You know what’s harder than taking care of a baby? Taking care of a baby when you’re on the road. As if trying to get your baby to sleep through the night in your own home weren’t enough of an uphill battle, now you’ve got to worry about tucking her into a hotel crib or a borrowed Pack ‘n Play. Then there’s the whole issue of getting to your destination in the first place…holding a baby on your lap for a four-hour plane ride is not a recipe for fun!
Not to worry—with a little preparation, you can navigate the bumps of traveling with your little one in tow, and maybe you’ll even score some amazing memories of Baby’s First Vacation.
On the road
Whether you’re going by train, plane or automobile, if baby’s your co-pilot, you’ll need to travel prepared. Grab your biggest diaper bag or backpack and fill it with the following:
-A favorite blanket and lovey for naptime
-At least two changes of clothes for baby and an extra shirt for you (travel can be messy!)
In the hotel
All babies have different temperaments. Some of them are laid-back and go with the flow…others expect routine and get their feathers ruffled when you mix things up. If you’re concerned your baby is a stickler to routine (my children are!), help ease the transition into his new temporary surroundings by bringing some of the comforts from home. Pack a crib sheet and bring a few other items from his nursery. Bring the usual bubble bath and lotion that you use at home to soothe baby with familiar scents. You can even spray your nursery air freshener to make the hotel room smell less foreign!
At a friend or relative’s house
It can be easier (and cheaper!) to stay with friends or family instead of a hotel, but this situation can bring additional complications, too. It’s not too hard to baby-proof a 600 square foot hotel room, but if you’re staying at a house with fragile glass vases on low shelves and stairs, you can expect to spend a lot of time chasing after your baby. You might also have to adapt to your host’s customs and mealtimes—not a big deal for adults or even older children, but a challenge for the baby who craves routine.
Your best bet? Bring some baby-friendly snacks to tide your little one over if mealtime doesn’t coincide with your baby’s usual feeding time, and again, take those comforts from home with you as well.
Also necessary: a go-with-the-flow attitude. Remember: your days away from home are numbered. Take this time to relax and enjoy watching your baby experiencing new sights, sounds and tastes.
Jorie Mark is the Creative Director of Vitacost.com and mother to three children, ages 2 to 9.