The prospect of traveling with little ones can often feel daunting for parents, but with a little bit of preparation and a peek behind the curtain at some little tricks, you’ll feel more prepared for the next adventure with your tiny jet setter.
Check out these hacks to make traveling with little ones under two much less intimidating.
1. Bring a first aid kit.
First aid might not be something you would immediately think about when traveling, but having a little kit on hand can be quite handy. Stock up on the essentials like bandages, hand sanitizer, etc. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Sit apart on flights.
If you happen to be traveling with a co-parent, friend, or relative, consider booking your seats separately. This will give you the option to take turns occupying your little one. It will help you both get breaks throughout the flight (and those sitting near you as well) and will provide your baby with a much needed change in scenery.
3. Gate-check your stroller.
I highly recommend bringing a stroller along when flying. It’s a great way to keep your child contained while killing time before your flight, as well as for carting all of your loose carry-on items before your flight. Stuff your purse, water bottle, snacks, etc. in that bottom basket to free up your hands in a snap! You can check your stroller at the gate (for free) when you board the plane.
4. Get a window seat.
If you are flying, sitting near the window will be really helpful if you plan to nurse your baby, because it will offer you a bit more privacy while nursing next to strangers. It will also keep your carry-on items more contained (i.e. not falling into the aisles) while you rifle around for your favorite baby distractions.
5. Encourage drinking during take-off and landing.
The air pressure on flights is rough on little ears, so many parents recommend nursing during take-off and landing to alleviate the discomfort. This also works with a pacifier, a baby bottle, sippy cup, or a cup with a straw. The sucking motion will help with ear pressure build-up. I have tried the recommendation of giving my little ones a lollipop during take-off and landing once they were no longer nursing, but it wasn’t very effective and created a sticky mess, so I don’t recommend it. Drinking water was much more helpful.
6. Always bring a wet bag.
I cannot tell you how many times a wet bag has saved me while traveling with little ones. Unexpected spills and diaper disasters are bound to happen, and the wet bag is the perfect place to store things until you can properly clean or dispose of them. If you are flying, then this will be a much appreciated item by your flight mates who will be spared of unpleasant smells – the wet bag will keep it all under wraps!
7. Pack and label items in plastic zippered bags.
Babies have many supplies, and it can be a bit of a nightmare if you have to rifle around and make a mess to find what you’re looking for, so make your life easier by packing items in plastic zippered bags. Store diapering supplies in one, baby distractions in another, important documents (i.e. birth certificates, passports and the like) in another, snacks in yet another, and so on. When it comes time to find what you’re looking for it’ll be a breeze and parents need all the help they can get when traveling with littles!
Image: Disney Baby