15 Tips For Traveling With Baby – Guest Baby Tip
Feb 10 2008

I babble about business, babies, and parenthood on this blog, so those of you who come here to read my posts on entrepreneurship but do not have babies, please forward this post to your friends and family who do have babies. For those who have babies and dabble in business, these tips might be right up your alley.  If you have babies and have no interest in business, then send it on to the folks you know who are knee-deep in business and encourage them to have a baby! :-)   To see other great baby tips, check out the baby tips category.

Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble was kind enough to let me re-publish her January 30, 3007 tips on traveling with baby that she said was inspired after I asked her if she would write a guest baby tip for my blog.  She also sent me an adorable picture of her looking at baby Milan.  Maryam has been working as an event planner since 1995 and is now taking time off to be with her newborn son.  Maryam’s husband, Robert Scoble, is none other than the “Scobleizer” a strong presence in the blogging community.  Maryam spends her free time blogging about living, loving, and working with geeks as well as life, love, and everything else.   If you are new to the blogosphere, you might not have heard that she and Robert had a baby, but they did and now she has great tips to share!

Traveling with Baby? Here are fifteen things I’ve learned.

milanandmaryam400x267.jpgI honestly thought that my days of traveling adventure would be over once our baby was born. Not so! Barely four months old, Milan has accompanied us without much fuss to Paris, London and Vegas, traveling via Trains, Planes, and even on a bus. We are headed to Geneva next.

If you are traveling with child I highly recommend checking out My Traveling Buddy website.

Baby Center has a great checklist on things to take with you while traveling with child.

My advice based on my own experience:

1) Don’t pack too many little bags and suitcases. You will leave things behind or else won’t be able to carry all of them together. While it was easier before to have smaller, lighter suitcases, you now need to try and consolidate as much as possible. Remember in addition to the suitcases, you also have to push the stroller and you only have two hands :) I used to pack a suitcase, a carry on and a bag for each of us and it worked perfectly before, but now one of us has to push the stroller while the other carries everything on the cart. My heart goes out to single parents!

2) Don’t forget the baby Bjorn or other form of baby carrier with you. You need to check in your stroller and sometimes have to walk long distances before claiming it back after you get off the plane. You can check in the stroller right where you check in to get on the flight, but you won’t get it back when you land until you walk all the way to baggage claim. In London, we had to walk far and long, and wait quite a while before getting our stroller back. Thank God, I packed a baby carrier with me.

3) Don’t forget the bottle washer and soap. It’s hard to wash bottles without the bottle washer and the soap at the hotels or airports might be too fragrant for the baby. I had to send Robert out to search for a bottle washer in Vegas and I had a hard time finding a perfume free soap in beautiful Paris, home to many famous perfumes.

4) If you are using formula, make a bottle ready before going through security screening. They won’t let you carry a bottle of water but they would let you carry the milk through. The bottle would be safe for an hour and two and you are not forced to run around and look for bottled water in the airport. The security officer in the Vegas airport told me that I could get out of line, mix my formula with water and go through again if I wanted to. I didn’t want to wait in line again, but next time, I will just make the formula ahead of time.

5) Check in early for your flight so you can make sure your baby has a bassinet on board. You can’t reserve one on the phone and if too many babies are traveling on board, you may lose out to those who checked in before you. We were late to check in for our flight to London and couldn’t get a bassinet as there were twenty other babies traveling on board. We got smart on the way back and checked in early :)

6) Make sure your baby is sucking on a pacifier or a bottle during take off and landing. The air pressure won’t hurt their ears as much. We were feeding Milan while the plane was taking off and landing and he fell asleep each time without crying.

7) If traveling by train find out where the bathroom with diaper changing table is located and book your cabin close to that. I had to walk through over ten cabins while the train was moving with a baby that badly needed a change, all the while worrying if we were going to reach the station soon.

8)Pack enough formula and diapers. Babies sometimes show allergic reaction to different brands of diapers. It’s also very hard to find the same brand of formula while traveling abroad and babies stomach often react to new brands.We ran out of formula in Paris and I couldn’t even read the instructions on the formula I bought and had to trust the reluctant pharmacist advice. Luckily Milan liked the new formula and it worked fine for us. Next time, I will pack extra formula though.

