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Have Baby, Will Travel

Cue the (travel) crib...

Summertime trekking with your baby can be a lot of fun. No, we're not kidding. We agree, your baby needs nonstop attention, diaper changes, constant feeding and protection from germs - but that's true whether you're home or on the road.

Travel with babyWhat makes travel with a baby beautiful is that at this stage he isn't likely to know he's jumping geographical borders, unlike a toddler who erupts in a pool of tears when passed to the sitter, never mind an airport filled with different faces. And toting a baby is much easier than dragging a toddler who knows the meaning of the word "No" and how to throw it back at you.

Not sure how to navigate a safe trip for you and your baby? It's all about pre-planning. GoGirlfriend's travel with baby checklist will help you plan a healthy, safe and fun trip - for all of you.

Preplanning travel with baby

  • Travel timeGet the green light from your healthcare provider. If you're baby's been sick or is having trouble breastfeeding or adjusting to formula, your doctor may tell you to wait. Don't forget to ask for a copy of your baby's records in case of an emergency.
  • You'll need a car seat whether you're flying or driving - a car seat/stroller combo saves space.
  • A lightweight stroller that fits in the overhead bin on the plane will help you navigate airports (if you don't have combo).
  • Label and pack any medications you'll need - that includes OTC remedies.
  • Make sure health insurance is up to date. If you're traveling internationally, make sure you have coverage at your destination.
  • Get cancellation insurance just in case!
  • Research medical facilities and make contact before leaving home.

Packing the carry-on for travel

  • Pacifiers and bottles (if not breastfeeding), diaper-rash lotion, disposable bags for soiled diapers, lots of extra diapers and a first aid kit (see bottom of page).
  • travel planningChange of clothes for you and baby.
  • Your baby doesn't need many toys at this age, so limit your selections to a couple favorites.
  • Extra blankets so baby can stretch out during a layover or picnic rest stop.
  • Whether or not you're breastfeeding, keep yourself hydrated and avoid high caffeine, artificially sweetened and carbonated drinks.
  • Pack healthy snacks. Go for foods that offer the highest nutritional punch: dried fruit, apples and peanut butter and juices made from 100% fruit juice.

Packing for your final destination

  • Hats, sunscreen (for babies older than 6 months) and window shade for the car.
  • If you aren't breastfeeding, bring formula base and buy bottled water as needed.
  • If you'll need a crib, make sure you reserve one when booking your room. Or bring along your own portable bed.
  • Be vigilant about drinking, brushing and washing food with only bottled water if you're worried about the local water supply.
  • Make sure all food is thoroughly cooked and that milk or cheese is pasteurized.

Destination concerns for baby

Most holiday destinations are safe, but some present challenges for babies.

  • Travel adviceBabies get jetlag too, so if you're crossing time zones be aware that it may take your baby longer to adjust.
  • Pay attention to when your baby's at her best. If she needs quiet evenings, plan to do your sightseeing early in the day.
  • If you're not staying with relatives, look for lodging with a kitchen to make mealtimes less stressful.
  • Avoid destinations where life-threatening food or insect-borne infections are common, where malaria is endemic and places where live-virus vaccines are required before a visit.

First aid kit for baby

  • Pain relief medication: Infant acetaminophen and an oral syringe
  • Baby safetyInfant gas relief drops
  • Prescription medicine: bring your doctor's number just in case
  • Thermometer (rectal for babies)
  • Saline solution for a stuffy nose and/or nasal aspirator bulb
  • Oral pain relief gel if your baby's teething
  • List of names and phone numbers of people to contact in case of an emergency
  • Liquid soap: gel that doesn't require water
  • Antibiotic ointment and sterile bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant aren't recommended for babies younger than 6 months, but you'll need both
  • Calamine lotion and/or hydrocortisone cream for burns and bites
  • Electrolyte replacement drink: Prevents diarrhea-induced dehydration and is available for babies younger than 6 months

Planning to travel with your baby this summer? Have we missed any important tips? Leave a comment below or follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let's start talking!

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Traveling with your baby can be fun—but it seems as though there is so much to remember when it comes to packing!

When my son was an infant I'd give him a bottle during take off & landing. I figured since the old "chew gum so the pressure change won't hurt your ears" trick works for adults this is basically the same montion for an infant.

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