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Traveling with a baby can be really stressful. I have a lot of experience traveling with infants and toddlers and I totally didn’t do it right the first couple times. As a mom who has been there and done that, I teamed up with Huggies to share some travel tips to help other new moms.
My first trip with my son wasn’t too bad, but my second trip with him was a nightmare! He cried nearly the entire time. The Southwest Flight Attendant had to carry him while walking around the plane to soothe him. I can’t even tell you how thankful I was for her that day. I was on the verge of tears several times and she literally saved me from a breakdown. Given my experience traveling with a baby, I feel like I have a good handle on what you need to bring to make the trip go well. Here are the 7 things you need to bring when traveling with a baby.
1. Invest in a Versatile Diaper Bag
To start, you need a big, roomy and lightweight diaper bag. Preferably, you will find one that is spill and leak proof. I love this bag because it is super stylish. Since it is so fashionable, I enjoy carrying it. It also has long enough shoulder straps that I can wear it slung over my shoulder comfortably. It is made of easily cleanable material and includes a small changing pad right in the front. I also love that it has little side slip pockets. The pockets are perfect for sippy cups, bottles or even small toys. The easy access is perfect to grab something quickly. Just imagine the ease of grabbing a rattle to entertain your baby while going through the security line.
2. Tote a Baby Carrier, NOT a Stroller
If you are traveling alone, I highly suggest you wear your baby rather than keep him or her in a stroller. If you are traveling with another adult or an older child who can assist with a stroller then you can bring one. I would still suggest you bring a carrier too. When I flew with my son when he was an infant, it was only me traveling with him. A carrier made the trips go so much better.
There are several reasons why I think carriers are better. First, your baby will feel more comfortable being close to you. Second, it makes going through security and getting on the plane way easier. Dealing with breaking down a stroller when you also have to carry your baby and a diaper bag is a major pain and also stressed me out. I liked having my son in his carrier so that I could get right on the plane. I was still able to carry a bag on my shoulder without having to worry about checking a stroller at the gate. Wearing a carrier also means your hands are free to do other things, like roll a carry-on behind you or even grab something for your child while walking. If you have a stroller, it is bulky and difficult to maneuver at the airport.
3. Take Quality Diapers & Wipes
Another must-have is a whole lot of diapers and wipes. I always preferred to carry Huggies Newborn and Huggies Little Snugglers Plus diapers because they are super soft and absorbent. Also, they have the wetness indicator which changes color when it’s time to change your baby’s diaper. As a new mom, I was always unsure of when to change my son, so having the wetness indicator was so helpful to me. Plus, I knew he was comfortable because of the cushiony layer on the inside of the diaper that is breathable and soft. Also, the Huggies are super absorbent and locked in the wetness so we didn’t have to worry about leaks on the plane or on longer car rides.
If you’re traveling with your newborn, you should check out the Huggies Newborn packs, which are a great value and only available at Costco. I ordered mine at Costco.com and I was super excited to see they include wipes and a stylish carrying case for the wipes that fit perfectly in the front pocket of my diaper bag. This is a great time to check out the Huggies Newborn Packs ($5 off through 9/25) and the Huggies Little Snugglers Plus sizes 1 and 2 ($6 off through 9/25). You can save money plus get free shipping and they are only available at Costco.
4. Bring Favorite Toys & Books
If there is one thing you need, it’s a good set of toys and books to entertain your child. As my kids got older, a mini DVD player replaced the toys and books that worked so well when they were infants. If you’re traveling with a baby, I would be sure to have several little toys they like. This is NOT the time to try new toys or books. Bring ones you know they like and that keep them entertained for awhile. The first time I traveled with my son, I bought him new little toys, thinking he’d like them. They were total busts and then I was stuck without any toys he enjoyed. I’ve since learned my lesson and now I only bring things I know he will love, like his favorite books and smaller toys. I would suggest a combination of rattles, books, a noise-making toy (as long as it’s not too loud!) and other chew toys your infant loves. As my son got older, he loved reading books over and over again. I brought a few of his favorites that I knew I could read several times without driving myself crazy. Moms, you know what I’m saying.
5. Pack Extra Snacks & Drinks
Assuming your baby is more than 6 months, snacks can keep him or her entertained for awhile. I would bring little containers of cereal, small crackers, packets of applesauce and other small easily transportable snacks for your child to enjoy. If your infant is nursing, you’ve got your drinks built right in. If your child is old enough to have other drinks, or you use formula like I did, bring at least two bottles and/or sippy cups. I had a tough time breast feeding, so I had to bring a lot of formula with me. I used those small snack-sized zip top bags to portion out the formula. Then it was simple to dump into the bottles and add water. If your child needs to drink milk or juice, most airports will allow you to take the drinks since they are for infants or toddlers. If not, you should be able to find the drinks once you get through security.
6. Carry Extra Clothing & Shoes
If your infant is anything like mine, you will be changing his clothes several times each day. My son spit-up constantly (I wonder if that’s why he’s such a picky eater?). All the spitting up meant I was changing him a lot. Plus, I had to carry a lot of burp clothes, blankets, and bibs. I would suggest bringing at least two full outfits as well as socks and an extra pair of shoes or booties. It is always good to be over-prepared. You don’t want your child sitting in spit-up or spilled drink. If you have the room, you might even want to bring an extra shirt for yourself. Another option is to wear a layer under your shirt so you can remove your shirt if your baby spits up on you.
7. Cart Lightweight Blankets
If you’re traveling with a newborn, you might want to swaddle him or her. Swaddling can create a comfortable environment. Even if you don’t swaddle your baby, you should bring a couple blankets along. They can be used to keep your child warm, as a burp cloth, as a barrier between the ground at the airport, or a nursing cover. I always brought light-weight blankets that were multi-taskers so I could use them in a variety of ways.
I hope these 7 things you need when traveling with a baby will help make your next trip go more smoothly. Traveling with a baby can be a lot to handle, but if you pack right, it is definitely doable.