Planning ahead is the best way to avoid stress when traveling with a baby. Ask yourself, “What do I need?” and then pack at least a week before your trip.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to pack!
- If you have time, get your baby used to sleeping in their car seat by taking short drives around town before leaving on vacation.
- Plan for all kinds of weather—and any unexpected delays. Consider packing several outfits in case one gets ruined while you’re out exploring during an unexpected rain shower or snowstorm (it happens!). Remember: You’ll want something warm if you’re travelling during the winter months—and something light if it’s summertime and hot outside your destination city.
Research your destination and place of stay
Research your destination and place of stay. Safety should be the first concern for an overnight trip with a baby. You will want to make sure that the streets are well-lit and that there is easy access to emergency services if needed.
When searching for hotels, look for one with a good reputation for being child friendly. This may mean having an enclosed pool or playground area, accommodations for strollers, cribs included in rooms (or at least nearby), and even having toys available in the lobby, so you don’t have to pack everything yourself!
Check out local facilities: Find out if there’s a laundromat nearby where you can drop off clothes or linens while staying at your hotel; check out any museums or parks located close by so they’re easy on your schedule; call ahead if possible to ask about special offers (e.g., free Wi-Fi) or discounts available during certain times of the year like summer vacation when many people are travelling themselves—these things will help save money while still enjoying life on vacation!
Consider the time zone
The first thing to consider if you’re travelling with your baby is the time zone you’ll be spending the night. If you are flying into a new city, think about when it will be morning where you’re going and plan accordingly. If your child has been used to sleeping through the night for the past few months, don’t assume that they will automatically adjust to waking up early in a new place.
As soon as you get to your destination…
You will have a better sense of what to expect. As much as possible, try to recreate regular routines from home while ensuring they are safe when sleeping in their travel cot. Take this time to also explore the area around your hotel room so that when darkness falls later on in the evening, there won’t be any surprises! The more you can do before bedtime, helps get everyone settled down quickly.
Bring your own sleeping quarters
- Check the bedding is clean and safe. If you are staying in a hotel room, check that the sheets are clean and there aren’t any signs of bugs or stains before you put your baby down to sleep.
- Pack a travel cot or bassinet if possible. If you cannot bring your own crib or travel cot with you on your trip, see if there is one available at the hotel where you’ll be staying—but make sure it meets safety standards first! There should be nothing within 1 foot of the mattress of any portable cribs/bassinets (i.e., bedside tables), which can pose a suffocation risk for babies if they roll into them while sleeping.
Consider a dry run at home.
Consider running an overnight dry-run at home before you head out on your trip.
Sometimes it’s easier to get your wiggly little one ready for an overnight stay if they know what’s coming and who will be there when they wake up. If you can plan a weekend trip with friends or family members, this is the perfect time to let your little one become familiar with the routine of sleeping over somewhere new.
Pack extra outfits, nappies, and other essentials
- Pack extra outfits and nappies.
- Bring duplicate essentials, like food, bottles, and toys.
- Pack medicines, a first aid kit, and a thermometer in an emergency.
- Have enough supplies to last a couple of days if your child gets sick or you get stranded due to bad weather or traffic jams.
- Baby monitor (if applicable).
Don’t forget to bring their lovey or comfort item to keep them happy!
’nuff said it’s a survival essential.
Have a backup plan for food
The first thing you must do is be sure you have food that your baby likes with you. Think about how long you’ll be staying at the hotel and if there will be many opportunities for you to go out and get food. If not, then take some with you so that, if necessary (if your baby gets sick), there’s something available for them to eat.
Another thing we’d suggest is bringing a backup plan for feeding your child should anything go wrong (this could mean anything from an accident or illness) while travelling with them. We don’t mean this in a negative way at all; it’s just good practice so that they don’t suffer due to circumstances beyond their control!
Pack your pram or stroller to carry the baby around
- Take your pram or stroller to carry the baby around.
There’s no better way to bond with your little one than by taking them for a walk in their pram or stroller. You can take them anywhere from the park to a local supermarket, and they’ll be just as happy as they can be. This is also great for getting out of the house and doing something active together as well!
- Take the baby on adventures outside of home with you.
If you need to take your child on an adventure somewhere new, but it would be too much hassle bringing along their entire nursery, don’t worry! There are plenty of places that allow parents to bring babies into their locations so that everyone has fun, and nobody gets bored.
Practice, practice, practice!
The more you can do this in your own home, the better. Be sure to bring along your baby’s crib or sleep surface and make sure it fits properly in the space you’ll be using for naps and nighttime sleep. You should also test out all of the lights and appliances in the room you’ll be in; it’s not uncommon for a hotel room to have only one outlet or light switch that controls several bulbs.
As much as possible, mimic what you will expect on your trip—even if this means waking up at 4 or 5 am (or earlier) to get things ready.
Take a white noise machine and a night light
A white noise machine can be helpful for any baby, but especially for infants who are still afraid of the dark. There’s a reason babies go to sleep with the hum of an air conditioner or fan in their ears—it blocks out other noises, allowing them to focus on something less threatening and more familiar. The same goes for keeping lights dim in your room at night—a nightlight is an excellent option because it doesn’t disturb anyone else in the house and makes your baby feel safer.
Pack to arrive early.
If there are unexpected delays in your travel plans, being prepared will help keep everyone calm (including yourself).
Take it easy.
It’s okay to have a hard time letting go of your usual routines, but if you can relax and enjoy the holiday, it will be more fun for everyone. Babies are used to being in charge of their days; allow them to keep setting the pace on this trip. Try not to worry too much about what time it is back home or what your child should be doing next—the best way for them to learn is by living life as normally as possible while you’re away.
Have fun with your children!
You’re on vacation! Don’t let the stress of being away from home get in the way of creating fun memories with your baby. Give yourself time off every day to play with your children and create some lasting memories. If you have friends or family staying at the same place as you, consider coordinating a playdate so that everyone can get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
If not, though, no worries! Take advantage of the time alone to do things that give you joy—whether it’s taking a nap or getting a massage—and make sure there are lots of opportunities for pictures (they’ll be worth it later).
Going on a trip with a baby can be fun if you take the time to plan and pack well.
A summary of things to consider:
- Pack everything that you need for your baby. The more prepared you are, the better it will go. Don’t forget nappies, clothes, wipes, and other toiletries!
- Plan around your baby’s routine (or lack thereof). If they’re still breastfeeding at night, try not to stay in too many hotels so that they don’t get used to sleeping in strange places. If they sleep through the night already – great! That makes travelling easier for everyone! You might want to keep their regular nap times, so they aren’t overtired when it’s bedtime again.
- Take lots of extra clothes & nappies/diapers in case something gets spilled on them by accident or spilled from above (get ready for those long flights!)