travel with baby tips

How to Travel With Your Baby

Expert Tips for a Smooth and Memorable Journey

It can be an incredibly exciting and memorable experience exploring the world with your little one, but, as you can imagine, to ensure everything runs smoothly and as stress-free as possible, a lot of planning and preparation is involved. From packing essentials to ensuring their comfort during the journey, every aspect needs to be taken into consideration. With the right preparation and mindset, you can make your travel adventures with your baby or toddler a breeze. Luckily, we’ve put together our top tips to help make your travel time with your baby a smooth and stress-free journey.

Just a reminder that unless necessary, both premature and full-term babies shouldn’t fly within the first few months of birth, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Preparing for the Trip

Before you leave, there are things you should prepare ahead of time when you’re planning a trip with your baby.

Check Travel Requirements and Documentation

When traveling with a baby, thorough preparation and awareness of travel requirements and documentation are essential to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip for the entire family.

For domestic trips, you’ll need:

  • Birth Certificate.
  • Identification.
  • Health Insurance Card.
  • Consent Forms: If you're traveling without the other parent, carry a consent form signed by the absent parent granting permission for travel.
  • Travel Itinerary.

For international trips, you’ll need:

  • Passport.
  • Visa.
  • Consulate/Embassy Contact Information.
  • Parental Consent.
  • Vaccination Records.
  • Health Insurance.
  • Travel Itinerary.
  • Customs Declarations.

When traveling with a baby, check the document requirements of your destination and transit points. Consult authorities or travel agencies for the latest information on travel documents.

Packing Essentials

Make a checklist of all the essential baby gear, such as plenty of diapers, wipes, extra baby clothes, baby food, bottles, pacifiers and blankets. Remember to pack some favorite toys or comfort items to keep your baby entertained during the journey. Consider purchasing a lightweight and compact stroller that is easy to maneuver and fold, and a comfortable baby carrier or sling can also be a great alternative for hands-free mobility.

Baby-Friendly Accommodations

Like choosing a family-friendly location, now that you’re traveling with a baby, you need to make sure you choose accommodations that provide baby amenities such as cribs, high chairs and baby-proofing measures. Check if they have any reviews from other parents who can give you insight into what the accommodation offers for babies; otherwise, contact the hotel or your rental agency directly about whether they cater to families with babies.

Use websites like Airbnb, HomeAway, Booking.comKid & Coe, Family Vacation Critic, Family Travel Association and Suiteness to look for family-friendly accommodation.

Travel Logistics

Traveling with a baby can be a rewarding experience, but it also requires thoughtful planning and attention to travel logistics to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for both the baby and the parents.


During long trips, plan frequent stops for feeding, changing diapers and playing with your baby, and align the departure time with your baby's nap schedule. When traveling by train, try to secure four seats facing each other, preferably by a window for engagement. Check for kid discounts, like free travel for infants aged 0 to 2, offered by certain train lines like Amtrak. Familiarize yourself with airline policies on ticketing, seating and baggage allowances for infants. Reserve a seat near the middle section, closer to the toilets, with more legroom for a bassinet, which can be provided by the airline upon prior booking.

Navigating Airport Security

First of all, arrive early to give yourself ample time. Don’t worry about other passengers; just do what’s best for your baby. According to TSA, you are allowed to bring formula and baby food in quantities of more than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on. If traveling internationally, though, check the specific guidelines of the airline you are traveling with. Use baby carriers or slings for hands-free mobility, and make sure to gate-check your stroller — as long as it can fold in half. Also, consider your child’s temperament and see if preboarding is right for you.

Car Travel Tips

Use a car seat or a suitable restraint system when traveling by car or taxi, one that is suitable for the baby’s height and weight. It can be difficult, but packing a variety of toys, books and interactive activities can keep your baby entertained and comfortable during long car rides. Singing and playing soothing music can also help keep your baby calm during the ride.

Health and Safety Considerations

Traveling with a baby requires careful attention to health and safety considerations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for both your little one and the entire family.

Vaccinations and Health Check-ups

If traveling internationally, don’t forget to talk with your pediatrician to make sure your baby is up-to-date with any necessary vaccinations or medications. They can also provide guidance on packing a travel-sized first aid kit for emergencies, with items that would help when traveling with an infant, such as baby-safe medication like infant Tylenol.

If your baby becomes ill during the trip, seek medical assistance immediately. Keep important contact numbers, including your pediatrician's number and local emergency services, readily available.

Feeding and Diapering While Traveling

Prepare in advance for on-the-go feeding and diapering during travel. Carry enough baby food, formula or breast milk and plan feeding and diapering according to your travel schedule. Keep diapers, wipes and a changing pad in your bag, and try to find family restrooms or changing facilities for convenience. Comfort your baby during the flight with feeding, pacifiers and soothing activities to create a calm environment. Consider nursing during take-off or landing to distract them from the changes in air pressure. Remember to always wash your hands and carry sanitizing products so that you and your baby stay safe from germs.

Entertainment and Comfort During the Journey

When embarking on a journey with a baby, ensuring their entertainment and comfort is paramount to keep them content and make the travel experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

Travel Toys and Activities

Long journeys can be tiring for babies, and keeping them entertained is crucial. Pack a variety of toys, books and interactive games that are suitable for their age. Singing songs, playing peek-a-boo or engaging in interactive storytelling can also help keep your baby entertained and distracted during the journey. Soft books, stacking cups, baby rattles, baby teethers and linkable toys are great travel toys.

Sleep and Naptime Strategies

Traveling across different time zones can disrupt your baby's sleep schedule and result in jet lag. To minimize these effects, gradually adjust your baby's sleep routine a few days before the trip. Once you arrive at your destination, try to establish a new sleep schedule that aligns with the local time. Bring a portable crib or play yard for your baby to sleep in to create a secure and familiar sleeping area for them.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with infants can be stressful at times and requires careful planning, but it can be a rewarding experience. By following the essential tips, you can ensure a smooth journey and create wonderful memories with your little one. Remember to stay organized, stay calm and embrace the joys of exploring the world together.