Traveling With an Infant: 8 Things You Must Know Before You Go

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Family Travel, Zurich, Switzerland

Having a baby is a game changer. The first time you hold your precious little peanut you know your life will never be the same. Your trips will never be the same either.

Taking your first adventure with baby is a big deal, filled with fear, excitement, and nervousness. Newbie parents can’t help but worry. Are we ready for a trip? Will our baby have fun? Is the destination safe and baby friendly? Traveling with an infant is not as scary as it sounds, but it does require extra planning.

Baby, Beach, Mexico

Here are a eight things you should know before you go.

1. Book the Right Airplane Seats

Are you boarding an airplane to get to your destination? If so, will you be purchasing a separate seat for your baby? If so, you’ll need to bring your car seat on the plane. Make sure it’s up to code, not all car seats are designed for air travel. If you’re planning to hold your baby, consider booking the window and aisle seats instead of selecting seats that are side by side (window/middle or aisle/middle). When you check-in at the airport, tell the airline you have a baby and that you would like to have the middle seat blocked off if the flight is not sold out. Most airlines are accommodating. If the flight is full, you can offer your window seat to the person in the middle, allowing you to sit beside each other.

Baby Travel, Packing

2. Pack Properly for the Flight

If you’re sharing your seat with baby, consider the baggage restrictions. You may have to pay an extra fee for additional luggage, including the car seat and stroller.

3. Bring Some Baby Entertainment

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or boat, your baby will get bored. Make sure you bring plenty of toys and books — and use them. Play with your baby and keep them entertained.

4. Prepare for Foriegn Food

It’s always a good idea to travel with baby food, especially when traveling to countries that are known for foodborne diseases and bacteria. Don’t assume that all countries carry the same brands of baby food, many do not. We assumed that baby food in Europe would be similar to that in North America, but this was a mistake. Our baby didn’t like the baby cereal in Europe, and that made it challenging at times.

Baby Stroller

5. Bring the Right Baby Stroller

You will need to bring a baby stroller with you on your trip, but the question is what kind of stroller? For short trips, we bring a lightweight umbrella stroller. They are cheap and easy to transport and store. For longer trips, or trips that will have a lot of sightseeing, we bring our full-size durable stroller. It’s heavy and clunky, but it allows baby to take a nap on the go.

6. Don’t Forget a Car Seat

Do you plan to take a taxi at some point on your trip? If so, you’ll need to bring your car seat. Yes, it’s a pain in the butt, but it’s required for infants and kids in almost every country. Better safe than sorry.

Baby Travel Airplane

7. Get the Right Hotel Room (and make sure there’s a baby bed)

Don’t make the assumption that all hotels have baby cribs available. Call the hotel BEFORE booking your accommodations. And while you’re on the phone, it’s wise to request a corner room. This limits the number of people that may be affected by your baby’s crying.

8. Get Your Child Vaccinations

Does your baby need shots? When we visited Mexico it was highly recommended that our baby get his Hepatitis A shot. When we visited Europe, there was a measles and mumps outbreak so he needed to get his MMR shot. Research your destination ahead of time to see if there is a travel advisory. And don’t leave it to the last minute! Some vaccinations require a few weeks or months between shots.

About the Author: Cam Wears

Cam and Nicole Wears are the duo behind the popular Canadian travel blog TravelingCanucks.com. Having travelled to over 65 countries & territories together in the past 7 years, their life journey has changed since welcoming their baby boy in late 2011. They now write about family travel and share the baby travel tips they learn along the way.

Comments:

  • Thanks for these tips, I know some of my friends have had mishaps on their journeys that could have been avoided had they had a checklist like this.

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