How to Travel With a Baby

How to Travel With a Baby. Tips to make traveling with a baby easier. What to pack and how to prepare.

Traveling with a baby can bring along all sorts of stress. You worry about what might go wrong, how the routine might be ruined forever, and how many vital items you might forget. Here are just a couple of tips I have for traveling with your baby. Please add your own tips if you have some.

  • Bring different PJs. I like to bring PJs that are the same as she usually sleeps in, some that are warmer, and some that are cooler. You never know exactly what it will be like, even if you have slept there before.
  • Make a list of what you need to pack. But remember, most of the time, you will be traveling to where stores still exist. If you forget something, you can buy it at the store when you arrive.
  • Bring things like medicine, diaper rash cream, etc. so you don’t have to find a store if you need it.
  • Bring things from home to make the sleeping environment more familiar. I like to put stuffed animals in the bed with my kids when they get old enough and then take them with us. If you have a pack n’ play you could also bring that.
  • If you are changing time zones, decide if you want to change the time with them. I personally don’t. I just keep them on the same schedule as if we were home. I hate changing times and twice a year is enough for me! If you do, decide how you want to do it. See the Time Change Strategies post for more information.
  • Be prepared for naps to not be as good and schedules to get off. When the baby is young enough, I like to bring a swing with us so I have a back-up sleeping place (assuming baby sleeps in swing).
  • Be prepared for some readjustment when you get home. Baby will adjust back. You have to spend some time (the length depends on the child and how they adapt). I think it is usually a few days. I have been blessed with flexible children who bounce back immediately, but I know Babywise kids who take time or who won’t sleep away from home…everyone has their own personalities. It will come!

Traveling is not always all that fun when you have young children (I don’t know how it is with older children). But it is something you do and something that brings families together. Try to relax and enjoy yourself. Life will get back to normal.

Other Traveling Posts

Reader Baby Travel Advice:

  • John and Amanda said…
    About Traveling… Just in the event that there is someone out there in my situation that would find this helpful. I actually moved half way around the world with my 4 month old son. We moved from Alabama to Korea! The total travel time was 30 hours (from waking up till the time we finally went to sleep at 4am Korea time). For me, I kept Caden on a three hour routine throughout the whole trip. He couldn’t sleep well on the plane anyway. He was exhausted… but was a trooper! And when we got to Korea and I put him down for “bed” at 4am, he decided to wake up at like 6:30am and my husband and I got up and started our day and kept him up until his bedtime that night not allowing him long naps… he made the switch rather quickly but we did have to go through about a month or more of night waking issues. I just wanted to comment on that extreme because I googled and got nothing on changing time zones like that with a baby! I just “winged it” and this is what I did! Hope it helps someone out there!! 🙂

Reader Baby Travel Questions:

  • Gabby said…
    I am trying to plan early for an upcoming trip we are taking in a month. My husband and I will be traveling with my parents and our 7 year old and almost 7 month old. It will be all day travel ( 2 flights, some driving, and a ferry). My question is how do you get you child to sleep when they can’t lay down in a pack in play or crib? He has learned to fall asleep without our help. Yeah!! But, he will not fall asleep in my arms. What do you do when there’s no bed? I plan to take the pack in play for when we arrive, but we are going for a wedding, and so I know during travel, and other events we will be limited as to where he can sleep. Thanks for any advice!

    The Babywise Mom said…
    That is a hard one. He might fall asleep in the carseat? My daughter hasn’t ever been that way–it is bed or nothing for her–but my son would fall asleep in the car seat, if only for 20 minute increments. You can sometimes take your carseat onto the plane if it isn’t a full flight. I don’t really have good advice for this. With my daughter, she just doesn’t sleep when we are out. She has such a happy disposition that it isn’t a problem. With my son, we worked hard bouncing him to get him to sleep for that short 20 minutes, but it helped him to be happier. If your son would nurse or eat to sleep, you could do that while you were traveling. I would do what you have to to get him to sleep. If he won’t, practice your keeping him happy skills. Good luck!

