Traveling with Baby: Calm Skies Ahead

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Traveling with a baby or a toddler can be extremely stressful, especially on long plane trips–and every age has its own demands. Our plan-ahead checklists can help avoid unnecessary turbulence.

Traveling with Baby by living green with baby

Bon voyage with baby

  • Most international airlines and charter flights offer special bassinets for babies under one year, but those seats are very limited, so plan your trip ahead. When traveling with baby, reserve your seat where a bassinet for your baby can be installed so you both can have some comfort and rest;
  • Give yourself an extra hour for unexpected events;
  • Bring enough diapers and formula or milk (double baby’s usual consumption) to avoid running out on the plane or the airport since many airports don’t carry any baby supplies;
  • Bring enough healthy snacks for yourself to keep your energy up (raw unsalted nuts, dry or fresh fruit, yogurt)
  • Bring your own water bottle so you can refill it anywhere;
  • Dress comfortably; bring a change of clothes in case your baby has an accident;
  • Bring one or two of your baby’s favorite toys-pick soft toys that are easy to carry and could even double as cushions;
  • Don’t drink caffeinated drinks before the flight if you want to sleep while your baby is sleeping;
  • Pack baby items separately in an easily accessible bag to allow for a smooth, fast inspection at the airport;
  • Bring a lightweight travel stroller to help you conserve energy and time during airport transfers;
  • To avoid delays, bring a copy of your baby’s birth certificate along with his passport; different countries have different rules-especially if your last names aren’t the same.
  • Bring a few extra pacifiers, packed in different bags and easily accessible;
  • Bring a travel changing pad and dress your baby for an easy diaper change anywhere it might be necessary;
  • Tiny ears may not adjust well to pressure changes. To avoid ear problems, make sure your baby is either drinking or sucking on a pacifier during take off and landing when the cabin air pressure changes.

Traveling with a toddler

  • Whether you are paying for the toddler’s own seat or not, reserve your seat at an aisle so you can exit and return without disturbing your neighbors; don’t be afraid to ask for two neighboring seats if the plane is not completely full;
  • Dress your toddler comfortably for an easy diaper change; if she’s using a potty, bring a helper seat;
  • Make a plan for his entertainment: Bring few of his favorite character toys (no sharp objects or edges) or some colored scarves or a blanket so you can show him a simple puppet story; bring a few small books so he can browse through them or you can read to him;
  • Pack healthy and non-messy snacks your child loves, such as raisins, whole-grain granola, fruit or veggie bites (sliced apples, pears, carrots) or other favorites;
  • Bring at least two sippy cups–one for milk and one for water or juice–that you can easily refill during your travels;
  • Bring easy non-slip house shoes for the airplane;
  • Bring a lightweight travel stroller to help you conserve energy and time during airport transfers. Tip: Having change in local currency handy can help you rent an airport cart if you need one in a hurry;
  • Toddlers are very inquisitive and their curiosity grows in new places, so make extra sure you keep an eye out at all times;

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