Traveling with babies can be both fun and stressful.
Jade Elliott sat down with Kaitlin Carpenter, MD, a pediatrician with Intermountain Healthcare, on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast to discuss some helpful tips to make the travel process more manageable.
• Make sure that infants are always in a rear-facing car seat. Get a mirror on the back window or seat so that you can see your baby. Keep the environment comfortable and be prepared to sing silly songs for several hours.
• Do not feed your baby in a moving car. Schedule feeding breaks for babies when they are very young.
• For babies that are getting more mobile (think toddlers), it is important to have “wiggle breaks” every few hours. It can be great to find some place every 2-3 hours that has a park for them to get out and run.
• Toys and snacks are vital. Don’t think you will get to listen to your podcast, you’re more likely to listen to Mahna Mahna by the Muppets for 45 minutes straight, but if the baby is happy, it is worth it.
• Make sure your infant or toddler has something to chew on during takeoff and landing to help pop ears.
- If you are breastfeeding, breastfeed during takeoff and landing (if the baby is awake).
- Often infants will fall asleep because the white noise and vibration are soothing, so don’t wake them up to feed them during landing.
- For toddlers I like to bring fruit snacks because they make them chew and taste good without making a huge mess.
• Eliminate limits to screen time on an airplane. Have a tablet ready and watch away. Have your child practice using headphones before your trip.
• Bring an empty water bottle to fill up before the flight for a toddler.
• Kids ages 1-2 years are often the biggest challenge. If you can afford to get them a seat, please do. Try to set limits for the important things (kicking the chair in front of them), but let them have some leeway if possible (playing peekaboo with people around them).
• Everyone has been that parent who stands and paces for an entire flight with a screaming toddler. Remember: It is always worse for you than it is for everyone else. Take a deep breath. The flight will eventually end.
The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.