Traveling with a Baby or Infant: All You Need to Know

    Traveling with a Baby or Infant: All You Need to Know
    Published 21 June 2019
    Fact Checked
    Marina Savchenko, MD
    Reviewed by Marina Savchenko, MD, Pediatric Neurologist, Medical Consultant at Flo
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    Traveling with your baby, particularly at first, can be nerve-wracking for parents. This article provides some advice for making travel with your baby far more enjoyable and much less stressful.

    Traveling with a baby: everything's possible!

    Just because you have a young baby doesn't mean you have to stay at home. Why not take that vacation you have been looking forward to? In fact, traveling with an infant can sometimes be easier than with older children. There are other advantages as well. An infant doesn't need a separate bedroom, they can often sit on your lap with no added cost, they don't eat much, and they aren't likely to disagree with the itinerary.

    How old does a baby have to be to fly?

    It is always best to ask your child's pediatrician about traveling with your baby and how old they need to be to fly. Many airlines state in their regulations that an infant can sit on an adult's lap for no additional charge as long as the baby is between two weeks and two years old.

    Most professionals will suggest that you start small when traveling with a baby. Take a short flight to see how your baby reacts and move on from there. Remember, you will have to follow the same restrictions at the airport regarding checking in, packing, and carry-ons. Airlines allow parents to take a certain amount of formula or breast milk on board.

    Is traveling with an infant safe?

    Traveling with your baby is no more dangerous than driving to the grocery store or doctor's office. Just keep in mind that not all places will be appropriate for a new baby. Your baby is not fully immunized until they are about two years old, and travel to certain areas may be a little riskier as a result. Depending on the destination, international travel with your baby might need to wait.

    National or international travel with babies: be prepared

    When the time comes for an international flight or excursion with your baby, be prepared. Here is a list of advice from seasoned travelers with children.

    Bring a favorite toy

    Never leave home without the baby's favorite toy or blanket. This is an excellent source of comfort for your baby, and it could be a lifesaver in stressful moments. The last thing you want is to look for a new one!

    Pack some snacks

    Travel can be long and tedious for babies and small children. There isn't always time to sit down and eat a meal between flights or find a kid-friendly restaurant on the road. Always bring snacks along for you and your baby. Many airports sell quick bites like a banana or a bottle of water for formula. When driving, you can pack just about anything that you have room for.

    Stay hydrated

    When you are traveling, don't forget to hydrate. It can be easy to forget that you and your baby need to drink plenty of fluids while traveling. Be sure to either buy or pack a variety of drinks for everyone to choose from.

    Pack some extra clothing

    If you are traveling for the day, pack at least one change of clothes and plenty of diapers for your baby. If you are nursing or have a baby that is prone to spitting up, you might want to pack an extra outfit for you as well. You never know what you might experience and don't want to be uncomfortable for the rest of your trip.

    Have diapers ready

    Always have several diapers on hand along with wipes and a change of clothes. Babies do not have much to do when traveling other than eating and drinking. This can keep them occupied when you are waiting in line or comfort them when they are sleepy. However, the more babies eat and drink, the more they will need diaper changes.

    Keep your baby interested

    Pack plenty of things that will keep your baby interested and occupy their time while traveling. Pack a variety of toys and books that you know they like and some new items that will catch their attention.

    Know if you need any vaccinations

    Most adults have been sufficiently vaccinated for international travel. Babies, on the other hand, may be too young to have received enough vaccines. Depending on the destination, your baby might not be sufficiently vaccinated for the country you want to visit. Start off by traveling to countries with a similar immunization schedule and no epidemics. You can always ask your doctor for recommendations.

    3 useful things you might need when traveling with a baby 

    Here are three things to consider bringing on your next trip.

    Baby travel system

    A baby travel system typically includes a stroller and infant car seat that can double as a seat for your baby while waiting or sleeping. These can be essential when traveling with an infant. You have a free hand and can tuck small travel items into the carrier.

    Baby travel sleeper

    A baby travel sleeper is a portable baby bed and playpen combination. It will not only give your baby a place to sleep at night (not all hotels offer cribs), but also keep older babies safe and contained while you are busy with other tasks.

    Baby traveling bag

    Pack a bag specifically for your baby when you are traveling. This will be especially helpful when you need to locate diapers, wipes, or a change of clothes. Having a baby bag ensures that everything you need for your baby is in one place at all times. This bag can also hold bottles, sippy cups, toys, and any other essential items your baby may need.

    Traveling with a baby can be a rewarding experience for you and them. It's normal for babies to get fussy during flights or unexpected delays, so try not to let it stress you out. The more you travel with your baby, the more opportunities you give them to explore the world and become seasoned travelers.

    History of updates

    Current version (21 June 2019)
    Reviewed by Marina Savchenko, MD, Pediatric Neurologist, Medical Consultant at Flo
    Published (21 June 2019)

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