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Now that the holiday season has begun, you may be preparing to travel to spend time with family and friends. If you’ve recently had a baby and will be traveling with your young child for the first time, the prospect may be giving you some additional holiday stress.

While there is no way to guarantee your child will be a perfect angel throughout the entire trip, making some advance preparations can help you be ready for a number of situations, from tantrums to illness, while you’re traveling. Whether you’re traveling by car, train, plane or boat, give these suggestions a try to help you and your entire family arrive happy and healthy.

Have plenty of food.
Making sure to bring along plenty of formula or solid foods (depending on your baby’s age) will help you keep them happy and their diet on track. Be sure to plan for delays that could keep you from getting to a store. If you breastfeed, make sure to bring along all your necessary supplies so you can nurse comfortably wherever you are. A soft multi-functional nursing cover really comes into its own when you are travelling.

Prep a first aid kit.
Babies can get sick while traveling, just like adults, so be prepared with some medications safe for babies. Travel can impact their digestive and immune systems, so having something for digestive issues like gas as well as a painkiller and/or fever reducer is helpful. Bandages and wipes are also important. Make sure to bring any medications and supplements you and your spouse may need as well.

Choose toys wisely.
While you want to bring along some of their favorite things to keep them occupied, be sure to consider where you’ll be going and how you’re getting there. Keep toys that beep and buzz packed until you reach your destination, to be considerate of fellow travelers. Bring along some favorite books or get something as a souvenir.

Try to keep their routine intact.
As we’ve mentioned before, babies thrive on routine. Sticking to your baby’s routine while you’re traveling as much as possible can be a real lifesaver for your patience. Depending how far you’re going and where you’ll be staying, it may take some extra planning to plan meals, baths, reading time, etc., but it’s worth it to help them adjust to new surroundings faster.

Communicate with your partner.
Make sure to plan your trip with your partner and go over all the details in advance. This will help you be there for each other no matter what arises. Be sure to take breaks and alternate duties so you both can enjoy your trip and get the rest you need.

Prepare friends and family.
If you’ll be staying with family or friends, make sure you speak to them in advance about any specific needs you have. Make sure you know what kind of accommodations they have so you can bring whatever necessary supplies you need with you. Obviously if they have a baby too, they may have some kit that you may borrow  Letting them know the daily schedule you keep for the baby can help when planning activities.

Maintain a balanced diet.
Traveling means a lot of eating on the go and perhaps indulging in more foods you may not normally have and this can impact your immunity and sleep. If your baby is eating solids foods, do your best to keep their diet on track with plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables — yours, too!

Keep your space organized.
Once you arrive at your destination, get unpacked and set up everything in your room so you can go throughout your days and nights more easily. No one wants to be rummaging around in the dark for a toy or blanket during a midnight feeding. Designate an area for changing and one for play — if you can, consider connecting hotel rooms so everyone sleeps better.

Consider your activities.
Planning activities around feeding and naps will reduce tantrums (see previous blog post) while out and about. Bring a stroller and a child carrier (see previous blog post) along so you can go on strolls through museums, parks or other attractions while your child sleeps.

Have fun!
Remember to bring a camera along to capture the memories. Your baby may be young but you’ll want to show them where they’ve been once they get older. Do your best to relax and enjoy yourself — it’s your vacation, too, after all.

Traveling with your baby doesn’t have to be a headache. With a little prep work, you’ll be on your way to a memorable trip full of new firsts for your little one.

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