Whether visiting a place for the first time or the tenth time, traveling is a fun experience that allows you to see new places or old faces. But traveling with your baby adds a level of stress and chaos that no one can fully prepare for, especially going through it for the first time.
Dealing with the unknown with a baby may make traveling difficult, however here are some tips that will make it easier the first time around:
You’ll never know what’s available on the other side of security or on the side of a highway. Airports or rest stops might not even carry children-friendly food. Bringing your child’s favorite snack allows them to have a familiar treat. Just be sure to take note of the amount of sugar since you don’t want a hyper child on your hands. Breastmilk and formula are allowed through security, but have a backup plan just in case you’re met with a security guard on a bad day.
Sign up for TSA Precheck
Adding a layer of ease gives you and your party the opportunity to start the trip off with less stress. Your TSA precheck transfers over to your child if they are 12 years old or younger, according to TSA’s website, so plan accordingly. Streamline the whole security process by skipping that unknown security line and not having to remove shoes, jackets, or liquids.
Review the guidelines
Is your car seat allowed on the plane? Is your child eligible to be a lap child? Will you have to check your stroller? Is your carry-on too big? Review your travel plan along with your airline and TSA’s guidelines to make sure your game plan lines up with all the rules and regulations.
Schedule the bulk of trip around nap time
Best case scenario for the journey there is your baby sleeps through the whole flight or car ride, at least as long as possible. To up the chances of that happening, try to schedule the departure time around when they would naturally sleep. So when they’re laying down they (hopefully) knock right out.
Bring a comfort item
Every child has their favorite cuddle partner. A stuffed animal, blanket, or toy, this item brings them instant comfort. They’re going to be fearful of new surroundings, noises, and smells, so keeping something they love consistent will help soothe them.
Pack all documentation
Usually, children don’t need documentation when flying domestically, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Security has been known to ask for some identification of children. This is especially important when you’re traveling with other people’s children.
Stock up on pre-packaged ready kits
Dragging a diaper bag around hoping you remembered everything you could possible need is painful, both physically and emotionally. And there is still a possibility that security might take it all away. Finding TSA accepted, prepackaged kits with everything you need lets you have peace of mind about having everything you need and be able to keep it.
This diaper set is TSA accepted, and comes in two sizes — one diaper or three diapers — depending on how long your flight is going to be. And don’t forget about yourself, this kit has everything to make your flight more comfortable, all in one package.
Create a home away from home
Constructing an area where both you and your kids feel safe and comfortable, keeps everyone calm. If you like to be cozy, make sure to pack that blanket. If your child usually likes their diaper changed every three hours, be prepared to keep them fresh. Even bring one of the pillows from bed to give a sense of familiarity.
Schedule time to burn off energy
Flying back to back or trying to push an eight-hour car ride in one trek will not only burn out your kids, but also yourself. Giving everyone time to breath and burn off steam is ideal to keep everyone tantrum-free. Scheduling a longer layover, or a schedule pit spot where everyone can stretch their legs and run around.
Download their favorite shows
Sitting your kid in front of an iPad at dinner makes everyone calmer, why not use that technique on a plane or in a car? Netflix and YouTube Red allow you to download videos and watch them later without being connected to WiFi or data. Just make sure to download them in advance and the device is fully charged.