Tips for Traveling Long Distances with a Baby

Traveling long distances with a baby is a source of much stress for many parents. Today, we'd like to give you some great tips to make it pleasant for everyone.
Tips for Traveling Long Distances with a Baby

Last update: 25 January, 2020

Thinking about traveling long distances with a baby is something that makes parents highly anxious. It’s no wonder: traveling with a baby isn’t easy, regardless of the mode of transportation. However, it’s not impossible.

With that in mind, today we’d like to give you a few tips to make your family trip with your baby a little bit more enjoyable. So, take a deep breath, shake off that anxiety and continue reading.

Traveling Long Distances by Air with a Baby

Traveling long distances: A plane taking off.
Flying with babies requires planning, so take note of these tips.

To make a trip with your little one as pleasant as possible, you’ll need to be prepared. After all, trips are all about preparation and planning. Also, stay in control as much as you can. (However, we’re aware that many things will be beyond your control when it comes to children.)

So, as you plan your trip, take into consideration the following two factors: the age of the baby and your transport mode. Even though it may seem strange, these are the two pillars that will support your planning.

With that said, we’ll take a look at a few more tips.

1. Where Will the Baby Sleep?

Depending on the age of your child, you’ll have the option of requesting a crib when you travel by air. Transatlantic flights offer a crib service if your baby is a newborn or under 8 months of age.

Do reserve in advance, for they won’t be able to give it to you at the last minute. Check the airline’s website about requirements for age and maximum when requesting a crib.

In the event that you aren’t entitled to a crib, then the baby should sleep with you, unless you’re willing to pay more (50-100% of the ticket) for them to travel next to your seat.

If you choose to hold them in your arms throughout the duration of the flight, then bring along an ergonomic cushion for your neck. It’ll allow you to get some rest.

2. Traveling Long Distances: Baby Food

A mother breastfeeding her baby.
Take-offs and landings are great times to either breastfeed or bottle feed your baby.

Breastfeeding babies are easy because you don’t have to pack any special food for them. If you bottle feed, however, then add the milk powder to it in advance and ask the flight attendant for water when you need it. They also have milk in small portions in most flights.

Know that baby food jars are allowed, so take a few.

3. You’ll Need A Small Extra Suitcase and a Diaper Bag

You must carry enough diapers for the entire flight in your diaper bag and then some extras. Also, pack a baby blanket and at least two changes of clothes in your luggage. Include an extra one for you, too, just in case.

In addition, don’t forget the baby wipes. Also, bring any possible medical treatments your baby may need and a thermometer just in case. The baby’s food, a bottle of water and some kind of toy to entertain the child should also be within your reach.

Another tip: keep at least two large plastic bags in your suitcase in case your clothes get stained so you can keep them there until you reach your destination.

4. Traveling Clothes

When you make a long trip with a baby, it’s important that you’re both comfortable. Forget the stylish clothes and let your baby travel in their most comfortable pajamas.

Dress them in layers so you can remove or add clothes accordingly. Also, keep your blanket nearby as sometimes it gets too cold inside the aircraft cabin.

5. It’s Normal for Babies to Cry a Little Bit During Trips

A crying newborn.
If your baby cries on the plane, don’t despair; just gently try to calm them down.

It’s a fact of life: babies cry. So, don’t worry if your child cries.

Forget about the snotty lady and her grumpy man behind you and remain calm. Then, take a deep breath and gently try to calm down your baby.

Keep your focus on your child and concentrate on what they, and you, need at that moment.

6. Suction to Avoid Ear Discomfort

During takeoff and landing, let the baby breastfeed or suck on a bottle or a pacifier, as it’ll lessen their ear discomfort.

If you bottle feed them, then have a bottle ready for those two moments.

Traveling Long Distances by Land with a Baby

Traveling long distances: A baby sleeping in their car seat.
Land travel with your baby gives you a lot more flexibility than other means of transport.

The greatest advantage of traveling by land is that you’re in control of the pace of your trip. Not only that, but you can also control the temperature and take as many breaks as you need. There are just a lot more possibilities to seek your comfort and your family’s.

1. Choose the Best Time of the Day

Ideally, travel by car when the baby is asleep. That way, you can travel without worrying about their discomfort.

If you don’t mind driving at night, then that’s another great option.

2. Make Sure the Baby Has a Comfortable Seat

The car seat must be adapted to the age and size of the baby. Before leaving, check that it’s properly adjusted and that the child is comfortable there. Make sure the three-point belt is correctly positioned.

3. Take as Many Breaks as You Need

A baby sleeping in the car.
Don’t let your baby spend long periods of time in the car seat.

Calculate when your child will be hungry and try to organize breaks around those times in order to give them a break from their seat, to eat, and have some physical contact with you.

Keep in mind that it’s not recommended to keep a baby in a car seat for extended periods of time.

4. Make Sure You Have a Spare Tire and Changes of Clothing

Just as when you travel by air, it’s imperative that you bring enough clothing and enough diapers and to keep them handy. While it’s easier to stop to buy some when you need them, it’s not the most comfortable situation to find yourself in with a baby.

In addition, make sure you have a spare tire in case you get a flat.

5. Traveling Long Distances with Comfortable Clothes

Comfortable, appropriate clothes for traveling are essential to ensure that your baby is comfortable. Avoid wool and thick or thin coats. Keep in mind that your child may get too hot or too cold, and may even be uncomfortable by the seat strap rubbing on their skin.

Overall, traveling long distances with a baby requires patience and careful planning, both before and during the trip. Take a deep breath and enjoy your adventure. Stay positive: it’ll be easier than you may imagine!

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