (it lasts for 5 years) is a worthwhile investment.
  2. If possible fly during the baby's nap time or bedtime. When we flew to London during this past trip we took an 8:45pm flight. Our baby usually goes to bed at 8:30pm. We boarded the plan early (families with children under 2 board early) and started giving her a bottle right away. By the time the plane took off at 8:45 her eyes were already closing and she was fast asleep by 9:30pm.
  3. Be prepared for when the baby wakes up. She might want a bottle right away or to be changed. Make sure to anticipate her needs.
  4. Stock your diaper bag with her favorite toys and snacks. Cheerios are a big hit in our house and gets a big smile from our baby. There are also a few books that she loves us to read to her and will stop crying the minute we start reading them. Keeping them at our finger tips has been a life saver for us.
  5. Have a backup plan. If you have an ipad or phone that you can keep cartoons on it can be a good distraction for your baby, especially on long trips. I usually try not to put a screen in front of her face, but if all else fails it will ease your stress when your baby starts to cry.

A luggage scale can help prevent surprises when checking your luggage, especially when traveling to multiple places in one trip. Here is the one we use:

Time for a Poll!

How do you feel when a baby cries on a plane?

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Have the Right Supplies

A baby requires a lot of "stuff"... diapers, wipes, formula (or breast milk), food, toys and so much more. Anything you can do to make the haul lighter will make it easier on yourself in the long run. Here are some of the things that really worked for us.

  1. Finding a grocery store by your hotel is a great way to save money. Before we realized this was an option my husband and I would stop at a convenience store or restaurant and see that sometimes they were charging up to $5 for one 16oz bottle of water! Once we realized that we could get the same bottle of water at a grocery store (one that the locals would shop at) for just a few cents, we made it a point to find the closest grocery store in each city. This is especially important if your baby uses formula. My husband and I would go to the store every morning before we started out day and buy a huge bottle of water. It was great for the bottles and for us to drink as well.
  2. If you're traveling domestically have diapers shipped directly to the hotel so you don't need to pack them. Call the hotel first and find out what their policies are... many will require the shipment is addressed a certain way so they know the who the package belongs to when it arrives. If you are not traveling domestically then knowing where the closest grocery store is (see tip 1) will help in case of emergencies.
  3. Come up with creative solutions. Our baby takes about 6 bottles a day. Instead of traveling with 6 bottles (and having to find a place to clean them every night) we opted for a bottle with a drop in liner. These are now our "vacation" bottles. We purchased 2, one to keep in the hotel room for the morning and evenings and one to go in the diaper bag. This was a great solution for us... simply put the liner in the bottle and fill it with formula. Once the bottle was done we disposed of the liner and rinsed out the nipple. This saved us a lot of time, space and supplies (no bulky steamer needed).

These are the bottles with liners we used. Our baby adapted to them right away and they saved us a lot of time.

On the Move

Most of our vacations are adventures. Sure, we have relaxing beach vacations too, but sometimes we just want to get out there and explore. This past vacation we traveled to 4 different countries and had a plan for every day; most of it included walking miles and miles around the city. Here are some tips for making city trips easier on everyone:

  1. Do research ahead of time and find out which places allow strollers. If possible, plan all of the museums, galleries and in our case castle tours that allow strollers in one trip. This way you won't have to leave your stroller outside. Below I included the link to the stroller lock we use in case you do need to leave your stroller unattended.
  2. Get a baby carrier that doesn't break your back. We love our ERGObaby 360 (link below). With this carrier you can wear the baby on your back, on the front facing you (perfect for nap time) or on your chest facing out. When we knew we had a day full of activities and the stroller would be a hassle to deal with my husband would wear our baby and I would wear the diaper bag backpack. This allowed us to move quickly and take our baby places that strollers are not allowed.
  3. Hop on and off. Most cities have what is called a Hop on, Hop off bus. These are double decker, open top buses that ride around the city and stop at all of the major attractions. You can buy a one day or two day pass and ride the bus as much as you like. This can be a great option if you'd like to get across town and don't want to ride the subway on and ff all day with the baby. We did this in 2 of the countries we visited on this trip and it worked out great, plus the tour guide on the bus (included with some companies) made great recommendations of places to go and things to see.

Our baby carrier. I love all of the options we have on how to wear it and our baby doesn't seem to mind it either.

Make a checklist of things to pack so you don't forget anything

Things to pack

Have Fun!

When traveling with a baby it's important to remember that.... you have a baby! There will be some crying on the trip, you will forget something important (we realized one day we left the formula in the hotel room... ooops!) and there are times where you will be stressed out. Hopefully these tips will help minimize some of the worry and help you and your family have a great time on vacation!


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    • amine-sehibi profile image

      amine sehibi 

      3 years ago

      Great hub, very useful .


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