Traveling with a newborn can be a dream or a nightmare. With a little bit of forethought, planning, and careful consideration, new parents will be prepared to go anywhere with that sweet, new bundle of joy.
1. Sleep is Important
When there’s a newborn at home, one thing becomes extremely clear: sleep is important. Sleep, in fact, maybe the most important thing ever these days because there’s probably not a lot of it. When deciding to travel with a newborn, you are essentially planning to lose some more sleep. While an adult may be prepared for that sleep loss, a little baby should be able to sleep anywhere.
Bringing a travel crib like the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Easy Go, for example, will help ease those sleepy eyes. Since travel cribs are lightweight and can be set up almost anywhere, they make the perfect traveling companion.
2. Buy That Extra Seat
If traveling by air, children under the age of two normally fly for free. If flying on a longer trip or traveling with a newborn alone, do everyone a favor and buy an extra seat. It will make traveling so much easier in the long run.
The baby’s car seat won’t have to be checked because it will buckle in. When in the air, the baby can snooze in the car seat instead of being held the whole way. Mom and dad may even get to go to the bathroom alone, which may have been rare since the day your first child was born.
3. Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks (For Mum and Dad)
New moms and dads tend to over-prepare for all of the things that newborns may throw their way, but they forget themselves. It’s totally normal to be focusing on a newborn during travel, in fact, you probably won’t be focused on much else, but it is important to take care of yourself too!
Pack some snacks and bring plenty of water (especially if breastfeeding). Getting hungry and dehydrated on a long trip makes a miserable time for everyone.
4. Pack That Diaper Bag the Smart Way
The diaper bag will serve as a best friend while traveling with an infant. Traveling is a germy business. No one wants to risk having their newborn get sick, so pack the diaper bag correctly. Bring more diapers than you think are needed for the trip. Plan for one diaper change an hour, and then pack the rest in the suitcase.
Make sure to have the changer pad, wet wipes (for the baby), disinfectant wipes (for surfaces around the baby), and hand sanitizer (if worse comes to worst and it isn’t possible to change the diaper in a bathroom). Make sure to pack at least two additional outfits for the baby and an extra top for mom.
5. Feeding Accessories
Is the baby breast or bottle feeding? There are travel plans for both. If the baby is breastfeeding, no extra supplies are needed, but it is important to make sure that mom is drinking enough water. The body can’t make milk if it’s dehydrated.
Take care of yourself! If the baby bottle feeding, make sure to pack extras of everything. Bottles will inevitably be lost along the way, as well as binkies, bottle brushes, and bottle tops. Pack two or three bottles in the diaper bag plus formula for more feedings, and then pack the extra formula in a checked bag for later.
6. Comforting Items
More often than not, the biggest comfort item a new baby has are mom and dad. However, packing little extras like a snuggly blanket or the teething toy can be comforting for the baby as well. Don’t go hog wild in this arena, as the chances are at least one item on the trip will be lost, so the fewer unnecessary items the better.
Many small babies enjoy toys that attach to their car seats. Some toys make music or vibrate, and those sounds and movements help to soothe babies when they have to be in their seats longer than they’d like to be. Don’t forget to have a handy car seat organizer like the ones from LussoGear.com to store your baby’s items during your trip; keeping your vehicle neat and tidy in no time
7. Don’t Forget the Car Seat
The car seat is essential when plan on taking the baby anywhere. Unless you’ve planned an all hiking trip to someplace that doesn’t have cars, a car seat is essential. As previously mentioned, buying an extra seat on the plane ensures that there will be a great place to store the car seat while the baby dozes. If the plans don’t include flying, then this isn’t as much of an issue, since the car seat is already strapped into a car.
Forgetting this essential item will be an expensive mistake, as no one can legally drive with a baby in a car without one, so you’ll have to figure out how to get to the nearest baby store to buy a brand new car seat. Sometimes, the weight of the seat is a source of worry. Manufacturers do make travel car seats, so read the reviews and check out the weight limits for traveling seats. Some are not meant for newborns.
8. Wear the Baby
Babywearing is the traveling mama’s best friend. You will notice almost immediately when taking off for somewhere new that you no longer have the correct number of arms to function as a normal adult. There are simply too many things to carry. Babywearing helps to solve that problem. Well, it at least gives mom or dad two arms to work with even if there’s still a lot to carry!
There are a wide variety of baby carriers on the market and everyone seems to have a preference. Read lots of reviews and buy a few to try out before the planned trip. There are many babywearing clubs that will teach the ins and outs of this art. Sometimes, if the group is local, they have a lending closet so you can try a carrier out before buying.