20 Genius Hacks And Tips To Make Traveling With A Baby More Bearable
1. The number one hot tip for avoiding a screaming baby at takeoff (and landing):
"Feed them on the take off and landing so their ears don't hurt." —Shannon Lea, Facebook
2. Get through security without any weird bottle issues!
"If you travel with breast milk or premixed formula, avoid using bottles with silicone sleeves. They cause issues with the chemical readers at TSA." —Jen Oloo, Facebook
3. Check your car seat/stroller at the gate, with protection.
"Strollers (even big ones) and car seats can be checked or gate checked and don't count as a piece of luggage. If you're checking your car seat at the gate they tend to get beat up in transit. For such an expensive and important item I got a protective bag (even that got ripped after a few uses, so you can see how tough people are on stuff)." —Coby Turner, Facebook
4. You definitely want the flight attendants on your good side.
"Befriend the flight attendant and they'll sneak you drinks once the baby falls asleep!!" —Gina Stephenson, Facebook
5. Give yourself some space to move around.
"Take the aisle seat, that way if it's smooth sailing you can get up and move around if baby is fussy without bugging anyone to squeeze past." —Abby Snegosky Kreuzer, Facebook
6. For long flights, pay up and get baby their own seat.
"Buy a seat for the baby especially for an international flight. You can keep them in the car seat (as long as it's FAA-approved) which gives everyone a more comfortable flight. And it's safer for baby in case of rough turbulence." —Karin Ritter, Facebook
7. Or, if you prefer, skip the extra seat purchase and reserve a bassinet for your infant.
"A number of airlines, especially on long flights, will provide you with a bassinet that hooks to the seat in front of you for lap infants. Even better, you can reserve the bulkhead seats with extra space for the bassinet to hang. But they're first come, first serve with a limited number and you have to ask." —Coby Turner, Facebook
8. Do your homework to make your stay more comfortable.
"Check out if there is a rental service in the area you are traveling to to rent things like high chairs, toys, pack and play etc to avoid having to overpack but still have some of the conveniences of home. Talk to the hotel concierge or do some research online to find grocery delivery so you can have the basics brought to you to avoid having to hassle with going to the store right when you get to your destination." —Nicole Carrillo Hall, Facebook
9. Stuffed animals can multi-task.
"My boys always fall asleep on long rides, but I hate the way their heads roll forward. I use their stuffed animals as pillows/wedges to keep their necks comfortable and their heads up." —Laurie McKenna Mega, Facebook
10. Plan your travel around the little one's sleep schedule.
"When we travel by car we always go at night. My baby's bed time is 8 p.m. so that's the time we leave. Zero stops and zero hassle. I've driven eight hours straight with him like this. Travel with a small cooler in the front seat with pre-made bottles." —Liz Banda, Facebook
11. Make road trips fun again!
"Hang a bungee cord from each of the handles in back. That way you can hang stuff off it like toys. It works great for the baby who consistently drops everything. Take a cookie sheet per kid, spray paint each one a different color, and then it can be used for a coloring tray, play with magnets, and/or food tray." —c419108965
12. Easy quick changes and clean-ups.
"We carried Chux (those absorbent sheets they put under you in the hospital) in the diaper bag — easy to put down a clean surface anywhere for a diaper change, good at catching blowout mess, bundle up the whole thing and toss it." —Katherine Lippert McIntosh, Facebook
13. Baby wearing ftw.
"Baby wearing. A carrier like a ring sling or Tula is easy to slip off and put back on for security. It keeps them close so they feel comforted, your hands are free, and you don't have to deal with a stroller. Many brands support toddler weights too, so you can strap your 2-year-old to your back while navigating gate changes." —Amanda Felt-Sullen, Facebook
"If you have a baby carrier and your child is young enough to go in one, make sure you board the plane wearing your baby! You need to hand over your stroller at the gate and it is IMPOSSIBLE to board the plane with a tiny human on your arms if you have more stuff to carry or if they are upset." —lioraavitans
14. Divide and conquer.
"If you traveled with another grown up, have them take everything on board during early boarding. That way they can set up your seats and stuff without an angry baby yelling at them. Board last so you minimize the time you spend with a child on the plane." —lioraavitans
15. Spare clothes for EVERYONE.
"If you're going home on a plane you'll probably have extra clothes for your baby but don't forget a top and pants for yourself in case of a major diaper blowout or vomiting incident. Pack them in a XL ziplock bag so you can put the soiled clothes in there." —Alexandria Chang, Facebook
16. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
"The most important thing to do when traveling with little ones is to simplify. It seems best to bring everything under the sun with you but it's way easier to pack light. Bring the essentials and some key comfort items for your little one." —kayleemaetucker
17. Babies — so easily amused.
"My trick applies to people traveling by plane. When the person with all the snacks and drinks comes by, ask for a cup of water and a straw. Put your finger over the top of the straw while it's still in the water, so that the water stays inside the straw. Then, put the straw in your baby's mouth and let go so that the water comes out. Strangely enough, this will keep the baby fascinated for a surprisingly long amount of time!" —ehathawaymcbride
18. New stuff = fun distraction.
"Bring a couple new toys or books and introduce them on the flight so the baby had something new and interesting to look at." —katieo48955bda5
19. Plan ahead for the comforts of home.
"If you have a rental car booked send one spouse to pick it up and leave the other adult at the airport with the baby/kids until you can get picked up rental curbside. It saves a bus ride holding a baby on your lap (eek!). Make sure you have everything you need when you arrive already set up — most importantly a safe, age/weight appropriate car seat, and a crib or pack'n'play for your little one to sleep in (and don't forget their lovey!). If you don't have a family member or friend providing those things, consider using a reputable baby equipment rental company." —lisab46efef53f
20. Take notes and pack smart.
"A week or more prior to the trip, I would make notes about what I would use, including necessities, for making the trip lighter. For example, diapers. I'd time and add her used diapers, and calculate how many I would need for the length of time I'm gone, plus three or so. Sounds complicated but the extra time to jot down notes and calculate out necessities made travel lighter and easier! Same goes for anything else you may bring: clothing, bottles, pacifiers, pull-ups, toys, etc!" —quarterhorse411
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.