8 Tips for Traveling With a Baby - Breastfeeding Edition

8 Tips for Traveling With a Baby - Breastfeeding Edition

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Are you planning a trip with your baby? If so, congrats! Trips with babies are so much fun. You get to spend quality time with them and soak in the sights of any given location. There will be less drinking (unless you’re cool like that), more family-friendly activities, and tons of Instagrammable moments. But before you pack up your bags, be sure to take these 10 tips into account when traveling with a baby. Whether you’ll be flying or driving, traveling with a baby comes with its own set of challenges. You need to make sure they’re comfortable, that they have everything they need like a car seat or stroller, and that they won’t be too hot or cold where ever you end up going.

Research your travel destination

Ask yourself - how will my baby react to the location? If they’ve never been to that part of the country, they might be too overwhelmed to fully enjoy the experience. Or they might be too tired out from the many flights or hours of driving. If you’re selecting a vacation spot within the U.S., make sure to look into the climate, as well as the average cost of things. If you’re flying, you’ll want to take into account how long the flight is, how old your baby is, and what airline you’ll be flying. If you’ll be flying with a baby under two years old, you’ll have to take them on your lap. If your baby is older than two, you’ll have to purchase a seat for them.

Make a packing checklist

Make a packing checklist for all the things you need for your baby. This will help you remember everything you’ll need for the trip. Depending on where you’re going, you’ll have to consider things like climate, your baby’s needs (food, diapers, etc.), and your baby’s schedule. If you’re traveling within the U.S., you might not need to bring a lot of clothes with you. If you’re going to a place with a different climate than what’s typical for your location, you’ll want to pack more clothes.

Find out if your baby needs a visa

If you’re traveling to a foreign country, find out if your baby needs a visa. You don’t want to be turned away at the border and have to turn around. If you don’t know where to start, try calling your local embassy. If your baby is less than one year old, you may be able to get a visa waiver if you’re visiting the U.S. If your baby is one or older, you’ll have to apply for a visa. Talk to the airline you’ll be flying to or the country you’ll be visiting to find out what you need to do.

Make a stroller strategy

How are you going to get your baby from point A to point B? Will you be renting a stroller? Bringing your own? Or will you be carrying them? It’s important to consider how you’ll be getting around to make sure that your baby is comfortable and safe. If you’re renting a car seat, make sure it’s a convertible car seat that can be used in multiple vehicles. This way, if you’re driving with friends or family members, they can use it too.

Ensure you have the right gear (stroller, car seat, etc.)

Are you bringing your own car seat or renting one? If you’re renting a car seat, make sure it’s FAA-approved. If you’re bringing your own car seat, make sure you’re bringing the adapter to make it work in rental cars. If you’re bringing your stroller, make sure it’s FAA-approved. This way, you can bring it as carry-on luggage. It’s helpful to bring two car seats when you’re traveling with a baby, in case of an emergency.

Bring headphones for yourself and your baby

If you’re traveling during a time when your baby should be sleeping, bring headphones to drown out the sounds of the plane or car. Bring headphones for yourself, too, so that you can watch your in-flight movie or listen to music without disturbing your baby. If you’re bringing headphones for your baby, make sure they have an on/off switch as well. You don’t want them accidentally turning the headphones on when they don’t mean to.

Take frequent stops and walks

If you’re driving a long distance, you’ll want to take frequent stops so that your baby can walk around and get their blood flowing again. If you’re flying, you’ll have to consider the length of the flight and how old your baby is. Depending on your baby’s age and how long you’ll be traveling, they could get either really cranky or really fussy. This is why it’s important to take frequent stops.

Don’t forget the food!

What are you going to feed your baby? If you’re breastfeeding, bring a breast pump. If you’re formula-feeding, bring travel-sized formula and bottles. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to consider how you’ll be getting your milk while you travel. Bring a cooler and ice packs so that you can keep your milk cold. If you don’t have a cooler or ice packs, find a freezer in your hotel or Airbnb and store your milk there. If you've been breastfeeding, it's important to keep and boost your milk supply while traveling so that your little one still gets the nutrients they need.

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