    Gabby said…
    I hadn’t thought about nursing to sleep. That might work, and he will nap in his carseat some. He’s a very easy going baby too, so I’m sure we’ll be fine, but it’s always nice to be prepared with ideas. Thanks!!!
  • Rachel Stella said…
    I wasn’t sure where to post this, but this was the best place I could find. My 7 month old will not sleep anywhere but his crib. I do the same nap or bedtime ritual in other places, use the same sound machine, bring along the same blanket etc. When he isn’t in his bed he just keeps looking around and if he happens to fall asleep then it is usually for only several minutes at which time he wakes up and starts to look around again.I usually have him sleep in a dark, quiet room. Maybe I have gotten him too accustomed to this? He just seems so interested with his world he won’t sleep unless it is all blocked out. This is getting really difficult because I can’t travel anywhere or have him babysat anywhere if I want him to get any sleep. He does not function well at all with little sleep. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY THOUGHTS/TIPS CONCERNING THIS?Thanks!

    The Babywise Mom said…
    I have a good friend whose son has been and is the same way (he is now 2.5). She didn’t do a lot of traveling with him as a baby (though some). She always had him sleep in his crib at home. My suggestion would be to try to break him of this by having him take naps in various places. If you have a pack n’ play, have him sleep in it every so often in a different room at home. Another thing is that it is possible he just isn’t a flexible person when it comes to this. Hopefully you can help him be better. I don’t think it is something he will just outgrow soon. Good luck!
  • Nathan and Rachel Greenfield said…
    can you or anyone else give me some husband and i live in jordan but are traveling to the states next month with our son who at that point will be just over 4 months. it’s a 24 hour trip. we arrive in the states, are there for 1 day and then hop on another flight to mexico. i am so worried about him and his schedule, especially with jet lag- jordan is 8 hours ahead of alabama and mx, where we will be for a few months before returning to jordan.any advice on how to deal with jet lag and get him back on schedule quickly. he’s sleeping through the night and has been since 10 weeks- i am sooooo worried about regressing (although i am realistic in my expectations that it will take a few days to get back on track)thanks!!!

    The Babywise Mom said…
    I don’t have any advice about that exactly. Did you read the reader advice section above? Amanda moved a large distance.I would work to move his schedule once you get here since it will be a few months. He should be fine. I would be super consistent with him leading up to it so he has a solid foundation to return to. You will most likely be surprised!
How to Travel With a Baby

6 thoughts on “How to Travel With a Baby”

  1. Hello, I have a 17 week old son whom I have on a 3 hour sched (7,10,1,4,7) with a dreamfeed at 9:30 – We will be flying to the West coast (we're on the East coast) next week to visit the in-laws & I'm a little worried how I will handle his schedule enroute & once we get there (what with the 3 hour time difference) Any advice for me?

  2. Hi,I've been using your site as a resource since my son was born last September. Your blog has helped me keep my sanity many times. Thank you.My son is almost 10 months old now. We've been doing BW from the get go and it hasn't always been easy. From what I gather, he is a lot like your son–he resisted napping from the beginning but after much patience and consistency he started to nap beautifully around 3 months old (that's not to say that he didn't have bad naps every now and then). Recently we went on our first airplane ride to visit his grandparents. While we were their we remained on his routine and he did great. Since we've been back home, he has does NOT wanted to nap. He has been fighting me with almost every nap time. I am at a loss because it just seems so out of character for him. Is this common? How would you recommend I handle it especially since he is older now. Thanks so much.

  3. Natalie, It just takes consistency. See the blog label "disruptions" and also "flexibility." It seems it is not all that uncommon for babies to be disrupted at 10 months anyway. You might try a longer waketime length to see if that is the problem. But I would give him some time before switching things up. By now, if he is still struggling, try lengthening waketime by 5 minute increments.

  4. Hello – I have an 8 week old that I’m about to take on a two week vacation. We have a baby bjorn travel crib that I was planning to have him sleep in, but my nanny thinks he is too young and won’t be able to settle down because the mattress is on the floor, rather than elevated like a regular crib. Is this really going to be an issue? I don’t have any other options but also don’t want to ruin our family vacation with terrible sleep for everyone…


Leave a Comment