5 Ways to Reduce Stress When Traveling With a Newborn

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Whether you’re boarding a plane, going on a cruise, or hopping in the car for a road trip to visit the relatives, traveling with a newborn can be a terrifying experience, especially if you’re a new parent taking your baby on a trip for the first time. But there are ways you can prepare for the ordeal, plan for every possible headache, and reduce your stress all around. Here are some tips to keep you on track when you travel with an infant.

  1. Make a checklist. The biggest stressor for many new parents is the possibility that they may forget something essential. Of course, it’s probably not that difficult to find replacement items along the road or once your plane arrives at your destination. But if you forget the diapers or a bottle during a long flight there’s not a lot you can do to remedy the situation in the meantime. So make yourself a checklist with everything you’ll need for baby on your trip and check it twice. This will go a long way towards reducing your stress level.

  2. Get a wrap baby carrier. If you want the easiest and most comfortable way to keep your baby nestled close, skip the standard slings and backpacks and opt for a soft, stretchy, adjustable wrap-style carrier. You can use all kinds of configurations to affix your baby to your body, and with no metal hardware you should be able to carry your newborn straight through the security check.

  3. Time feedings appropriately. Your infant no doubt has very clear ideas about when it’s time to eat, and if you’ve got him on a schedule at home he might get fussy if you are unable to adhere to it when you travel. Here’s the thing, though; you’ll be a lot better off if you can wait to feed him until the plane is taking off, so try to start shifting feeding times a few days before you travel. The upside is that swallowing will help his ears to pop as you gain altitude, allowing for less discomfort and crying. In addition, a feeding will comfort him and help him to fall asleep, even amidst unfamiliar surroundings and the loud noise of the engines. Try to feed him again when you start the descent. This will reduce stress for you, your newborn, and everyone on the plane.

  4. Leave early. You don’t want to find yourself rushing when you have the needs of a newborn to consider, so give yourself plenty of extra time to get to the airport, get through security, and find your way to your gate. This way you won’t have to stress when you see a long line or your baby needs to be changed or fed during the process. The same goes for getting on the road early in the day and getting to your destination before dark.

  5. Talk to your doctor. Whether you’re planning out African Safari trips on zicasso.com or merely heading to a nearby city to see your folks, it’s not a bad idea to speak to your pediatrician before you hit the road. For one thing, your infant may need immunizations, especially for international travel. But your doctor can also answer any questions you might have, offer helpful advice, and put your mind at ease. People travel with infants every day, so it’s not like you’re reinventing the wheel here. And your pediatrician can give you all the info you need to ensure that you and your newborn are comfortable along every leg of your trip.