With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, many of you will be traveling to spend the holidays with your friends and families. Whether you are traveling to your destination by car or airplane, taking an infant or small child with you can be stressful. Here are some helpful tips to keep your stress levels down and help you have a relaxing journey.
Tips for traveling by car
- One of the most important things you can do before you leave on your trip is to make sure your baby's car seat is properly installed. Guidelines for Utah can be found here.
- Plan to leave around the time your child usually takes a nap. This will ensure that your baby gets her sleep.
- An extra rear view mirror can give you an extra set of eyes when traveling alone. You can also travel with another adult or an older child who can be an extra set of hands while on the road.
- Bring a baby/small child specific first aid kit. A few examples of things that you can put inside include medicines, diaper rash cream, a thermometer, tweezers and a list of your child's doctors, allergies, and medical records.
- Pack a cooler full of snacks, baby food or breast milk and pre-filled sippy cups that can be grabbed easily.
- When it's time to feed your baby pull over and take him out of the car seat to avoid choking
- Avoid medications, drinks or food that might cause you to drive impaired. Don't drive if you are tired.
Tips for traveling by airplane
- Schedule your flight around your baby's sleeping schedule. It is likely that he will sleep through the flight and you might be able to catch up on some rest.
- Know your airline's rules about car seats and strollers. Most likely you will have to leave the stroller at the gate and some airlines require you to keep your child in your lap rather than his/her own seat (depending on age).
- Pick an aisle seat. If your baby is fussy or needs to be changed you can get in and out at your convenience. If you are traveling with another adult consider sitting across the aisle from each other rather than next to each other.
- Keep your ID readily available. If flying internationally make sure your baby has a passport.
- Diaper bag:
- Be armed with an arsenal of activities for your child. these can include coloring books, toys, stickers, a tablet with games or movies, picture books, etc. Keep items that you will need often at your feet. Sometimes turbulence will keep you in your seat the entire flight and having items readily accessible will be helpful,
- Giving your child a pacifier or something to eat at the beginning of the flight can combat the pressure that may build in your baby's ears.
Bonus Tip: pack your little ones clothing in gallon sized Ziploc bags. You can bag by outfit and have everything your little one needs right in one place. No more digging around your bag or forgetting things at home
What tips do you have for traveling with infants or small children?