13 April 2009

Top 10 Tips for Traveling with a Baby

We are back. Struggling to stay awake. Doing mountains of laundry. Figuring out how to restock our empty pantry on a Swiss Holiday (grocery stores closed).

I'll post more about our trip this coming week. But I thought I would do a Top 10 Tips for Traveling with a Baby...
  1. Try to keep as close to your regular routine as possible. Too many changes, too late dinners, too much stimulation causes Baby Melt Down.
  2. Vacation with extended family. Grandparents and aunties are very useful for extra hands, running to get something or taking over when you need a nap, a pedicure or a romantic dinner for two with your spouse. (First romantic dinner for about 6 1/2 months!)
  3. If flying with another adult, one of you should get on the airplane with all the stuff and set up. The other person should stay at the gate with the baby and be the last passenger to get on. Everyone, other passengers included, will be happier that way!
  4. In addition to a change of clothes for baby, remember to bring a change of clothes for yourself when on a long flight. I highly recommend you NOT wear white. Learned this one the hard way.
  5. It is not possible to have too many short-sleeved, white onesies. Bring more than you think you could ever possibly need.
  6. Bring a large, light piece of cloth that packs easily and can be put on the floor, ground, wherever so baby can stretch out and play a bit wherever you happen to be without worrying about the germs in the hotel carpet or floor of the airplane or restaurant. Remember which side is the germy-side!
  7. When Baby is very young, consider vacationing in places you have visited before. That way you know where things are and you aren't upset when you can't get out and see as much because Baby needs a long nap (not just a quick stroller nap).
  8. If you can stretch your budget, fly Business Class for long flights. It is so worth it. Plus it's fun to see the faces of the other Business Class passengers when you sit down with a baby!
  9. Invest in a sturdy, lightweight umbrella stroller that has a recline for naps on the go. We really liked the Maclaren Quest we purchased as our travel stroller.
  10. Bring a blanket to cover the stroller for nap times. Not just to block the sun, but also to stop complete strangers from reaching in to touch the baby, thereby waking the baby from his nap!


Expat Traveler said...

The suggestion on one waiting while the other gets set up on the plane is genius! That is such an incredible idea...

I hope you are able to find food at the local gas station!

Marcy said...

I'm embarassed to say I never even thought of waiting to bring baby on the plane last. Oh well, D was always pretty happy on the plane, so no biggie (but may try that next time, especially since he'll certainly want the extra running-around time).

I remeber the first time we flew with him, at 4 months. I think the total travel time was 18 hours. I brought 20 diapers. We used, um, 5. Better safe than sorry, though, right?

Glad you all had a great trip, and that photo of him in the sailor outfit is too much! (you will have that framed at the entryway for when he brings home girls, won't you?)

Jennifer said...

Hm, R and I always go through security lines several people apart so that there is an extra set of arms on the other side once the parent with the kid gets to the metal detector/x-ray belt, but I've never thought of boarding with baby last. Now that we have two I can't decide if that's a workable option for us anymore. The poor parent left behind with the two boys wanting to get on the plane!

Laura said...

I always try to board the plane as late as possible as I don't want to spend any more time on the looong flight as necessary. I recently braved the 11 hour flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco without hubby but with 3 1/2 year old and 10 month old. Luckily I was well prepared and kids were angels. Another tip- new toys! Even for little babies helps on travels. -Laura from baroquebabies.com, come by to say hello when you have a chance!