Infant Travel Tips
Infant Travel Tips
Most of the parents we interviewed mentioned how nervous they were to travel with their newborns. But they found that their trip was actually much easier than anticipated and that their little bundle slept through the plane flight or car trip to their destination.
Consider the Stroller
Your choice in stroller is best made by thinking about where you are going and how much walking you are going to do. For a quick plane trip to see family an inexpensive umbrella stroller is the best choice because it is light weight and if it gets damaged, it did not cost you too much. If you are going to site see a city with a lot of walking like New York or San Francisco, using a stroller with lots of storage will help keep your hands free. We recommend bringing a Jogging stroller with large wheels to European destinations like Rome or Austria because of the cobblestone walk ways. When flying, you can bring your stroller all the way to the gate, and the staff will check it for you there as you are boarding the plane. When you land it will be waiting for you outside the plane.
To buy a seat or have baby sit on your lap
Kids do fly free until age two, as long as they stay on your lap. You can ask at the ticket counter whether a seat is available on your flight so you can bring your baby's car seat onto the plane. If so, you can strap your baby safely in his/her car seat in the seat next to you. However, we find that most parents with infants prefer to hold them. As parents, it's your call as to what you decide to do.
Car Rental Info
You can rent car seats from car rental companies, but you have to check availability. You need to be very specific about the type of car seat you need, because the wrong sized car seat can pose a safety risk. Be sure to ask for an "infant car seat" when requesting one on the phone. We find that most parents traveling with their infants bring their infant carrier/car seat from home - an easier option.
Car Seat Safety
Selecting the right car seat is an important part of taking your child on any trip, especially when driving in unfamiliar cities. We have put together a comprehensive report to help you select the right car seat for your child! Here you will find all the facts you need to know concerning Rear-Facing Car Seats, Forward Facing Harnesses, as well as Booster Seats! Read the Car Seat Safety Report
The ears popping are the biggest concern parents have when traveling with their infants. Some things we as parents can do: nurse or bottle feed your baby when you notice air pressure changes in your own ears; most likely your baby is experiencing the same thing, this is the perfect time to, nurse, bottle feed or use the pacifier. Not just necessarily when you take off or land but when you notice air pressure changes in your ears. The last thing parents need is to run out of milk before you get off the ground during a long take off. You can ask your doctor about using ear numbing drops for your baby they can help balance osmotic pressure and also have a numbing and pain killing medicine in them.
Most likely your baby will sleep but, if he or she is alert, some fun new toys are always a hit.
Recommended Baby Gear for Happy Traveling:
Infant car seat & stroller
Baby sling or baby carrier (for navigating the airport)
Compact, diaper bag with a change of clothes, 3 diapers, and lots of wipes
Nursing pillow (bulky, but helpful on board)
Bottles with disposable liners
New toy and a few old favorites
Blankets & bedding for your hotel crib or bring your own play yard we love the Eddie Bauer Infant Travel Bed
Extra burp cloths (1-2 per day)
Plastic bags for soiled items
2-3 outfits per day (unless baby is very tidy)
Hotel Safety & Baby-Proofing Techniques
Baby Safe Travel is actively working with many hotel chains to improve infant safety in their hotel rooms. Look for hotels that are certified by Baby Safe Travel this means they have baby proof rooms available on request. If a certified hotel is not available at your destination you can use the rattle rating system and reviews left by other parents as a guide.
When traveling with your newborn, the main concern is where baby is going to sleep. You can use the hotels crib or pack 'n' play. But we recommend bringing your own bedding and mattress pad. Some hotels will bring you a pack 'n' play or crib with a king-sized sheet instead of a sheet that fits their crib. Using a large adult-sized sheet in a baby crib can pose a strangulation risk. To be on the safe side, bring your own mattress pad and fitted sheet in your bag. Some parents opt to bring their own play-yard from home.
Taxi & bus
If you happen to use an infant car seat you can buckle a seat belt through the seat belt holsters on the infant carseat itself. You do not need to bring your base with you. This is the best solution for taxi rides with an infant.
Some buses do have seat belts and some do not. You may want avoid riding a bus if at all possible or use one only if absolutely necessary.
International Travel with an infant:
We do not recommend long plane flights with an infant. However, if you have a long trip planned out of the country there are a few things you need to know. Your baby will need to have a passport. We recommend that you always buy a separate seat for your infant in these circumstances. We realize that is an expensive proposition, however, your baby will need to be able to sleep in his/her car seat so you can have a break and he can rest peacefully as well. Trying to hold a baby for that long of a period can be over stimulating and uncomfortable for your baby.
From the families we have interviewed that have traveled internationally with their baby they recommend that you keep your baby on his/her same schedule. That may mean you sleep until noon and stay up until 4am, but you are on vacation. If you expect your baby to adapt to their new destinations time frame that will take at least 4 days, if you are planning to stay at your destination for a long period of time than that is fine. However if you are planning for a week-long trip then your child will have to readjust to his schedule back home after your trip. That is a lot to ask of a baby. So like we said, that best plan is to keep them on their same schedule. This way, when you return home you can rest and not be up at night with a fussy and confused baby wondering why it’s not “party-time” at 2am.
Remember as the parents it's your responsibility to watch your children while on vacation. Please never leave your child unattended.