Holiday Travel with Baby
Oil and water. Rainy days and picnics. Hot date nights and headaches. There are some things that just don’t go together, and it would be understandable if you’d want to put holiday travel with baby in that same category! With some thorough advance planning and a willingness to be flexible however, you can set the stage for a travel season that you can look back on fondly – and gain some valuable skills that will serve you well as your baby grows.
Whether you’re hopping in the car for a road trip or heading to the airport, detailed planning is essential.
First, let’s get some non-baby jobs out of the way. If you’re traveling for a gift-giving celebration, consider whether you can ship presents ahead or have them mailed directly from online vendors. Do you have pets that need accommodations? Do you need a house sitter to bring in your mail or water the plants? Consider this your year to take a pass on bringing along food to share with the clan and bow out of other tasks and responsibilities that someone else can step up to. Your mantra should be SIMPLIFY.
Now, let’s talk baby. Chances are you’ve already taken some trips on your own and know the drill, so make planning for your baby’s needs your priority. Next time you’re sitting and feeding baby, use a free hand and a pencil or start dictating a list that you’ll refer back to.
The most important single item you need to carry with you is a diaper bag stocked with more things than you think you’ll need!
Delays and slowdowns are common, so be ready for that 8-hour airport wait or a traffic jam heading through the city. If you’re using formula, this is the time for ready-use bottles. Pack extra changes of clothes for baby and a shirt for yourself in the event of diaper blowouts or impressive vomit displays. Throw in protein bars for yourself; you’re going to need energy! Some parents keep their wallets in the diaper bag for easy access and security. Think through every aspect of your travel day, and run it by your partner or a friend to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Plane? Train? Automobile?
If you are flying or taking other commercial transportation, check with your carrier to make sure you understand their car seat requirements, as well as other luggage fees or restrictions. While bringing along a car seat on the plane can seem overwhelming, it is the safest way for baby to travel. (Have questions? We just so happen to have a CPST on-hand to advise on all your car seat conundrums!)
Traveling by car? Map out your route to include lots of extra stops for your little one to get out of the car seat for a good stretch.
When you feel secure about your newborn’s travel needs, you’re most of the way there! Finish up with your own packing needs, double check your lists, do another mental run through of your day-to-day requirements, and pat yourself on the back. If you’re feeling like you could use a hand with everything that’s weighing on you, consider utilizing a professional postpartum doula to assist with your wellbeing and your baby’s needs during this hectic time.
You may be feeling like you cannot take on any tasks other than just getting through your days right now, and that’s understandable! Doulas of Baltimore can provide you with expert care to give you the physical and emotional support to get you through this exciting but overwhelming time. If you can take your planning one step at a time and prepare yourself to get through your travels with optimism and a touch of humor, you will find that holidays and newborns go together like hot cider and gingerbread!