Traveling with a baby is perhaps one of the most stressful experiences a new parent goes through. From figuring out what you really need, to lugging a car seat around with you, parents who bring their little one along know it isn’t easy. Gone are the days of fitting a vacation’s worth of items into one carry-on suitcase, because now your baby might need a whole bag to themselves. If you’re getting ready to embark on your first trip with an extra little passenger, here’s some parenting tips to help you learn to travel with a baby, and make that flight as smooth as possible.
Make a baby travel checklist
It’s always best to bring extras of everything in case of unforeseen incidents. To make sure you don’t forget anything, make a packing checklist and gather up your items at least a few days before you depart.
The checklist should contain the following things below, which people often forget to pack.
1. Paperwork - Yes, your baby still needs their ID. Airlines will accept a variety of documents as identification, like a passport, birth certificate, or immunization records. But definitely check beforehand what they’re willing to accept. And if you’re planning on holding your newborn in your lap, definitely bring ID! Most airlines require proof of age because only babies under the age of 2 are allowed to fly on a parent’s lap.
And remember – if you’re flying internationally, your baby will still need to have a passport or a visa.
2. Car Seat & Stroller - It’s always safest for infants to sit in a car seat on the plane. So, the Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller is the perfect airplane addition. It fits down most airplane aisles and is 100% approved for flying. Then, when you’ve arrived at your destination, it transitions into a stroller with one click – making the transitions from flying to sightseeing simple and convenient.
3. Sunscreen - You may think that you’ll be able to grab some sunscreen when you get to your destination, but popping by the store during your trip is always a hassle – and navigating the unfamiliar brands of sunscreen can be too. You want to be able to step out of the airport and start your sun-smart adventure, worry free.
4. Antibacterial Wipes - Using these to clean surfaces near the baby while flying will reduce exposure to sickness - and give you some peace of mind.
5. A New Toy - Bringing something new and exciting will help keep your little one occupied while in the air. Remember to opt for soft toys to prevent any potential injury during turbulence, and something without sound so you don’t drive other passengers crazy.
6. Changing Supplies - A good rule of thumb when it comes to diapers is to bring one for each hour you’ll be in flight, plus a few extras to account for any unforeseen delays. And make sure you don’t forget all the other essentials like wipes, creams and a foldable changing mat – you definitely don’t want to get stuck without these at any point in your travels.
7. Extra Clothes - To ensure you and your baby are not stuck traveling with dirty clothes from accidental spills, pack a clean outfit or two for them, and some extra clothes for you, too.
8. Breast Milk or Formula - Make sure you have plenty of breastmilk or formula for your journey. These are usually exempt from the 3.4 fl. oz liquid limit, but check with the airport ahead of time.
9. Blankets - These can be used to help baby sleep, as burp cloths, to cover while breastfeeding, or as a place to play on the floor to keep baby entertained.
10. Baby Medications - You don’t need to pack the whole pharmacy, but bring the essentials like infant ibuprofen, antihistamines, and/or any prescriptions. Being prepared is always the best way to travel.
Use a diaper bag that has plenty of compartments to keep everything organized. Find one that can be carried or easily attached to your stroller, like the Doona All Day Bag so your essential items will be within reach at all times.
Even if you’ve already checked the airline’s policies, it’s best to call before you fly. Confirm any specific seat assignments or extra boarding time, and be sure to ask about their rules regarding car seats onboard.
Leave yourself time
On the day of travel, get to the airport with plenty of extra time just in case you run into any complications. Remember that going through security and navigating the airport with a baby may take a little longer than on those solo trips.
No matter where you’re heading or how you get there, the key is being prepared and organized. Making sure your little one’s needs are met will keep them happy, help you stay stress-free, and make your vacation one to remember. Click for reading about the most clever family travel hacks!