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My tried and true baby travel tips!

Traveling with your baby can be a very stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be!

With a little preparation, traveling can be fun and relaxing for both parents and baby alike.

After many trips during my son’s first year – I estimate about 30 nights in 4 different states – I have nailed down some tips for traveling with a baby.

I have learned to lower my expectations for the trip and increase my expected travel time. I’ve also learned to plan ahead and pack a few extra items to make the trip a little easier.

Adapt your Scheduled Travel Time

Lowering expectations on how quickly we will get to our destination was a huge game changer on being less stressed when traveling.

We routinely drive about 3.5 hours to visit my in-laws. But, with a baby I needed to understand that we would need to stop along the way to bottle feed and change diapers.

Once I lowered my expectations and planned on 4.5 hours or more of travel time, I was much less stressed trying to beat the clock.

Similarly, we recently flew via plane and did NOT consider how long it would take to unload a baby, lug our multiple bags through the airport, through security, stop for lunch, etc. We almost missed our flight!

This definitely taught me that with a baby we needed to plan to arrive earlier since it would take longer to get to the gate.

Plan Ahead

Once I started traveling with my baby I quickly learned that I would have to lower my expectations on the amount of actives we could fit into a day.

Pre-baby, my husband and I would wake up and get an early start on our day full of activities.

After baby I learned that it is important to plan ahead and schedule the days around his normal nap times (read more about our 4 month, 6 month, and 10 month nap schedules).

We normally try to do at least 1-2 good naps at our rental house or hotel and can be on the go for the rest. Finding a good balance has made vacations so much more enjoyable!

Additionally, I had to learn that bedtime is important even on vacation, so we try hard not to stay out too late (at least not every night). We also try to stick to our bedtime routine while on vacation as well!

Book the right venue

If your budget allows, try to book a hotel suite with multipe rooms or a rental house.

This allows us to stay up later after our son goes to bed. It also helps him sleep better, because he is used to sleeping in his own dark room with a sound machine.

It is also so helpful during nap time to be able to get up and move around and not be stuck in a dark room with your baby.

Bring the Right Gear!

Bringing the right baby gear is so important when traveling. Its also important not to over-pack, which can be equally as stressful as not brining enough. Below is my go-to list when traveling with my son.

  • My NUMBER ONE travel gear is black garbage bags for black-out curtains! This is a game changer for getting baby to sleep on vacation.
  • Travel Trolley – if you are flying with a travel carseat, I recommend a travel trolley to carry the carseat through the airport!
  • Travel Carseat – if you are traveling via plane, I recommend this lightweight carseat. There are no bells and whistles, but it is great for flying!

Things from Home

Not only is it important to bring the right travel gear, but it is also important to bring the right items from home that you use every day.

This list is not all inclusive, but includes some important things that are always on my packing list.

  • Extra Paci’s (if you are past the paci stage, pat yourself on the back!)
  • Lovies for sleep (if you baby uses them)
  • Video Monitor
  • Health Items – tylenol, thermometer, toothbrush
  • Snacks! (Especially important for plane rides or long car rides)
  • Toys – I try hard not to overpack toys as they can take up so much room. I try to hide a few toys for a few weeks before our trip so that they seem “new” to our son.

Thank for stopping by!