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Surviving Holiday Travel With a Baby

Holiday travel – two words that can incite overwhelming fear into the hearts of new mothers everywhere. How will your baby react on an airplane? Can you spend 6 hours in a car with an infant? What if junior doesn’t nap well over at grandma’s house? All these thoughts are enough to make a new mother stay home, but with a little planning and a lot of patience, you can enjoy visiting during the holidays without losing your mind. Here are are few of Cherokee Women’s Health‘s favorite tips and tricks to surviving holiday travel with a new baby.

Traveling with a Baby Avoid holiday travel flubs with a new baby

  • Expect delays. Even during regular holiday travel, not everything runs as smoothly as it should. This is especially true when it comes to traveling with a baby. Pack extra finger foods or bottles in the event of a delay. If you’re formula feeding, pack more formula than you think you’ll need (but be mindful of the restrictions of liquids allowed – bring the powder to mix up as-needed).
  • Pack extra diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for baby and for you. You never know when a blowout might occur, leaving you stranded without an extra set of clothes.
  • For older babies who might be newly mobile, plan for plenty of rest stops if you’re traveling by car or allow for some time in the airport before you board to exert some of that curious crawling.
  • To ease ear pain often caused by airplane takeoff and landing, offer your baby a pacifier, bottle or sippy cup.
  • Here’s a helpful link offering even more tips on airplane travel with a baby.

Maintaining a Sleep Schedule

One of the toughest things about traveling with a baby or toddler is maintaining their normal sleep schedule. No nap or a night filled with more wake-ups than usual can make even the sweetest babies cranky.

  • If at all possible, don’t plan activities during your baby’s normal nap time. If you have a baby that naps once in the morning and once in the afternoon, try to plan a holiday lunch gathering to accommodate the sleep schedule.
  • If you’re traveling, pack all of baby’s favorite sleep essentials. Maybe a blanket or a soft toy that will help soothe them, even in a new space. Books, favorite music or a sound machine can also work wonders to help get baby to sleep in a new place.
  • A few days before you leave, set your baby to sleep in the pack n’ play where she’ll be sleeping during the visit. This will help her adjust to a new sleeping space, and it won’t be such a shock when you arrive at your destination.
  • If you’re crossing time zones, get your baby used to the different sleep times by slowly inching up naps and bedtime a few days before leaving.

If you’ve already “been there, done that” as far as holiday travel with kids, what other suggestions would you recommend? Share by leaving a comment below, and safe travels to all from Cherokee Women’s Health.