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November 9, 2023

Holiday Travel Prep with Baby: Packing and Tips

The holiday season is approaching, and traveling with a baby requires extra preparation, planning, and patience. From packing the right essentials to keeping your baby calm and comfortable during the journey, there are many things to consider. In this blog post, we’ll offer tips and advice to help you prepare for a stress-free holiday trip with your baby.

Mom carrying baby and walking through airport

Plan Ahead

Before you start packing, it’s essential to plan your travel itinerary and determine what you’ll need for your baby during the journey. Make a list of all the items you’ll need, including diapers, wipes, formula or breast milk, snacks, and toys. Pack enough supplies to last for the whole trip, and then some. It’s always better to be over-prepared than underprepared, especially when traveling with a baby.

Pack Strategically

When packing for your baby, consider using packing cubes or compartments to keep items organized and easily accessible. Place diapers and wipes in a separate bag and keep a few on hand in your carry-on bag. Pack extra clothes in a plastic bag, so they don’t get wet or dirty. Avoid overpacking and focus on packing the essentials that your baby needs.

Bring a Carrier or Stroller

A carrier or stroller can be a lifesaver when traveling with a baby. A carrier allows you to keep your baby close to you, making it easier to move around and navigate through airport security. A stroller can be used to transport your baby between gates and throughout the airport. However, keep in mind that some airlines have specific rules and regulations for strollers. Be sure to check with your airline before traveling.

Baby asleep in a car seat

Have a Car Seat Plan

When it comes to ensuring your baby’s safety during travel, having a car seat plan is paramount. If you are traveling by car, a car seat is a must-have. Ensure the car seat is properly installed and meets current safety standards. If you’re flying, you may choose to check your car seat or bring it on board. Some airlines allow the use of FAA-approved car seats, allowing your baby to have their own seat. This not only provides an extra layer of protection for your baby during the flight but also frees up some space for you. If you plan to use a car seat during your trip, be sure to check with your airline about their specific regulations. Furthermore, if you’re using a rental car at your destination, consider whether it would be easier to rent a car seat or bring your own.

Be Airport and Airplane Ready

Airport security can be stressful, especially when traveling with a baby. To make things easier, dress your baby in easily removable clothes and avoid bringing any liquids over 3.4 ounces. Keep all necessary documents, such as passports and boarding passes, easily accessible. And be prepared for additional screening, as the TSA may need to inspect baby items such as strollers and carriers.

Many airlines offer early boarding for families with young children. This is a great opportunity to get settled on the plane before other passengers start boarding. Take advantage of this time by getting your baby comfortable in their seat, organizing your items, and using the restroom if needed. This can help minimize stress and chaos when the plane is fully boarded.

If you have a layover during your trip, use this time to let your baby stretch their legs. Find a quiet corner or gate with plenty of space for your baby to crawl or play. Use this time to change diapers, feed your baby, and prepare for the next leg of your journey. This can also be a great time to let your baby take a nap before the next flight.

Happy baby grabbing his toes

Keep Your Baby Comfortable

During the journey, it’s essential to keep your baby comfortable. Avoid dressing your baby in tight clothes and opt for loose, comfortable clothing instead. Bring a lightweight blanket or swaddle to keep your baby warm during the flight. Consider bringing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to reduce the noise level for your baby. And don’t forget a favorite toy or comfort item to help soothe your baby during the trip.

Prepare for Breastfeeding

If your baby is still breastfeeding, remember to bring a portable breast pump and extra bottles to ensure a plentiful supply. Hygiene is crucial when dealing with baby feeding items, so consider bringing sanitizing steam bags for easy sterilization of pump parts and bottles. Keep in mind that airport security permits the carrying of reasonable quantities of breast milk, formula, and juice for your baby. If privacy is a concern while nursing, you may also want to pack a nursing cover. Planning ahead for your breastfeeding needs will make the journey smoother and more comfortable for both you and your baby.

Be Flexible and Patient

Traveling with a baby requires flexibility and patience. Things may not go exactly as planned, and that’s okay. Be prepared for delays or unexpected situations, such as flight changes or long lines at security. Remember to stay calm and be patient for the sake of your baby. Your positive attitude and demeanor will help keep your baby calm and happy during the journey.

Baby staring at Christmas tree lights while on a play mat

Enjoy Your Holiday

The most important thing is to enjoy your holiday with your family, including your little one. Don’t let the stress of traveling with a baby overshadow the joy of spending time together.

Additional Tips:

  • If possible, try to schedule your flights during your baby’s nap time or bedtime to increase the chances of them sleeping during the flight.
  • Bring along some snacks and drinks for yourself as well. A happy and well-fed parent makes for a happy baby.
  • Bring along a portable changing pad for quick and easy diaper changes on the go.
  • Consider bringing along a baby carrier or wrap instead of a stroller to save space and make navigating through crowds easier.
  • Don’t forget to pack any necessary medication for your baby, such as infant pain reliever or allergy medicine. Always consult with your doctor before traveling with medication for your baby. Happy and safe travels!

Traveling with a baby requires extra preparation, planning, and patience. By following these tips and advice, you can help make your holiday trip with your baby stress-free and enjoyable. From packing the right essentials to keeping your baby comfortable during the journey, we hope this blog post helps you prepare for a successful holiday trip with your little one. Safe travels!

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