02.23.2016

A Mom’s Guide to Easier Traveling with a Baby

If you follow me on any form of social media, you’ll see that my family and I are rarely home.  Whether it’s to go camping on the mountain in the summertime, a quick jaunt to the city for meetings or doctor appointments, vacation or going to stay on the desert, I feel like EJ gets drug all over the place with us, but I’m pretty sure she loves it!  I’m definitely not an expert, but I always love sharing the things I’ve learned or products I’ve bought that make our life on the go with a baby a little easier.

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  1. Food pouches – When we started traveling this fall is pretty much when I stopped making homemade baby food for EJ so often.  She’d eat it at home, but while we traveled, it was so convenient to have pouches of food with us!  I carried them in the diaper bag at all times, put them in my suitcase to fly or just packed them in her bag if we were driving.  You don’t have to worry about breaking them and you can run them under any faucet with hot water to warm them.  EJ wasn’t really good about sucking the pouch at first (and I’d use a spoon and feed it to her), but once she figured it out, it was awesome!  There are several options for organic food in pouches, and they come in a ton of different flavors.  EJ loves them.
  2. Disposable bibs and spoons – It’s pretty gross to have a dirty bib and spoon after your baby is finished eating that you have to carry around.  I found disposable bibs and baby spoons at my local dollar store and love them!
  3. Pack and Play – If we’re driving I typically take our pack and play with us.  I had one experience when EJ was about 3 months old where I didn’t take it and the hotel had too many kids that night so I didn’t get one and she had to sleep in my bed.  That was nervewracking!  If I’m flying or traveling light and don’t want to bring the pack and play, I always call the hotel ahead of time and reserve a crib and then you don’t have to worry about it.  Also, I don’t have a fancy travel pack and play.  Unless you’re going to travel with it a lot, I don’t think it’s worth the money.  We have 3 of the Graco el cheapo ones and EJ sleeps great in them!  I definitely say it’s smart to have your baby practice sleeping in a pack and play before traveling though so your first few nights of vacation aren’t awful!
  4. Ready to feed formula – If your baby is (still) on formula, splurge on premixed bottles for vacation.  This prevents the mess of powdered formula and it’s a lot easier than always making sure you have the formula and water.
  5. Stroller with a recline seat – I have a BOB stroller that I love, but it’s not practical for traveling.  I bought the Uppababy G-Luxe, which I love because it folds as an umbrella stroller and it has a recline feature.  Many people go back to their hotel if they are traveling so their baby can nap, but that doesn’t always work, so I would definitely invest in a stroller with a recline.
  6. Backpack diaper bag – I actually don’t have a backpack diaper bag, but I wish I did.  I may get one for activities with EJ this summer.  It would be so nice to have one less thing to carry/hang on the stroller handles (since the G-Luxe basket isn’t that big) while I’m walking around.
  7. Eat early – It’s far less stressful to eat earlier in the evenings when the restaurants aren’t super busy.  Not only will you get your food faster so the baby doesn’t become bored, but there are fewer people there so if the baby does get noisy you won’t feel quite so bad for disrupting their meals.
  8. Keep your diaper bag organized – I use clear makeup pouches and ziploc baggies to keep like items together in the diaper bag.  This makes it easy to find what I need quickly.  Nobody wants to be digging through their diaper bag in public!
  9.  Take snacks – Puff snacks are sometimes the best way to keep your baby quiet during an event, tour or while you’re waiting for your meal to be served.
  10. Book a hotel that offers breakfast or has a restaurant – I’ve learned that sometimes it’s pretty hard to get babies up and going on vacation in enough time to leave the hotel for the day and get breakfast.  If your hotel has a breakfast option it’s easy to run downstairs and bring the baby back up to change later, or when EJ’s sleeping I often just send DG down to get our breakfast and bring it back up because who would wake a sleeping child?!
  11. Book a suite – I hate washing bottles in the bathroom sink of a hotel.  It seems so gross to me! Suites usually have a separate kitchen area where you can wash and store the baby’s food, they’ll have a fridge and then you also have an area to put the baby to sleep where it can be dark earlier than your own area.  I definitely think this is the route to go to help keep the baby on a schedule too!
  12. Ship diapers to your hotel – Now I’ve never personally done this, but I’ve heard it works well!  I either pack the diapers with me (driving) or when I flew we stopped at the store in town and bought a pack to take to the hotel.  Depending on your schedule, shipping the diapers and having them there waiting when you arrive could be very helpful.
  13. Gate check baby gear – If you’re flying, be sure to gate check your carseat and stroller, rather than check them in earlier.  This prevents them from getting damaged.  I also have covers for my carseat and stroller to keep them from getting dirty.
  14. Things I always pack, regardless of our destination – Tylenol, Motrin, teething tablets, Benadryl, Boogie wipes, gas drops, diaper cream, thermometer, Q-tips, nail clippers, baby soap and lotion, dish soap in a travel container (to clean bottles and sippy cups) plastic grocery bags to put dirty clothes in, blankets, EJ’s lovie, Ergo 360, extra pacifiers, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

If you’re traveling with your baby, I hope this helps!  If you have other tips or advice to add, I’d love to hear what works for you too!

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