Tips For Traveling With Infants: Make Baby Travel Easy! (Age 0-1)

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If the euphoria and pain of childbirth has worn away and you’re starting to wanderlusting again, then you may be wondering; is it possible to travel with your baby?

When it comes to traveling with infants, it’s best to consult with your doctor before booking any flights, as it’s not recommended to travel until your babies have had their immunity vaccines and are fit and healthy, which is different for every baby.

family posing for photo with baby inside Baby bjorn miracle carrier
On our way to New Zealand with 8 week old Savannah

Some babies are fit to travel within 6 weeks (usually only domestic flights), whereas some doctors recommend to wait until they are 3-6 months old, so it’s really important you discuss your travel plans with your doctor before doing anything else.

After you’ve done that and got the go ahead with your GP, then you’re probably wondering what flying with an infant is like. Well, that’s where we’re here to help.

We have been flying with our two girls since they were babies. Savannah was six weeks when we flew to New Zealand from Australia, so we’re well placed to tell you the truth about flying with a baby.

Here’s some tips for making that first journey with an infant a breeze!

Can You Travel with a Baby Under 1?

mom and daughter posing with captain hats on
P & O cruise

You’re probably a little freaked out, scared, and wondering if travelling with your baby possible, easy, too-hard to basket, or just a ridiculous daydream.

I know sooo many new mothers (or even those who haven’t had kids yet) tell me they can’t travel with a baby. My response is always – yes you can. In fact, its one of the easiest ages to travel with kids!

I know it sounds hard with all that nappy (diaper) changing and feeding and sleep routines. But, babies can be so darn good at slipping into your life. As long as you follow our tips, you’ll find that traveling with a baby can be a breeze.

My belief is that parenting is hard no matter the age, nor where you are, so you might as well travel with your kids and fill up the moments in between with meaningful memories. You can make it work and enrich your family life in doing so.

Tips For Traveling with an Infant

a baby smiling
Savannah loves traveling

If you’re ready to take a flight, here are our top tips for traveling with a baby to make the journey smooth sailing!

1. Speak To Your Doctor First

As I mentioned earlier, it’s really important you consult with your doctor before you book anything. Your doctor will not only know whether your baby is ready to travel but can offer suggestions for keeping them clean and safe while abroad.

Before you visit your doctor, have an idea in mind of where you want to go and for how long so they can advise you accurately.

2. Plan Ahead & Pick An Appropriate Destination

Be sure to research your chosen destination first and make sure it’s baby-friendly. Look up whether there are any security risks, if there are any air-born diseases going around, and make a decision about whether it’s worth it.

You might think that a destination is totally safe from what you see in movies, but don’t let your guard down. Remember in 2023 when Paris had a bed bugs problem? Scour local news sites to see what’s going on in that destination.

Also be sure to look for hotels or accommodations that provide baby-friendly amenities such as cribs and high chairs, and have baby-proofed rooms.

3. Consider Your Personality

It’s important to consider your personality. If you’re anxious, structured, extra cautious, then it might not be a great idea for you to travel with a baby.

Perhaps start off slow, with short trips away so you can test it. The last thing you want to do is put time, energy and money into a travel experience and hate it.

4. Consider Your Baby’s Personality

woman with baby asleep in Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier
Savannah loved sleeping on my chest.

They may all seem so snuggly and cute, but every baby has their own personality. You’ll get to know yours pretty quick.

If you feel they have a relaxed temperament and love to hang out with you all day, then travel may work well for them. If they’re a bit cranky and love a bit of structure and routine they may not be so suited.

Sometimes the only way to find out is to give it a go. You won’t ruin them in doing so.

5. Pack Wisely

Bring all the essentials like diapers, wipes, formula/breast milk, extra clothes, and blankets. Don’t forget to pack their favorite toys or comfort item to keep them entertained.

Have accessibility in mind when you’re packing. Keep diapers, wipes, baby food and snacks within easy reach during your journey.

Having a well-stocked diaper bag or backpack will help you handle any unexpected situations.

6. Choose the Right Transportation

You don’t have to fly with a baby to travel. You can also take road trips, trains and ferries. When planning your trip, try to choose modes of transport that are easier for babies.

Personally, we think road trips are the easiest for traveling with kids because you can pack everything you need in your car.

Top Tip: When booking flights, be sure to book a direct flight and one that aligns with your baby’s schedule to minimize disruptions.

7. Be Prepared for Security Checks

When you travel with a baby, you need to pack a lot of carry-on items. You may be using formula over breastfeeding, which means you’ll need to carry a few bottles with you.

Remember to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the airline or transportation authority regarding carrying baby items. Passengers are only allowed 10 x 100ml bottles (yes, even for parents with babies) so choose your liquids wisely.

You may also need to take a Federal Aviation Administration Approved baby seat or travel stroller on the plane with you, but be sure to measure the size and weight first and check whether they meet the requirements.

Allow extra time for security checks as you may need to go through additional screening – it’s almost always the parents with babies that get pulled out the line!

8. Maintain a Routine

Try to stick to your baby’s usual routine as much as possible, including feeding and sleeping schedules.

This will help them feel more comfortable and minimize any disruption caused by the travel.

9. Bring a Baby Carrier or Travel Stroller

savannah sitting in stroller
Stroller time out in Phuket

Having a baby carrier or stroller can be very useful for navigating airports, train stations, or sightseeing. You may need to weigh it before taking it on as carry on luggage, but regardless, put one in the hold if you can.

