The holidays are finally here
That means plenty of family gatherings to bring you back and forth across county and state lines this season, with your new baby in tow.
Holiday travel is challenging enough as one adult, a whole family including a new baby isn't for the faint of heart. Traveling with your baby can become stressful pretty quick, making your journey over the river and through the woods to grandma's house an adventure you're dreading.
A little extra preparation goes a long way when it comes to traveling with baby.
Packing a complete diaper bag might be the most stressful part of holiday traveling. Instead of overthinking your baby supplies, consider what will be available at your destination that you probably don't need to pack. You should bring at least two outfits for baby per day and plenty of diapers, wipes, bottles and extra pacifiers. Keeping a separate bag next to you in the car will keep certain items easily accessible like a diaper, wipes, hand sanitizer and water.
Keep your bag organized so you aren't left rummaging through a cluttered diaper bag one handed. Packing your baby outfits in separate baggies will keep them clean in case something spills inside the bag and keeps tiny socks and accessories from getting lost.
Long Car Rides
Car rides are boring for everyone, including your baby. Pack toys or distractions for baby to stay occupies that aren't too big or soft that could create a suffocation risk. Take turns spending some time in the back seat with baby keeping them company. Bring some stories to read to your baby on long car rides and keep your emergency bag nearby for any unexpected messes. If you can, travel during times your baby is normally sleepy to keep them from waking up cranky when you finally arrive at your destination. Before the big departure, make sure your baby's window is equipped with a sun shade and your car seat is installed correctly. Babies should be in rear-facing car seats until about age two, which definitely makes it easier to tend to them while you're in the back seat and they're buckled in.
Navigating an airport with your baby might be an expert level parenting exercise, whether you're ready or not. TSA has a way of making air travel a little more complicated, however they do have some accommodations that will make checkpoints with baby a little easier on parents. That being said, plan to incorporate some extra time into your schedule for TSA checks, because your baby items must be meticulously inspected by security. Keep your baby's carry on organized, nothing in the basket under your stroller, and your baby dressed in easy to remove footwear. Freezing baby food puree flat in little labeled baggies can also double as ice packs in your diaper bag. Make sure your little one has their pacifier, bottle or nursing during takeoff because little ones are more sensitive to changes in cabin pressure.
Traveling with your baby is nothing to panic about.
Don't rush, take your time, and roll with the punches.
Don't sweat the small stuff, the more upset you get the more fussy your baby will be throughout your holiday experience.