September 9, 2012

Tips for Traveling With a Baby During the Holidays

Traveling with a baby during the holidays can be tough. But with a little planning (and a lot of patience), you can make the experience a good one-no matter how far afield your holiday travel plans take you!

Below are five tips to make traveling with your baby stress-free.

1. If you're flying with your baby, bring more breast milk, formula and snacks than you think you need. You never know when you're going to be delayed-and it's better to have too much than not enough. And don't worry, you can carry more than the standard three ounces of breast milk or formula through airport security. Just make sure to pack it separately from your other gels and liquids (a soft-sided cooler works nicely), and present it to TSA officials for scanning at check-in.

2. If you're staying in a hotel, consider getting a suite or connecting rooms to make nap and bedtimes easier. It might cost a little more, but a well-rested, happy baby could be worth the extra expense. In my experience, it is worth every penny!

3. Unpack as soon as you get to your destination. Whether you're settling in at a hotel or staying with family, set up designated areas for sleeping, changing and playing. Your baby will feel more comfortable when surrounded with familiar things, and you'll feel far more organized!

4. Stick to your baby's normal schedule as much as possible. If you can avoid it, don't make your baby adjust to a new time zone. It's better to ignore the time difference if it's only an hour or two. Your baby will be much happier!

5. Practice strategic napping. Chances are, you won't always be able to lay your baby down for a nap in his or her crib. But that doesn't mean napping can't happen! When out and about, try wearing your baby at nap time. You could also take a walk (with stroller in tow), or plan to be in the car. The motion of driving has been known to send many a fussy tot off to dreamland!

Most of important of all? Be prepared to give it a little time. It will take a few days for your baby to settle in to the new environment. You might have a couple of sleepless nights, but if you can power through it, you'll be rewarded with a happy baby-and a great holiday travel experience.

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