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25 Best Tips for Travel with Babies

Make your Travel with Baby Smooth Sailing!

Travel with babies presents unique challenges but don't let that stop you from going on a family vacation!

I traveled with both my girls when they were two month old babies. Some of our best memories are traveling with our babes and I'm sure yours will be too!

And just so you know, most airlines do not have a minimum age required for flying so as soon as you have passports and feel ready you can start planning!

As long as your baby is healthy you should have no problem traveling. Most people love babies so don't worry about bringing baby along-they will get lots of love and attention from everyone along the way.

And if you are really worried you can do what one parent we know did and prepare cute kits with earplugs, a candy and a thank you note and pass them out before hand! LOL! Read on and get totally prepared!

Read how to Baby Proof your Hotel here and Find the Best Baby Travel Accessories.

How Young is too Young to Travel?

Everything you need to know about travel with babies

A lady from the Philippines gave birth on a flight from the Philippines to India last summer. The airline granted her free air travel for the rest of her life. Talk about going the extra mile to get the ultimate travel deal. 

Granted, having a birthday on an airline is probably a little young for travel, but let’s face it, we have all traveled with babies not much older. So how young is too young for air travel?

For the sake of the health of the baby, the Philippine woman and her baby were delivered to India because he was two months premature. But the question remains, if the baby had been full-term would the flight have continued to its final destination? Most airlines do not recommend that pregnant women travel in the their final month. Most airlines will not let women fly within seven days before or after their due date, check with your preferred airline for specifics. Glad we got that cleared up.

Travel with Baby? Debunking the ‘you’re crazy factor’

Let’s assume you gave birth on solid ground. When is the recommended time for you to fly with your baby? Some travelers will sing the praises of early travel, citing the fact that toddlers are super squirmy and a real handful on long flights. If you don’t fancy walking the aisles with your toddler on your flight over the Pacific, then consider sneaking in a trip in the “sweet spot” between three-to-six-months old when babies like to sleep through their flights. 

Many young babies need to suck something on take off and landing because their ear canals are very small and this relieves any pain they may have with changes in air pressure. Keep a pacifier close by and a bottle, or be prepared to nurse on take off and landing. Kids tend to have trouble “clearing their ears” for years. 

No matter how old your little bundle of joy is, the baby needs a passport. So maybe the process of procuring one will dictate the date of his or her first flight. If you think you’ll need to travel, file for the passport when you bring baby home. 

Tips For Air Travel With Infants

baby's leg on a beach
  • Most countries require you to have a separate passport for every child including infants. Check what your own country requires for documentation. 
  • Make sure you have enough supplies (formula, food, diapers, wipes, changes of clothes) to last if your flights are delayed.
  • Changes in air pressure can hurt your babies ears so make sure you have a soother or bottle handy during take off and landings.
  • Change diapers before boarding the plane. It is much easier to accomplish in the airport bathrooms than on the plane.
  • Ask at check-in if the flight is full. The airline staff will often block off the seat beside you if there is extra room.
  • Check directly with the airline if they offer bassinets or cots for babies. 
  • Arrive early for flights and allow enough time between flights to change planes. 
  • You are still allowed to bring a reasonable amount of milk, baby formula, pumped breast milk or juice for your baby on the flight. Gel packs are not allowed to keep items cold so pack a small bag of frozen vegetables to keep them cold. If you baby drinks formula then pack some powder formula as a back up to mix with bottled water.
  • Don't forget to pack some toys and books to keep baby entertained.
  • Umbrella strollers are great for travel-light weight and easy to fold up. Most airlines will check them at the plane door.
  • Take a trip to the doctor before you travel to make sure your baby is up to date on all vaccinations and any preventive medicine that is necessary.
  • Book flights during your babies nap times and cross your fingers that your baby sleeps peacefully as usual.

More Tips for your Vacation with Baby

  •  Check with the hotel to see if they have cribs available-inspect it for safety before using. Or bring a collapsible playpen for your baby to sleep in. 
  • Protect your baby from the sun. Sit in the shade, keep a sun hat on and invest in some UV swimwear. 
  • Pack lots of wipes and antibacterial gel to keep your babies hands clean at all times.
  • Baby supplies could be expensive or non-existent in your destination so bring supplies with you. 
  • Sidewalks may not be suitable for strollers at your destination so consider a child backpack for transporting your baby.
  • Bring your car seat with your if you plan to travel by taxi or rental car as they are not commonly available in some countries. Read more here. 
  • Take it easy! You are on vacation after all. Don't plan too much and make sure baby is well rested and hydrated.
  • Travel with baby Jet Set Babies can arrange for you to have formula, diapers and food delivered to destinations around the world. They can also arrange baby equipment rentals for your family vacation. Family Travel Scoop readers can receive a 10% discount by using the following code when ordering.

    Code: familytravelscoop

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Travel with Baby: What doctors recommend about that trip to see Grandma and Grandpa 

Here is some great advice from Doctors about Travel with Babies:

“Airplanes are great places to get sick. Family gatherings are, too. Don’t take your baby anywhere until he has received the first set of vaccines. This includes a pertussis vaccine, which can be given at 6 weeks of age at the earliest but is typically given at the 8-week newborn check. Even with these vaccines your baby will not have other vaccines such as influenza, so think carefully about limiting exposure.” –– Dr. Pia Fenimore, LNP Lancaster Pediatric Associates

One of the most important considerations in determining how early a baby can fly has nothing to do with the baby, and rather focuses on the health of the mother.

“Mom should be healthy and recovered from the delivery. Women are at greater risk of problems such as blood clots in the legs after delivering a baby, and sitting for a long period on an airplane only increases this possibility. If you travel this early, you should wear support hose, drink plenty of fluids, and get up frequently during the flight to walk and stretch.”  ––Dr. Shari Nethersole a Specialist in General Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

So Much Baby Stuff to Carry! Yikes

If you travel with a baby you’re not going to be traveling light. The days of throwing your things in a bag and heading out on vacation are long gone. This is true for travel in cars as well as planes. Babies need so many more things than toddlers––car seats, strollers, play pens, etc. Plus, you have to pack many “just-in-case” provisions on the plane. If you aren’t up for the schlep, probably best to stay home and let grandma and grandpa come to you. 

The big surprise

No matter how you plan, you’ll have to be ready for the unexpected. Whether that’s a long airport delay or car trouble. Add to that the unpredictability of your little bundle of joy and you’re most likely exhausted and probably not the best company. Be prepared when you head out on your vacation. Try to make sure you have many backups in terms of clothes and provisions in case of unforeseen delays or last minute schedule changes. 

Beware eating and sleeping changes…

Depending on the age of your baby, it’s likely the sleeping patterns of your little one will have been predictable at home. If they are, travel changes a baby’s clock. Anticipate your baby’s new schedule. This is a perfect time to let friends and family help take care of a colicky baby or a baby who just doesn’t want to let go of the day.

All in all when you decide to travel with your baby you will need a lot of patience. The good news is that some babies and children get to be amazing travelers when they’re exposed to travel at a young age. 

Here’s hoping your baby’s first travel adventure is an incredible step on your amazing parenthood adventure. 

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