The secrets to stress-free travel with an infant

November 6, 2014

Planning a family vacation with your little one? If you're lucky your child is a happy traveller, but that's not always the case. Here are some tips that can make travelling with an infant easier, so you can arrive at your destination eager – not exhausted – for your holiday.

The secrets to stress-free travel with an infant

Pack the necessities

When it comes to your infant, it's best not to rely on purchasing what you need while you're travelling. You may not have access to a store or find the products you need right when you need them. Since babies aren't known for being very patient, be sure to pack the following supplies:

  • Diapers
  • Soothers
  • Changes of clothes for you and baby
  • Toys, including old favourites and new ones
  • Formula, baby food and snacks
  • Blankets
  • Burp cloths

If you run out of baby wipes, you can always use wet paper towels for diaper changes, but it's difficult to replace a soother or formula.

Consider sleeping arrangements

It's difficult enough to survive an extended car trip or flight with an infant. Whether you're staying at a hotel or the home of relatives, your baby might have a hard time adjusting to the new surroundings.

  • To help your baby fall asleep in a new place, bring familiar objects along to provide comfort.

A white noise machine can also be very effective for soothing nervous babies to help them sleep.

  • If you forget to bring your white noise machine, you can replicate the sound by turning the radio to static or downloading a white noise app onto your phone.

This technique of using white noise is most effective if your infant already associates it with night time, so it helps to introduce the habit at home before the trip begins.

Other ways to keep baby happy

You want your baby to be happy on the road and in the air. Fortunately, knowing how to travel with an infant is usually just a matter of thinking ahead and bringing the right supplies.

  • You should schedule the flight or car trip during your baby's normal sleeping hours, whenever possible. The white noise of the plane or car, along with gentle rocking motion, will often put your child to sleep.
  • In order for your baby to sleep as long as possible, you'll need to find a position that's most comfortable for your child. In a car, that's usually in a certified car seat as mandated by law. If travelling by plane, phone the airline to see what arrangements that have for younger children.

If your baby is having a hard time going to sleep, you can try nursing or bottle-feeding.

  • If you can get your child to accept a soother, that might make it even easier to help him or her stay calm during your trip.

Travelling with an infant can be a challenge, but remember not to get impatient if baby fusses. After all, your baby doesn't understand what's going on and changes in routine tend to throw babies off. And frankly, who's on their best behaviour when they feel out of sorts? With a bit of planning and preparation, though, there's every reason your trip will go smoothly.

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