Essential tips (and gear) for traveling with baby
A vacation with baby may seem like an oxymoron, but fear not, it CAN be done. Here are some of our favorite travel tips, for when baby's coming along for the family vacay.
Sleep Options for On-the-Go
Getting baby to sleep in a strange place can be a challenge. When vacationing, your schedule is different and baby’s surroundings are different; that can be a recipe for long nights. We recommend adding a playard or sleeper to your travel checklist. Not only can these be a familiar place for baby to sleep comfortably, it also beats traveling with a cumbersome baby crib and prevents you from having to rely on a hotel or relative to provide a safe crib. The Smart and Simple Deluxe Playard™ from Ingenuity is a great travel companion for baby because it includes a changing table, a DreamCentre™ for newborns, a bassinet for older babies, and a play area for toddlers. It comes with a durable travel bag, auto-locking wheels and machine-washable fabrics.
Another option for peaceful naps and nights is a portable sleeper like the Moonlight Auto Rock Sleeper™. This sleeper easily folds and rocks automatically – which is nice when you need to put baby to bed, but need a few hands-free moments. The frame is super lightweight and the fabrics are machine-washable.
Parenting.com suggests that, “If you're bringing a portable travel bed, have your baby sleep in it for a few nights before you leave. That way, it will feel like a familiar, comfy spot to go night-night on vacation.”
Tips for Traveling with Baby by Plane
One of the most essential tips for traveling with baby is to dress baby for quick and easy diaper changes! We know you want baby to look cute when you’re out – especially if baby is meeting friends and relatives for the first time – but it’s not easy to juggle your baby’s cute outfit with the extra snaps, diaper bag, and carry-on bag on a public changing table. Remember to bring an extra blanket or changing pad, (we like the Cool Wazoo 4-in-1 Neoprene Cart Cover) and above all, a change of clothes. And keep in mind that not all airplanes have changing tables, so change in the airport before you board.
Preferences change when baby comes along. Alice Callahan from The Science of Mom suggests,“When booking plane tickets, if you have a choice between a 30-minute or 90-minute layover, choose 90. My husband and I were never scared of tight connections when it was just the two of us, but we need more time now to change diapers, stock up on snacks, and play. Get to the gate early and blow off some steam. Even a young baby can benefit from stretching out on a blanket in between flights. Wakeful time at the gate can optimize nap-time on the plane.”
Traveling with Baby by Car
One thing that’s essential to add to your traveling with baby checklist is some new toys or interactive books that baby has never seen before. New toys and books will hold baby’s interest longer. Books with lift-the-flap pages or textures can help keep baby engaged. We love these books from Mary Meyer with Taggies tags to keep little hands busy.
Baby Einstein’s Take-a-Long Tunes™ is a consistent bestseller on Amazon.com. This musical toy offers 7 classical melodies along with a high, low and off volume switch. Babies are entertained by the dancing lights and the ability to toggle through the songs. For a quieter option, look for the Roller Pillar Activity Balls™ from Baby Einstein. Each one of these interactive little balls offer up a unique activity and they fit beautifully in a diaper bag or purse.
Staying in a Hotel with Baby
When traveling with a baby or toddler, choose a hotel that offers a free breakfast. Even if it costs a few extra dollars, the convenience of eating at your hotel is worth it. It’s so much easier to get the kids downstairs for breakfast than driving to a restaurant first thing in the morning. And, they can even go downstairs in their PJs – an experience little kids will love.
When it comes to traveling with a baby or toddler, Popsugar.com recommends, “Like everywhere else you go, go with snacks. This is especially important in a hotel room, because otherwise a moment of desperation will leave you shelling out $10 for a bag of Goldfish from the minibar.”
Other Gear that Makes Traveling with Baby Easier
A playard or sleeper is just the beginning. What about meal times? We think the SmartClean™ Toddler Booster is a great way to bring little ones to the table, even on-the-go. This little booster is super small and packable, but extra comfy and cleanable thanks to the unique foam seat pad. And for younger babies, opt for the Baby Base 2-in-1™ seat that goes from floor to dining chair (with straps that attach for safety) and includes a tray that brilliantly stores underneath the seat. Again the foam seat pad provides comfort and easy clean ups. Both come in great color choices like slate, lime, aqua, magenta, mango and mint!
If you’re really concerned about keeping a fussy baby happy during your trip, we highly recommend the PowerAdapt Portable Swing. Don’t let the size fool you – this little swing is loaded with features parents love including an AC power adapter so you won’t have to pack heavy batteries. And, it folds in a snap for easy transport
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