Vacations are something to look forward to, not something to dread! Unfortunately, while you’re hoping to get a little shut-eye on your flight or read a book, your fussy baby may have other plans.
From bawling aboard a multi-hour flight to deciding that the hotel lobby is the perfect place to throw a tantrum, traveling with your baby can present some unique challenges. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help keep your baby calm while traveling — because a calm travel partner makes for a happy parent, and happy parents and little ones are what we’re all about.
Bring Quiet Toys for Flights
Toys are great tools for engaging your young one’s mind and calming travel nerves. The key to traveling with a baby is to find toys that are entertaining yet quiet. That means saving those rattles and musical toys for when you’re alone in the hotel room. On planes and in public spaces, opt for silent items that can still entertain your child with bright colors and interesting textures. Our favorites include soft Squeeze & Stack Blocks, which come with their own tote bag for portability, and Ring Links that are perfect for both teething and developing a baby’s motor skills. The best travel toys are ones that can be easily wiped clean, so you can protect your baby from being exposed to foreign germs.
Be Prepared for Teething
Traveling with a teething baby is a concern for many parents, but it doesn’t have to be if you pack the right gear. To soothe those teething woes, bring along a fun chew-friendly toy like our Squeeze & Teethe Lion or this adorable froggy pal. Our soft, flexible teething toys are made from all-natural rubber, giving you something safe to offer your child wherever you go. Looking for something a little softer? Your baby may enjoy this Cuddly Teether, made of soft fabrics that crinkle gently — when she’s not busy chewing on it, it’s perfect for snuggling.
Find a Consistent Place to Stay
Shifting cities every three days may have been the theme of those backpacking travels in your youth, but having a baby means sticking around in one place for longer. Navigating unfamiliar surroundings and breaking out of your normal routine can be overwhelming and tiring for your baby, and may add stress. Your baby won’t have time to feel settled if you’re moving cities or hotels every few days, and this will translate to restless nights for everyone. Pick a comfortable location and go on day trips from there.
Build in Breaks
While this won’t be possible on long-haul plane journeys, any travel done by car should include plenty of built-in breaks. We all get a little antsy on long car journeys, and babies need time for feeding, fresh air, and wiggling opportunities. Calculate a stop every two to three hours, and make sure you have the right gear so your baby can spread out. With a portable and comfortable activity mat, you can create a clean and safe playspace anywhere you go. Our Soft Foam Puzzle Mat can be wiped clean and broken down to fit in a bag, and our Take & Play Safari Activity Gym & Play Mat is designed for ultimate portability — it folds up and even has a handle for ease of carrying!
Get a Good Carrier
Finding a good travel baby carrier will make a big difference in terms of your mobility. Babywearing keeps your little one physically close, and the skin-to-skin contact and steady sound of your heartbeat can help your child feel more secure in an unfamiliar place. Look for a carrier that can be worn on the front or back, and includes storage space for the items you need to bring for feeding, teething, or entertainment on-the-go. This will mean your baby is more likely to stay warm, comfortable, and calm throughout the day. The right carrier will be not only a place for your baby to snuggle up, but can also serve as a mini day pack when you’re out and about.
Don’t Sweat the Big Stuff — Just Rent It
If you’re driving to your destination and have enough space in the car, you may consider packing a stroller. If you’re lacking car space or flying to your destination, consider borrowing or renting a stroller when you arrive. Strollers can generally be rented abroad — though note that some travel locations may not be ideal for stroller pushing (think cobblestone streets and ample flights of stairs). Do your research on the destination ahead of time to plan for the easiest way to get around with your baby.
Speaking of rentals, don’t worry about the headache of bringing a travel crib on board your flight. To ease stress, ask if your hotel has rental cribs and strollers you can use for the length of your stay.
Traveling with your baby will certainly introduce a new dimension to your trip, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one! With the tips above and the right toys, you’ll soon be enjoying the vacation you deserve.