Traveling during the holidays can be a challenging endeavor for grown ups on their own! The addition of an infant into the mix introduces a whole new set of considerations and needs. However, with proper planning and a few tips under your belt, holiday travel with your little one can be a more manageable and even enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help new parents navigate holiday travel.
Booking Your Trip
- Choose the Right Time: When booking flights, consider your baby’s routine. Flights that align with nap times can make for smoother travel.
- Seating Arrangements: If possible, book a seat with extra legroom or a bassinet option for long flights. This can make a significant difference in your and your baby's comfort.
- Checklist is Key: Create a checklist of all baby essentials including diapers, wipes, clothes, and feeding supplies. Don’t forget about medications and a first-aid kit.
- Carry-On Necessities: Pack more diapers and outfits than you think you’ll need in your carry-on, along with snacks, a favorite toy, and a blanket for comfort. Our new Carolina Cardigan is great for soothing and snuggling with an over-stimulated baby. Plus, it will keep you warm on chilly flights. You may want to pack a change of outfit for yourself as well in case of diaper blow-outs that end up on you.
Navigating the Airport
- Know the Rules: Baby food, formula, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces and are not subject to the same restrictions as other liquids.
- Prepare for Screening: Have your baby’s items easily accessible for screening. Wearing your baby in a sling can make going through security easier.
Waiting for the Flight
- Find a Quiet Spot: Airports can be overwhelming for infants. Look for a quiet area or a family lounge for a more peaceful wait.
- Keep Baby Engaged: Bring a new toy or book to keep your little one entertained and calm.
On the Plane
Comfort and Feeding
- Feed During Takeoff and Landing: This helps in equalizing the baby’s ear pressure and can reduce discomfort due to altitude changes.
- Comfort Items: A familiar blanket or toy can help soothe your baby in the unfamiliar environment.
Dealing with Crying
- Stay Calm: Babies often sense and react to your stress. Stay calm and composed.
- Walking and Rocking: If it’s safe to move around, a gentle walk or rock can help calm a fussy baby.
At Your Destination
- Stick to Routines: Try to maintain your baby's feeding and sleeping schedule to minimize disruptions and fussiness.
- Be Prepared for Different Climates: Pack appropriate clothing and gear if you’re traveling to a different climate.
- Safe Sleeping Space: Ensure there’s a safe place for your baby to sleep. Consider a portable crib or travel bassinet.
- Baby-Proofing: Do a quick safety check and baby-proofing of your accommodation upon arrival.
Flexibility and Patience
Remember that despite the best-laid plans, traveling with an infant can be unpredictable. Delays, missed naps, and unexpected situations are part of the journey. Flexibility and patience are your best allies. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed, whether it's from airline staff or fellow travelers.
While holiday travel with an infant might seem daunting, it’s definitely manageable with the right approach. By planning ahead, staying flexible, and keeping your baby’s needs at the forefront, you can make your holiday travel a memorable and enjoyable experience for your whole family. Remember, this is a wonderful opportunity to create new memories with your little one, embracing the adventures that come with parenthood. Safe travels!