18 Smart Tips For International Travel With An Infant

Travelling with a baby is a big mission. And you need the right arsenal and the right mindset for it. It’s miles different than travelling solo or as a couple and promises its own set of challenges. A bigger issue than the baby will be traveling with the baby’s stuff. It can get overwhelming while packing and deciding which essentials are truly needed for the trip.
But guess what, it need not be as bad as it sounds. A little bit of planning and a lot of calm resolve will go a long way while planning a trip with your baby. It is important to remember that just like the baby, you too need to be well rested before you travel anywhere.
Here are our 18 Smart Tips For Travelling With An Infant internationally:

1. Carry medical prescriptions and baby’s birth certificate

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The paperwork is necessary. Especially if you’re travelling internationally. Make a list of the baby’s vaccinations and basic medications. Also carry her birth certificate to prove her age to the airline authorities.

2. If you’re travelling internationally, make sure the baby’s vaccinations are upto date.

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Check with your pediatrician about any additional vaccinations that might be needed for the baby. Some countries require special vaccinations for both kids and adults.

3. Carry several garbage bags for dirty diapers and clothes

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Small things help. You might not have access to dust bins everywhere. It helps to carry some garbage bags for the baby’s dirty diapers and clothes.

4. Wear your baby

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Baby carriers can be a blessing while travelling, especially when you’re running about on airports. This way, you can have your hands free to carry other luggage and the baby can still be sleeping soundly. Many airports around the world allow you to go through security checks without unsaddling your baby carrier.

5. Carry small, hassle free meals

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If your baby has started taking top feed or formula, carry just how much you need. Also, it helps to carry hassle free foods like pureed foods in a tube or puff snacks out of a self-serve snack cup that will keep your baby busy too.

6. Don’t use airplane water for anything related to the baby

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This might come as a shocker but the water in airplane washrooms is treated with harsh chemicals and is not safe for anything other than washing hands. Opt for bottled water for all your baby’s needs.

7. Opt for a room with a living room (separated by a door)

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It’s your holiday too. You don’t want to be stuck in the bathroom reading a book so as not to disturb your baby. It helps to have a living room separated from the bedroom by a door. So that your baby can nap peacefully and you can catch up on some leisure time too.

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8. Wipe potentially germy surfaces with baby wipes

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The truth is, you cannot avoid all the germy surfaces that your baby might touch. If you’re a clean freak, it will help to clean potentially dirty spaces with baby wipes. Don’t obsess over it too much though.

9. If travelling on a plane, plan ahead and go over rules, regulations and rights

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To avoid airport disasters, planning ahead will go a long way. Check with the authorities about what foods are allowed on the plane and also about what kind of luggage can be checked in. As a parent to an infant, you have some basic rights that you should be aware of too. Read up and research before you go.

10. Carry a light stroller along (with a tag, name and phone number)

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If you want to, you can carry a light Umbrella stroller along with you on your holiday. Make sure it is foldable and light. Car seats and prams might prove to be bulky to carry. Strollers are great if there is a lot of walking or shopping involved.

11. Avoid sugary snacks before a flight

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Don’t feed your baby anything sugary before a flight. You don’t want to be stuck with a hyperactive infant on a long flight!

12. Let your baby play to her heart’s content before a flight

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There are two advantages to this. A) You can take care of all the packing and airport formalities when the baby is playing B) The baby will be asleep in the flight, making it an easy ride for you. If you have planned your travel in advance, you can try to adjust the baby’s schedule according to the flight timings from a few days before.

13. Book your seats in advance

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If you want to sit together with baby’s daddy and still have good seats, you will have to book your seats way in advance. Also notify the airline that you will be travelling with a lap-infant.

14. Don’t panic if the baby starts howling in the flight, a crying baby has an unmet need

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We’ve all done that to someone else. But it is easy to get flustered when you have people frowning at your face when your baby is howling on the top of her voice. Stay calm and understand that your baby is crying because of an unmet need. Try and concentrate on what he needs and soon enough, the baby will be fine.

15. Don’t try and achieve too much in one day while travelling with a baby

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Come to terms with the fact that you can no longer travel as free as a bird. You will have to take many breaks and adjust your plans according to the baby’s schedule. Scatter your time judiciously and keep enough time for nap and potty breaks.

16. Inspect hotel cribs before you use them

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Many hotels provide cribs on request. But often these cribs are dangerously dirty and unclean. Make sure the one that is assigned to you has been cleaned properly with fresh covers (if possible, carry one or two of your own). There are a number of rental companies that can provide you with the essentials (crib, pram etc) at daily rents.

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17. Feed during take off and landing

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Babies often have blocked ears during landing and take off. As they cannot help themselves, it is better to time your feeding around that time so that the swallowing helps with opening up their ears.

18. Don’t over-pack

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Last but not the least, don’t pack more than what you might need. Identify where you are travelling and whether that place would have the essentials. This way, you can save of luggage space and bulky suitcases. Do pack the baby’s medication though, just in case you don’t find the right doses where you are traveling.

Travelling with an infant need not be all frustrating. It helps to bond as a family and spend some quality time with your baby. Your first time is bound to teach you a lot about travelling with infants but we promise that you will get better at it with every trip you take.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A hippie hiding in civilized clothes, a borderline feminist and a dreamer stuck in a practical avatar, Reshma is an incorrigible idealist who lives in a black and white world ...

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