Do you have advice on traveling with a three-month-old?
We’d like to go away for our second anniversary and take our new baby with us. Do you have any advice for traveling with a three-month-old?Question:
What a delightful age to travel! Babies at this stage tend to be content sitting on your lap, enjoy being around strangers and take moderate schedule changes in stride.
If you are traveling by car, you can take whatever you feel is essential for maintaining everyone’s happiness. Your trip timing depends on whether you like driving at night or not. The downside of driving when the baby normally sleeps is that you may arrive with a ready-to-go infant and ready-to-rest parents.
If you are traveling by air, pack light. You can rent or buy whatever you need when you get there. If you must take a stroller or car seat, most airlines will check them for you at the gate and deliver them to you on the gangway when you arrive. It helps if you take off-peak flights -- midweek, midday. Make your reservations early, particularly if you are not purchasing a seat for the baby. Most airlines will block a seat to give you a full row.
Feeding your baby during takeoff and especially during descent and landing can help ease discomfort from changes in ear pressure. Give your baby a fresh, extra-absorbent diaper just before boarding. If the trip is not long and the diaper is not stinky, wait to change him again until you get there. Some larger planes have changing facilities in one of the rest rooms, but most do not. If you have two seats, raise the arm, cover the seat with a changing pad, kneel and change him there. Put the diaper in an airsick bag and drop it in the trash receptacle in the rest room.
When you pack your carry-on bag, plan for delays. Calculate how many diapers and bottles you will need for the flight (include ground travel) and add a few more. Ready-to-feed bottles are worth the expense. If you use powder, premeasure it and mix with bottled water when you need it. Warming the bottle is not necessary. If you are nursing, a window seat gives you the most privacy.
Other carry-on essentials include: wipes, a burp cloth, two changes of clothes for your baby, one change for you (at least on top), a first aid kit (pain reliever, gum soother, prescription drugs, thermometer, instant hand wash, nail file, insurance information, etc.), a familiar toy and book, a new toy and book (a tiny bottle of bubble soap is entertaining), a light blanket, a wet wash cloth, snacks for you, a bottle of water. Put items in plastic ziptop bags to ease location and reduce spillage.
Take your body carrier or sling. This is the best way for your baby to see the sights. Pack bedding to comfort your baby with a familiar smell and feel at night. Hotel cribs and rental car seats sometimes leave something to be desired. Complain if they are not up to your standards. After your trip, reward companies that provided exemplary baby-friendly amenities with an appreciative thank-you, and complain again in writing to those that have room for improvement. Both acknowledgements will make a difference for future travelers.Answer: