10 Tips for Traveling with a Baby

My husband and I just got back from an 8 week long stay in France with our son. He was 6 months old when we left, 8 months old when we got back. The trip itself was quite the journey, with one 4 hour long flight, a layover in Toronto and another 7 hour long flight to Paris. Everything from the flights to adjusting to jet lag went really well and I figured I would share a few useful tips if you're about to travel with your little one.  

1/ Bring a change of clothes - whether it is too hot, too cold, or a spit-up accident, you will probably end up changing your baby's clothes at some point 

2/ Bring a bunch of swaddles cloths, toys, books - it is nice to be able to set up a blanket in a quiet place in the airport where you can let your baby crawl and play before you board - you will also want a clean blanket for the flight as it is usually chilly in the plane

3/ But don't overpack! It's hard enough having to manage the baby gear, stroller if you have one, carry-ons, passports, laptops, without having an overflowing diaper bag

4/ Try and stick to your baby's usual schedule as much as possible (meal times, nap times)

5/ But don't freak out if you can't - your baby will adapt to a change in the usual routine for one day or two

6/ Bend your rules during the flight - let your baby watch tv or play with your iPad even if, like us,  you don't usually allow it

6/ Bring some bottles and baby food - Air France provided organic baby food during the flight but not all companies do, and it's always great to be able to feed your little one at the airport if you need to. It is also great to have one or two bottles of milk ready for your baby. Even if you still breastfeed like I do, your baby might not nurse as easily because of the noise/distraction. I was stressed out and tired on our flight back and my milk supply was unusually low

7/ Jet lag - we had an 8 hour time difference to deal with and it only took a couple nights both times. Babies adjust a lot more easily than we do. Just follow their lead, feed them when they're hungry, let them sleep, be patient, let them play quietly for a little while if they wake up in the middle of the night, read a book and rock them back to sleep, etc. 

8/ Request a bassinet if your airline offers them - it is a nice break if your baby accepts to stay in it. It can also serve as a tray/toys/blankets holder if your baby refuses to leave your lap

9/ Bring wipes and hand sanitizer for a quick cleanup before you settle anywhere - airports and planes are filthy! But don't panic about germs either, your baby is going to touch dirty things and you're just going to have to deal with it

10/ Make sure you know your rights - airport staff will usually let you use reserved access lines for security, immigration, etc. No one should be standing in line for 35 minutes with an infant in their arms! We bypassed lines in Paris, Toronto and Edmonton and while it may annoy other passengers, it is an absolute blessing when you have an exhausted baby to deal with

Last but not least, don't stress too much. It usually goes much better than you think it will. Most people are very understanding and babies will adapt to almost any situation.

Safe travels! 


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