9) Having a travel system based car seat and stroller (we use Graco) works best because you can use the car seat in the cabs, buses, trains and cars, and then place the seat easily in the stroller when walking around. The stroller folds easily and is light to carry around. You can also use it as a cart to carry stuff around.

10) If you have older children I suggest running them through the airport to let them exert some of that extra energy so that they are good and tired and ready to sleep in flight. Planning travel during their sleep time is also a good idea.

11) With older children taking some cheap new toys and coloring materials helps keep them occupied during flight. When Patrick was younger, I always bought him a bunch of magazines so he could read them during the flight and of course he had his trusty hand held game players.

12) Remember that there are different rules for traveling with babies domestically vs. internationally. For example, babies traveling on your lap can fly for free on United inside the US but you have to purchase a ticket for them while traveling abroad. It usually comes to about 10% of your adult fare plus taxes, etc.

13) You need a valid passport for children traveling abroad with you, even if your child is only four months old like ours.

14) Before traveling make sure to check with your pediatrician about any medical issues you need to be aware of. Traveling with babies under three months is not recommended and some airlines won’t even allow a new born to fly. Depending on the country you are traveling to, your baby may need to get special vaccinations. I packed over the counter  gas-relief medicine and baby Tylenol with us just in case.

15) Last but not least, check the weather and pack accordingly for your child. It was raining hard in London and Paris and we looked around for a long time before we were able to find a waterproof plastic cover for Milan’s stroller.

Bon Voyage and Happy travels!

______

If you like this tip, you might be interested in our other recent guest baby tips:

Throw A Baby Kegger For Your Buddy by Clay Nichols at DadLabs

Keeping a Baby Food Journal by Neena at A Mom’s Life at NeenMachine.com

Increasing Milk Supply by Carole Hayes at Alias Tex

Note to new readers: these tips are based on our experiences, as well as those of our friends and readers. Please always consult with your doctor before implementing any tip that might impact the health of your baby. If you have a tip you’d like to submit please send an email to blogger at babblesoft dot com.  Please check the ‘baby tips’ category to make sure your tip (in some form or fashion) hasn’t already been posted. If it has been, feel free to comment on that post and support the tip. We also welcome respectful challenges to the tips because as is noted in our inaugural baby tip ‘everything is relative!’ We will, of course, give anyone who submits a tip we publish credit and lotsa link love!

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13 Comments on “15 Tips For Traveling With Baby – Guest Baby Tip”

  1. 1 Carole said at 10:37 PM on February 10th, 2008:

    I always like to bring crayons and coloring books for the kids, but new toys are always a hit. Two of the best things I ever found for plane trips are Play-doh (the individual ziplock bag kind) and paint-with-water books. (We bring a bag of Q-tips to use as “paint brushes” and ask the stewardess for a small cup with a tiny bit of water in the bottom; it keeps them busy for most of an hour, and we usually end up sharing with at least one other family!) : )

  2. 2 Aruni said at 8:19 AM on February 12th, 2008:

    Hi Carole – I hadn’t seen the individual ziplock play-doh bags. I’ll have to look for them. Q-tips for painting…what a great idea!

  3. 3 Joyous said at 11:01 AM on February 14th, 2008:

    Great article! Just wanted to add that breastfeeding makes travel even easier. No fuss about mixing or packing enough formula, and it makes takeoff and landing muche easier, too.

  4. 4 Alex in OC said at 8:15 PM on February 14th, 2008:

    I have flown 4 times with my 8 month old. I always bring a mix of her favorite books–a few paperback ones so it isn’t too heavy, a few rhymes/songs, and a few interactive ones like touch & feel, pop up, etc. We read one or 2 whenever we are sitting and waiting somewhere, if she seems interested. Yes, it’s extra weight, but TOTALLY worth it. For this age at least you don’t want new things–you want the old favorites that are comforting. Closer to 2 years the baby I Spy books are like baby magazines and will keep your child interested on and off through your whole trip.

  5. 5 Aruni said at 8:50 PM on February 14th, 2008:

    Hi Joyous I breastfed when flying too. It was really easy to feed them during take off and landing. My husband sat next to me and would help keep the cover blanket I used from falling. After I weaned I would give them a pacifier or something else to suck on like a lollipop to help them clear their ears.

