The Best Tips for Traveling with Baby by Plane and Car
As the holiday season approaches, you may find yourself growing increasingly anxious about traveling by car or plane with your baby. The truth is, it’s actually a lot easier than it seems--you’ll be a pro in no time!
Here’s some tips to help make your travel experience as stress-free as possible.
Traveling with Baby by Plane
Consider signing up for TSA pre-check. For $85 and a trip to do fingerprinting and submit a background check, you can stand in a shorter line and not have to remove shoes or coats or take out electronic devices. Cutting out this step can be hugely helpful when you’re short on hands as it is.
If you can, drive to the airport or have a family member or friend drop you off. Getting carseats in and out of cabs can be challenging--many don’t have the LATCH system that you may use in your car for a secure installation.
You can choose to check your carseat at the ticket counter or at the gate. If you’ll be bringing a stroller through the airport, you can check that at either location too too. If you opt to wear your baby, know that you can leave them strapped to you through security!
The 3 oz maximum liquid rule doesn’t apply for breast milk or formula--you can bring as much as you need through security.
Help your baby’s ears adjust to the pressure changes during takeoff and landing by offering your breast, a bottle, or a pacifier.
Don’t forget your baby’s birth certificate. Even if they are visibly under two (the age at which they can be a “lap baby” without a ticket), the airlines still like to see for security purposes.
If you’re worried about your baby being fussy, rest assured they will probably be soothed by sound and vibration of the engines. Just in case, you can consider bringing some goodie bags of snacks for the people sitting around you. Or, don't--many believe it's also totally okay to not apologize for having young children!
Traveling with Baby By Car
If you have flexibility with travel times, try to drive during your baby’s longest stretch of sleep. For my family, this has often meant a lot of night time travel, but the peace of mind of knowing the baby would sleep made the trip less stressful and enabled us to get there faster.
Tis the season for bulky snowsuits. Remember these aren’t safe for carseats. A thin bunting or coat--such as that made of fleece--is appropriate, or you can just cover your baby with blankets. For long trips, it’s often better to use blankets so you have more control over what comes on and off if your baby is warmer or cooler than expected.
Universal pacifier clips, such as the ones Madeline’s Box sells, can also be used to clip toys to your baby’s car seat so things don’t drop out of reach.
Books on tape can help pass the time for you with an extra benefit of being soothing and sleep-inducing for babies.