The holidays are the time of year for coming together with family and friends to celebrate, no matter what part of the world! This can often mean traveling long distances. But when you have a newborn, there can be some added complications and precautions that need to be taken to make the experience safe and easy for them and for you. So to help keep your and your new little one’s season merry, here are our tips for how to travel with a baby while maintaining their schedule.
One of the biggest concerns with staying on schedule, especially when traveling, is sleep. You might be wondering when, where, and how to keep your baby on track and as quiet as possible even on long, noisy flights, trains, or car trips. We suggest that you pick your mode of transportation and departure time based on duration and sleep schedule!
How to travel with a baby on a plane? Plan ahead. The plane can often keep them awake with the loud noises, so if you know this about your baby then avoid scheduling flights during their normal sleeping or napping times if your baby is a light sleeper. If your baby is a deep sleeper, you can fly during nap time for short flights or opt for a red eye for longer journeys.
When traveling, it can be difficult to plan when and where to eat while on the road, in the air, or at your destination. Plan ahead and bring as much milk, formula, or snacks as you could need during your transportation. Remember that feedings can often be irregular when traveling so try to avoid this by planning ahead and feeding before trips and excursions, or bringing meals along with you!
If you are traveling internationally with a baby and need to feed on a long flight, follow these tips! Whenever possible, try to avoid feeding before boarding. Wait until you are settled in your seat so that your baby can use this time to relax and wind down before take off. Feeding earlier might cause them to wake up cranky amidst boarding. Instead, feeding when seated could help your baby sleep and even help them adjust to changes in cabin pressure.
Babies come with a lot of baggage, literally! To make things simpler for you, consider opting for carrying or wearing your baby during holiday travel. This can cut down on bringing along additional strollers if it is not necessary, or if you can borrow one at your destination.
When your baby is attached to your body, it can make moving around easier for you and keeping an eye on your baby is a cinch. By keeping close, your baby is likely to be comforted knowing you are right there. When your baby can feel your body and you feel theirs, this can be an opportunity to bond and show your baby that travel is not scary.
The tough part about traveling for you and your baby is often the time change! If you are traveling internationally with a baby or somewhere in a different time zone, start slowly changing your baby’s schedule over time before you leave to make the transition easier and healthier for them.
If the time change is short, you can try to keep your baby awake a little longer to reorient their schedule. If your destination is far away, with a big time change, stay a little longer so you don’t have to revert the baby back to your original time zone right away. However you chose to handle the big switch, patience is key, hang in there and your baby will adjust.
Stick to the Essentials
Along with your already full holiday luggage, you are going to want to take with you some key items for your little one to keep them comfortable. To facilitate sleeping, bring along the same things your baby is used to having with them each day at naps and bedtime.If your baby has a favorite blanket, toy, pacifier, or other object, bring those with you so they feel at home away from home.
Wondering how to travel with your baby on a plane without them getting fussy? Try a noise machine. If your little one is used to certain noises, bring along a machine, CDs, or an app to play comforting sounds for them. You can also opt for (infant approved) over the ear headphones to help your baby relax without too much of the background noise that typically comes with travel.
Traveling is exciting, for you and your baby! It can be hard to stay on schedule and fall asleep at the right times amidst all of the action. Not to mention, all the new experiences! If possible, try not to hop around too much. If you are visiting family, try to pick one house or hotel and stay there. This can help make the routine easier for your baby. They can acclimate to the noises, smells, lights, so as not to have to readjust every few days.
To make bedtime easier, get back to the hotel (or wherever you are staying) early to help your baby fall asleep. This can be a great way to help them maintain their sleep and wake schedule: let them wind down as the sun goes down.
At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we are here for you and your family every step of the way this holiday season. When it comes to how to travel with an infant, maintain routines, feeding on schedule, sleeping properly, and all of your other health related concerns, we are happy to help answer any questions or help you plan to make holiday travel as comfortable and safe as possible for your baby. Visit us at www.coastalkids.com or schedule an appointment to check in before your trip. Happy holidays and safe travels!