    Hi Alex sounds like your 8 month old loves books! That is great! We brought some board books when we traveled but it alwasy seemed like they would end up on the floor after 3 minutes. :-) We did our best to time flights during nap times, but when delays happened our creative muscles were put to the test. :-)

  6. 6 Krees said at 1:47 AM on February 15th, 2008:

    When my son was 4 months, I took him back to the U.S. to visit family. (We live in the Netherlands.) I traveled without my husband, so keeping things from falling out of reach on the floor was essential. Who can reach down between those seats without a baby on her lap?!? I carried his pacifiers and teething rings in a small bag whose handle was thin enough to loop around the closed tray table in front of me. To keep them from falling out of the bag and keep them off the floor while Aldus played with them, I attached long ribbons and secured them to the handle of the bag with a carabiner. It worked like a charm! Everything was in reach to keep Aldus and I (and our seat neighbors) happy!

    Krees’s last blog post..Apparently it’s Valentine’s Day?

  7. 7 Lin F said at 8:19 AM on February 15th, 2008:

    I learned a trick from another parent blog for traveling…string cheerios on dental floss. both easily packed. (older kids.)
    For babies we learned the hard way to always have two bottles with water ready to dump packet of formula into …we once had no water in bottles ready and had to endure a 45 minute train trip from airport to downtown hostel, it was very very bad. SHe was hungry. who can blame her.
    also look for travel packets, 2 oz each, you can throw those puppies in carry on and if baby on formula they can be a life saver.

  8. 8 Debbie said at 5:07 PM on February 15th, 2008:

    Great tips! Our son is 2 1/2 and we still give him a sippy filled with milk during takeoff. He falls asleep almost every time. The soothing motion and engine sound are just too much to resist.

    Debbie
    http://www.deliciousbaby.com

    Debbie’s last blog post..Welcome RookieMoms Readers

  9. 9 Aruni said at 8:26 PM on February 15th, 2008:

    @Krees – Great point. We used one of those paci ribbons with the clip to attach to their clothing our kids too. It saved us many a washing of the paci.

    @Lin F – That is a great idea bout stringing cheerios on dental floss. When I weaned my kids I would put the proper amount of formula in a bottle and make sure we carried extra bottles of water with us…but that was before they stopped letting you take bottled water on the plane.

    @Debbie – Sippy cups are probably one of the best inventions ever. :-)

  10. 10 StumbleUpon Suggestions for 2/21/2008 - Be A Good Dad said at 10:16 AM on February 21st, 2008:

    […] thinking about taking the kids on a big vacation some day in the relatively near future. Here are some tips about traveling with kids (and more in the […]

  11. 11 entrepreMusings » Ten Tips To Keep Your Toddler Occupied on A Plane said at 8:20 PM on March 14th, 2008:

    […] 15 Tips for Traveling with Baby by Maryam Scoble of Maryamie […]

  12. 12 Jennifer said at 12:25 PM on October 26th, 2008:

    Hey everyone. I’m kind of new at this. I have 2 girls. one is almost 2 years old and the other is only 2 months. I’m going to be traveling from Orlando, FL. to Spokane, WA. I have an hour and a half between flights in Pheonix AZ. Do you think you can give me a few tips in case I have to transfer planes?

    Mixing the formula before I get “scanned”,as some people call it, is a great idea. Will they allow you to have the can of Formula though on your carry on though. or would I have to get one of those little formula containers that have indivual ammounts seperated and such. Some people know what I’m talking about. The plastic containers that carry the formula and has like 3 sections to it. I think I sould go that rout. What do you think?

  13. 13 Aruni said at 8:25 PM on November 1st, 2008:

    Hi Jennifer – Make sure to take a stroller for each of the kids or one that can fit both of them if you have to change planes. It will make life easier and you can put things in/on the stroller to ease your carrying load.

    I think they will allow you to take powdered formula in and you can ask the flight attendants for some water to mix it. We sometimes asked them for hot water to warm it, but for the first 6 to 9 months of each of my kids lives, I breastfed them so no need to warm anything. :-)

    Good luck with your trip!