{Family} :: Tips for Traveling with Baby or Toddler

It's been awhile. A long while. But, here I am again (crossing fingers that I won't disappear again for a long time).

For today's post, I'd love to talk about traveling with a baby or toddler and would love to hear your tips. We just got back from a weekend in Ventura visiting family and the little lady has become an avid flier. Granted, this was the little one's 5th time being on a plane and the first time was when I wrote this little post.

During this last flight, we learned how different it is to travel with a baby versus a toddler. The first time the little one flew was at five months and now at 14 months, she has flown many more times than I did when I was her age. 

Here are some tips that I'd like to share that have helped us travel more smoothly:

At the airport

1. When going through security, I always carry my little one in a carrier. I use a Tula, but you can use a similar one like an Ergo or Baby Bjorn. With carrying the baby, your hands are free to handle documents and tickets and sometimes security lets you through faster. On the upside, I don't have to take my shoes off but you do get another round of security check. 

2. Snacks and water bottle within easy access. We always pack snacks for all of us to share and bring an empty water bottle with us. This was a great tip from friends and one we've adopted.

On the plane

1. If traveling domestically in the U.S., babies fly free until they are two. They just sit in your lap. If you are traveling internationally, you have to pay some extra taxes for the baby, but it is much less expensive than buying a full ticket. We paid roughly $250 in taxes for the little one when we traveled to London. You could also purchase a full ticket for your baby and have them in a car seat next to you, if your budget can fit it in. We got lucky, we got three seats for the three of us. 

2. Always try to fly during naps or bedtime. Flying with a sleeping baby is a million times easier than flying with a baby or toddler, who wants to play for the entire flight. This last flight was from Burbank to San Jose, which took one hour, but the little lady did not want to settle down. She contented herself with playing with the window shades and pulling the magazines. That only lasted for the first half of the flight. (Note: Bring more activities and toys to occupy the little one for times when they are awake and alert, especially on long flights.)

3. Feed during take-off and landing, or just around when they start changing the air pressure in the plane (which we've found out on a few flights that it bugged the little lady). Babies don't know how to pop their ears, so it helps to offer a bottle or nurse on the plane. On the recent flight to Burbank, the little one was drinking Jamba Juice and did not need to nurse as much. If anything, just offer something for them to drink, since swallowing some liquids will help ease ear pressure. 

What to pack or not to pack

1. Depending on your destination, a travel crib is necessary. We use the 4moms Breeze playard and it is amazing. It is very easy to pack and unpack. If you are traveling internationally, you can request for a baby cot. We did this on our trip to London. It was convenient not having to worry about checking in a travel crib at the airport and lugging it around London. 

2. Order or buy diapers at your destination. Just pack enough diapers or wipes or whatever else you need during the trip. It makes it easier to not have to pack everything. On the plus side, you get to discover local stores where to buy necessities. We've been doing this since we took our little one to London. 

3. Car seat and stroller. 

We are planning a trip to New York soon and would love to hear tips and suggestions as to where to take the little one. 

Happy travels!

P.S. For more tips, see here.


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