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Planning ahead can make the difference between a great trip and being totally stressed out.

It’s time to visit family and friends for the holidays, and many of us are packing up and getting ready to go out of town. If you have a baby or a toddler, the idea of traveling may be daunting.  Planning ahead can make the difference between a great trip and being totally stressed out. Here are some tips to help you have happy travels.

On the Road

Traveling by car is pretty easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind that will make the trip more pleasant:

  • Safety first!  If you are renting a car, you will either need to bring your own car seat or rent one, so check out your options ahead of time. And remember, for safety reasons the car seat should always be rear facing.
    Get a removable shade for the car windows to keep the sun out of your baby’s eyes and to make your baby  doesn’t get too hot. You can get these shades at baby stores.
  • Plan frequent rest stops. Most rest stops have diaper changing stations,  but pack a towel or disposable puppy training pads so you have a clean surface (also a must for quick diaper changes in the back seat!)
  • Pack a goody bag with food and entertainment.

In the Air

If you need to get on a plane to get to your destination here are some ideas to ease the angst.

  • Travel comfort: Call your airline and ask these questions:
    Can you bring your own car seat? It must be FAA approved.
    Can you gate-check a stroller?
    Is there pre-boarding for families with small children?
  • Baby comfort:
    Dress your baby for quick diaper changes.
    Feed your baby on take- off and landing. The sucking and swallowing will help with the air pressure.
    Wear your baby. You’re allowed to walk through security screening with your baby. No need to wake them up if they’re sleeping.
  • Airline regulations
    You can carry on “a reasonable” amount of liquids which can include; liquid formula, expressed breast milk, baby food or medicines. These must be placed in a clear plastic 1 gallon zip-lock bag.
    A birth certificate or some other proof of your baby’s age may be required, so find out beforehand what travel documents will be needed.

For more tips on airline travel got to www.havebabywilltravel.com

More Travel Tips
  • Travel schedules. Try to take your baby’s sleep schedule in mind when making travel arrangements. This can make the difference between a happy baby and a cranky baby. Research shows that adults usually adjust to jet lag in about 3 days. Babies may take more or less time, so if you’re crossing time zones, start adjusting your baby’s schedule before you leave by shifting his or her schedule back or ahead by an hour a day.
  • A  little bit of prevention goes a long way. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, even in winter. If you’re going to be outdoors, your baby should be protected. Also make a list of important information like your pediatrician’s name and number and any medications your baby may need and email it to yourself. Keep this on your cell phone for easy access and snap a picture of your baby’s birth certificate.
  • Create a home away from home.  When you get to your destination, having things around that are familiar to your baby will help.

You should be set to have a wonderful trip. Happy travels!

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