Traveling with a newborn for the first time? Here are 12 tips you should consider as you prepare for the big day. We spent hours researching how to pack and hot tips for traveling with a child. After reading a mix of advice, these tips ultimately helped us travel on a plane with ease. Above all, remember that deep breaths will help keep your patience in check, because you will need it. :)
1. Read the airline regulations for flying with an infant since policies vary per carrier. Regulations are also different if you are flying domestically or overseas. We flew from Washington DC to Atlanta and were not allowed an extra carry on for the baby since he was a lap child. We packed our belongings accordingly by bringing two bottles with a plan to rewash them quite a bit, as well as eliminating a lot of ‘what if moments.'
2. Gate check your car seat and stroller so you will be able to use the stroller upon arriving to your destination(s).
3. If you choose to gate check your car seat / stroller, keep in mind that you will have to put both items through the X-ray machines in security. Our clueless faces gave the very helpful TSA folks the hint that we needed some help. To put the stroller through the X-ray machine, we had to pop one of the wheels off.
4. Wear your baby in a carrier through the X-ray machine. This is a HUGE timesaving tip. We initially had Liam in the stroller, but had to take him out of his car seat in order to put it all through the X-ray machine. Luckily he was sleepy enough not to care, but it can be chaos if you have a lot of moving parts happening at once.
5. Breast milk and formula. You can bring breastmilk through security, it just has to be tested. If you are using formula, take an empty bottle and powder through security, and fill up the bottle with water after you get through security. You can bring a good amount of formula powder in your carry on. Just let the folks at security know ahead of time. If you are breastfeeding, check out the @mamava_vt app to see where breastfeeding and pumping pods are located. One of my friends also recommends bringing a ziploc bag to separate wet pump parts from the rest of your belongings.
6. Determine what you will need to bring with you versus what you can find at your final destination. If you ask in advance, friends and family may be able to borrow an extra pack and play, bassinet, or car seat. Depending on where you are going, wipes and diapers should be available.
7. If you are bringing a car seat, watch this video to figure out how to strap your child in without a base. We took a taxi to the airport because it was easier than parking at the airport.
8. There is a difference between TSA precheck and global entry. If you are flying domestically and have TSA Precheck, you can take your baby through without a problem. However if you are going overseas and have Global Entry, you will need to register your baby for Global Entry.
9. Bring a familiar blanket or toy from home to comfort your little one.
10. Try to breastfeed, use a pacifier, or formula feed your baby during take off and landing to prevent ear pressure or pain. I tried two out of the three suggestions above, and Liam did not seem to have any problems.
11. Add 30 - 45 minutes of travel time to your normal routine. A friend suggested this to me, and it was great advice.
12. Lastly, if you are going overseas, don’t forget to get a passport for your child! Use this website to ensure you have the right size picture for your child.
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