Having a travel stroller will save your back a world of pain. It allows you to have your hands free while keeping your baby secure and comfortable. Plus, it’s unlikely any taxis or buses will have baby seats, so bringing something to keep your baby secure on public transport abroad is also a good idea.

10. Take Breaks

If you’re not flying with a baby, then plan for regular breaks during long journeys to allow your baby to feed, have a diaper change, or just get some fresh air.

This will help keep them calm and happy throughout the trip.

11. Stay Calm and Patient

man. child and baby swimming in thermal pool

Traveling with a baby can be challenging at times, and it’s highly likely your baby will stretch their lungs during takeoff and landing due the the change in air pressure.

Hint: try to feed them during this time, as the act of swallowing helps to pop their ears and cope with the air pressure.

Most of the time, other passengers are sympathetic towards parents traveling with a baby, but there are always the odd passenger who will sigh and roll their eyes, but just ignore them. They probably don’t have children and don’t know the struggle.

Remember to stay calm and patient. Babies can sense your stress, so try to create a positive and relaxed environment for both you and your baby.

You can also ask a flight attendant to help you, as they will likely have some experience of flying with babies too.

12. Consider Breastfeeding When You Travel

I traveled with my girls when I breastfed and when I bottle fed. Breastfeeding is much easier.

You can also bring a breast pump with you and pump in the bathroom if you need to.

Depending on where you are, finding the right formula could be a problem and so you need to do your research and potentially pack enough for the duration of your trip.

You can always take your own in hold luggage or choose to travel to those places where you can easily access the formula you require.

Here’s a post with useful breastfeeding tips for when you travel.

13. Carry Additional Luggage for Babies

baby asleep in travel cot
A travel cot was a great accessory!

Think about how much luggage are you going to need, and decide whether it would be easier to have a suitcase just for your baby and their needs.

You don’t need much room for clothes as they are so small, it’s more for nappies, formula, strollers and baby seats.

When we traveled to New Zealand with Savannah, our Baby Bjorn saved us from taking our stroller everywhere with us. Savannah loved being carried around in that all day.

14. Book The Middle Seat and Aisle Seat

When picking the best airplane seat for traveling with a baby, we personally think the middle seat is the best as you can stop them from crawling out into the aisle.

If you’re traveling as a pair, then choose the middle seat and aisle seat, rather than the window seat, because then one of you can get up and walk around with the baby when the seatbelt sign is off.

Make sure you pick the bulkhead seats at the front with the bassinet for babies if there is one available.

15. Bring A Copy of The Birth Certificate

Of course, you need to get a passport for your baby, but you may also be required to show a birth certificate, depending on where you are traveling to.

16. Sanitize!

It’s always a good idea to wipe down the armrests, tray table and other areas around the seat before getting comfortable.

You never know!

Our Experience Travelling with a Baby

family posing with baby and child
In Rotorua, New Zealand

As mentioned earlier, Kalyra was only a newborn when she had her first flight for domestic travel -possibly only 6 weeks or a month or so old (I can’t remember exactly – baby brain!).

She was six months old for her first long haul trip from Australia to Fiji for a friend’s wedding, where we were staying at a resort.

She’s been a breeze to travel with ever since. It’s so worth traveling with them from an early age as it helps to train them how to travel.

Savannah was six weeks for her first domestic travel and was eight weeks old for her first overseas trip from Australia to New Zealand for a short road trip on the north island.

As you can see, our destination choices for traveling with a baby are not too intense. We picked flights that are less than four hours and to countries that are considered safe when it comes to diseases and hygiene issues.

Both girls had their first major outing at 4 days old. Kalyra to a conference with me, Savannah to Taronga Zoo.

Everyone thought we were mad, but I felt fine and the girls loved being snuggled up to me all day and being adored by everyone walking past.

Pros of Travelling with a Baby

mother and child posing with Fijian men in skirts
Memories from Fiji
  • They don’t do much else but eat and sleep
  • You can easily feed them (if you’re breastfeeding)
  • You can travel with them for free for flights and attractions.
  • They slot right into where ever you are and what you’re doing. Pop them in your carrier and away you go!
  • Snuggling them all day while they sleep in your baby carrier is so delightful
  • Babies are adored. Be prepared for many people who will want to stop and chat! Great way to meet locals and hear interesting stories.
  • Breastfeeding is so easy! If you are not breastfeeding – you will find this aspect a little more challenging

Cons of travelling with a baby

father with toddler on shoulders and baby in carrier in front
This is how we rolled
  • You may be exhausted from lack of sleep
  • A lack of routine and schedule may upset baby. Nap times can be a struggle.
  • Going out at night can be a challenge. You know witching hour!!
  • You may return home with an unsettled baby because there has not been a routine
  • Too much luggage and baby gear – ugh, diapers/nappies, pacifiers, faa-approved car seat, travel crib, changing table, prams, carriers, extra change of clothes. You know it!
  • If they get sick, you’ll freak out.
  • If you aren’t breastfeeding you have so much more to organize, carry, plan for, and worry about. Sanitization and clean water is a major concern

Something to consider: With twins, you may have to travel with two adults since airlines only allow one infant to sit on a parents lap. If you’re traveling alone with twins, you will need to purchase an additional seat for one child to sit in and have one lap child.

Final Thoughts

a woman and children wearing life jackets on a boat
Cruising life

We hope this guide helped you prepare for your first trip with a baby. We know that flying with a baby can be a challenging experience, but with a little preparation and by following our helpful tips, it can become a smoother journey.

Remember to keep calm, and carry on!

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If you have any questions about travelling with a baby, please ask in the comments below, or share what you feel the pros and cons of traveling with a baby are?

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