We were hesitant to travel with a newborn within the first few months. Our little one was born right before the holidays and we lived about 650 miles away from our family. Since Zayne was 10 weeks old, he’s been traveling with us on the road and in the airplane domestically. Here is my experience traveling with a newborn and some tips on how to do it the easiest way possible.
Traveling By Car
When Zayne was just 10 weeks old we were in the middle of flu season, mid December, we dreaded flying into Los Angeles airport (LAX). His pediatrician did not advise against it, but highly supported driving to LA from Arizona. The drive took a merely 12 hours total because of the bad weather and bad wipers! Although the drive was so tiring for us, our little one was actually really comfortable and took his naps throughout the day as scheduled. Here are some tips on what to bring when traveling by car:
- Books: 1 bedtime book and 1 he hasn’t read yet.
- Toys: I like to keep our packing to the minimal, so I brought 2 of his favorite toys and then, 1 new one he has but hasn’t played with yet.
- Diaper Bag:
- Diapers: I packed about 12, plus they don’t take that much space. I determined hours on the road = amount of diapers (12 hours = 12 diapers). And then an newly unopened pack sitting in the trunk.
- Baby wipes: I love Water Wipes. They’re just made out of water and is best for sensitive skin babies (which, I believe all babies have delicate skin. They don’t need chemicals to clean their butts.)
- 1 set of clothes for blowouts (onesie, pants, socks, sunhat or beanie). Any extra set of clothes will be in your luggage/backpack in the trunk.
- Pacifier wipes: I loved these Dapple ones, especially when I wasn’t near any water or soap.
- Hand Sanitizer: Very important if you go to a public rest stop and they’re isn’t any soap!
- Saline drops and NoseFrida: If traveling during flu season (Sept-March), this is a must.
- Burp bib: My favorite is the Green Sprouts brand because its ultra absorbent, organic, and you’ll only need one to do the job.
- Stroller: Go ahead and take advantage by bringing your full-size one. You paid a hefty price not to use it during vacation. Plus, its going in your trunk and not through an airport.
- Car seat and base
- Medicine: Tylenol and small or portable thermometer. Now, some people would think bringing medicine is excessive, but our drive from Arizona hardly had any city stops that carry children’s over-the-counter medications. Plus, since I’m a nurse and my husband’s a doctor, we wanted to be extra prepared for any roadside triage!
- Pump Bag: Breastpump, adapter, cooler bag, 2-4 refill bottles, ice block. I have the Medela Freestyle because I anticipated traveling a lot with our infant. Its compact and runs on lithium batteries if not plugged in. Its the best pump on the market.
- Plastic Bags: To place dirty diapers or dirty clothes and bibs in.
- The LifeChanger: It’s a life-changer! Literally! Not only can you comfortably change your baby’s diaper while in the car, it eliminates changing them in your lap or trunk or disgusting public restrooms. It is also a great place for baby to stretch and lay down flat from a long period of being in a bucket-seat position in the carseat. We bring this bag everywhere. It also serves as an additional diaper bag.
Tips While On The Road
- Take frequent stops to feed and change diapers; best to do it around his eat/wake/play schedule. This will make soothing him back to happy quicker and back on the road faster.
- Keep baby entertained with his toys or read to him. Sometimes, even just talking or singing to him is enough.
- Pump while he naps and/or doesn’t need entertaining. And yes, you can do it while the car is in motion. #supermom
Traveling By Plane
Although, we’ve traveled both domestically and internationally, below are tips for traveling by plane, domestically. I think you can still benefit from looking at this list, however, when you fly internationally.
- Baby Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Milk (Formula or Pumped Milk): This can be in a separate small cooler bag.
- Formula: For short or long flights, I brought at least two 4oz bottles filled with purified water already boiled from home. I like to pack light, so I only bring 2 maximum. However, there’s no harm in bringing 4 bottles if you feel the need to. If you have the space, go for it. Depending on what your pediatrician recommends (please ask first before traveling), you can use bottled water to mix with your formula on-the-go.
- Formula Dispenser: I like Munchkin’s dispenser because of the 3 compartments and deep pockets. You can fill up to 8oz if your baby eats that much already.
- If you’re new to formula and want to know what kind I have, I use HiPP and I order from LittleWorldOrganics.com. ***Just FYI, I am pro-breastfeeding and have been solely breastfeeding my baby since day one and plan to continue breastfeeding predominately until age 12 months. I started to supplement my little one at age 6 months because I personally needed a nursing vacation at least during bedtime and when I couldn’t pump at all for the day. This is in no way shape or form I am advising to formula feed.
- Breastmilk: Store pumped milk in a cooler bag with an ice pack. Inform TSA prior to passing through the X-ray machine that you have baby’s milk/food in the cooler bag because they will need to assess it with your presence. And, politely ask them to use new gloves when checking your stuff.
- Types of bottles I use: Phillips Avent Natural Glass Bottles. I prefer these because it mimics closest to the real form of the breasts’ areola and nipples and aids in the correct latch.
- Tip: You can ask the flight attendant to warm up the bottle for you or ask for a cup of hot water while waiting to board and warm up the water that way.
- Burb Bib (1)
- Diapers (5-6) If you run out, there’s stores around the airport. We always pick up a pack after we land.
- A couple sets of baby clothes
- Wallet, ID, and Keys
- Stroller and Carseat: Check it in!!! I hated bringing my full-size stroller, but if you have a newborn or a baby younger than 6 months old, I suggest you check it in as well as your car seat. We used the stroller for the rest of the trip but not throughout the airport. Especially, if you’re traveling by yourself with the baby, you don’t want to be trying to fold up your stroller with one hand and holding a newborn on the other. Save yourself the hassle and wear your baby!
- For babies 6 months and older, you can gate check your umbrella stroller and I recommend that you use it throughout the airport because carrying a 20 pound baby gets pretty tough if connecting flights or baggage claims are at different terminals. We absolutely love our Baby Jogger City Tour travel stroller. It’s a one-handed folding mechanism, weighs only 14lbs, and it fits in most overhead bins! Retails for $199.
- Baby Carrier: If I am traveling alone, I like to use the Boba Wrap or my Solly Baby Wrap because its soft, lightweight, and I can nurse in it while I’m waiting to board the plane. If I am traveling with my husband, we bring the Baby Bjorn Outdoors Carrier, because it fits both of us and is the easiest and simplest carrier to wear for long periods of time.
We loved traveling with Zayne. He is resilient and adapts to any environment. It also depends on you on making the stress of traveling as minimal as possible! Such as, not worrying how other people on the plane to changing your baby in the smallest changing station possible (in an airplane bathroom) a breeze! I hope you enjoy traveling and exploring with your little ones and I hope this list I made helps answer your questions on what to pack and bring with you when you travel.
Disclaimer: These statements do not contain paid affiliated links or paid reviews on products I mention. These statements reflect my opinions, research, and personal experiences. They do not serve as medical advice or replace your pediatrician’s advice regarding your child’s healthcare.