Some of the greatest memories made are from traveling however how in the world do you travel with an infant?! This was one of the questions that stumped us and made us EXTREMELY nervous. I mean, nobody wants to listen to a baby cry in the car or on a plane regardless of if it’s my own or not – haha! For us, Rem has been a fantastic go go baby so I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks we do to keep our little wiggles happy!
Traveling by Plane with an infant
This was something that TERRIFIED Connor and made me a little anxious as well. When Rem was 3 months old we had planned a trip to meet our good friends in North Carolina and there was only one way to get there…by PLANE. As an adult I definitely have a handful of memories listening to babies cry and cry and cry on a plane which is enjoyable for no-one. Not to mention the added flight attendant complaints and evil stares from surrounding passengers. All of this to say, we needed a plan before getting on that plane!
- Transportation on the other end is easy whether you rent a car or use the hotel shuttle or even an UBER but…you need a car seat! Thank goodness car seats are checked for FREE. We even bought the official travel car seat cover for our Uppa Baby Mesa Car Seat that provided a warranty for any damage caused by traveling on the plane. It fits not only the car seat but the base as well and has two easy travel handles to hold on to while carrying it to check-in.
- Infants ride in your lap for FREE. This is pretty well known however it can be kind of confusing actually getting them added to your ticket. Because they ride in your lap for free they don’t have an actual ticket of their own so they’ll need to be added to whoever is carrying a baby. Even though we checked the box online about free infant lap travel we ended up being charged for 3 tickets instead of 2 which resulted in having to get a refund and all of that fun stuff! Typically how you can do it is to purchase two tickets, check the infant lap travel (without buying three) and once you check the car seat in at bag check they will confirm that baby is added and you are in the correct seats for infant travel.
- Carry baby in a front carrier! This was a tip from a friend which helped SO MUCH. Going through an airport can already be stressful enough from trying to find parking, figuring out where the gate is, and finding the right paperwork to hand them. Take some stress off of you and put the baby in the front carrier. Not only will you have two hands but you can also wear them through security. No need to take off the carrier as they will do a separate hand swab just to make sure everything is all good to go.
- Ask for priority boarding at the gate! This helped us big time as we just wanted to get settled on the plane without the hustle and bustle of it all. After all, we had a lot of stuff to get situated! (Diaper bag, nursing cover, burp cloth, baby out of the carrier, etc)
- Have baby nurse on the takeoff + landing to help with ear popping. Apparently one of the reasons babies CRY on the plane is because their ears can’t pop and they have no idea what’s going on. Having them nurse is the baby’s way of chewing on gum to help with ear-popping. Rem did this both times and didn’t cry once!
- Pack your diaper bag with plastic bags filled with diaper wipes and one diaper per bag. This helps when you need to change a diaper on the plane you simply pull out your pre-packed diaper necessities instead of trying to lug a whole diaper bag from who knows where on the plane. Not to mention there’s not enough room for all of that! Bonus: the ziplock you pre-packed the diapers/wipes in now can be used as a stink-free diaper holder until you get off the plane.
- RELAX!!! Baby feeds off of your energy!
Traveling by Car with an Infant
I personally think it’s more difficult to travel by car with an infant vs a plane because they’re stuck in the carseat the whole time. However, here are my tips for traveling in the car with an infant!
- Plan to leave around nap time. No need for them to wake up and THEN get in the car to go for a long drive. If you can, plan around their nap schedule when leaving so once you get on the road they can fall asleep. (and stay asleep!)
- Ride in the back with them. I know that this doesn’t work for everyone but if you can hop in the back just to make sure everything is okay. For us, Connor always drives and I’m in the backseat with Rem. That way if she wakes up, starts to get fussy, etc I’m right there to try and calm her before the storm.
- If you can’t ride in the back with them, consider getting this car monitor instead of the traditional car mirror. When I’m by myself I HATED using the car mirror as it always seemed to bounce out of place and it was useless at night. This car monitor is actually a camera that attaches to the back of the headrest where the car mirror was and has a screen that is placed on the dash for me to see. It’s a wide-angle lens that allows me to see everything AND has night vision. The best part – it’s only around $40! Go ahead and add this to your cart right now and thank me later!
- Screen time is SO okay in the car. I know that there’s a big debate about screen time but here are our thoughts when using screen time in the car: a) it’s only when they’re awake b) they’re confined in the car seat and the only thing they can do is watch something c) would you rather have a screaming baby or a happy baby watching a show. We found an older iPad and bought a traveling case for it so it attaches to the back of the headrest. This allows Rem to watch some of her favorite shows while on the road! Happy Baby = Happy Wife = Happy Husband!
- Plan to take breaks. Everybody needs to stretch their legs including baby! Not to mention that they’re probably hungry and will need to be fed soon. The best thing to keep in mind on a road trip is that you now have a FULL DAY of travel. There is no need to rush to your destination or get frustrated that you’re not making ‘good time’. You have a baby that has a different set of needs than what you’re used to and the goal is to make it to the destination SAFELY.
These are some of the best tips and tricks that we’ve personally used when traveling with Rem! She’s currently 8 months old and LOVES to be on the go. I’d love to hear what your go-to moves are when traveling with a baby by leaving a comment below!