The majority of holiday travel tips for families with newborns concentrate on protecting the infant from germs. This advice, though, overlooks the need for efficiency and planning when traveling with a new baby. Below are practical considerations if you intend to travel with your newly born baby.
1. Remember You're Preferred
Most flights allow families with young children to board first. This option gives these families more time to install the car seat or just get organized in their seats. Arrive early at the gate, not just at the airport, to make sure that you don't miss out on being the first on the plane.
2. Organize the Logistics
Traveling with a newborn requires identifying who will be in charge of the newborn at all times. Identify who is to be in charge of the newborn and who in charge of the luggage (and other items at the various stages in the trips). For example, mom might carry the baby through security check while dad handles the luggage, or dad might hold the baby during the first hour of the trip and mom the second.
3. Tell the Organizers You Have a Baby
Flights, car rental companies and train staff will be able to help you get settled, but only if you let them know that you will be traveling with an infant. When told, plane and car rental company staff may be able to help you install the car seat, fold up and pack your stroller, or just let you know where you can find some hot water if you need it during the trip.
4. Plan for Stops
You know you're traveling, but your newborn doesn't. This means that she'll be hungry, awake, tired and have a dirty diaper at the same time she normally does. Incorporate your baby's schedule, if any, into your travels. Do not expect to drive for 10 hours straight without stopping to change a diaper, heat up a bottle or breastfeed. Prior to embarking on your travels, identify places you can stop and the times you will need to be there. You and your baby will be happier if you don't deviate too much from your regular schedule.
5. Ship, Ship, Ship
You, your partner, other children and the newborn need multiple things to get them through the trip. This means that you'll have lots of luggage to handle in addition to a new baby. Consider shipping your items, particularly any gifts, ahead of time. The extra cost will be well worth it when you don't need to drag anything along other than your family.
6. Have a Food Plan
Hungry parents aren't always pleasant parents. You and your newborn will need to refuel regularly. Pack snacks for you and your spouse to munch on; the forethought will save you the time and energy it takes to locate a restaurant and wait for food. Low-sugar snacks will help keep your energy up without crashing two hours later.