December 16, 2019

Travelling with a baby

Is this baby’s first flight? Here are 10 tips to make it enjoyable for all.

1. Requesting a passport

Your baby may not yet have teeth, but he or she needs a Canadian passport to travel abroad.

The only persons who can apply for a child’s passport are:

  • The child’s parents
  • The parent who has custody of the child, with the correct documentation
  • The child’s legal guardian, with the correct documentation

Never sign your child’s passport

Doing so will void it and it will have to be reissued.

2. Selecting the right seat

When selecting seats on a plane, opt for those at the end of the aisle.

Use the extra room for diaper changes, naps, playtime or to stretch your legs.

If your airline has a family pre-boarding policy, be sure to use it.

3. Renting instead of packing

Travelling with a baby, even for just a few days, usually means packing everything but the kitchen sink.

However, there are weight restrictions on suitcases, not to mention fees for additional ones.

Be sure to check whether cribs, high chairs and other baby gear can be rented on site.

If not, then buy the most ergonomic, travel-friendly models available.

4. Insuring baby

Never skimp when it comes time to protect your loved ones.

Before leaving, take out some travel insurance for families. Family insurance plans are more affordable than individual insurance policies and can be tailored to your needs (duration, coverage, destination, etc.).

5. Carrying baby

Some parents prefer baby carriers, others prefer strollers.

If you are undecided, test both options before leaving.

You should definitely opt for what’s most convenient and least cumbersome for you.

Also, consider a 2-in-1 stroller. That way, you won’t also have to pack a car seat.

6. Feeding baby

If you’re breastfeeding, then you won’t have to pack formula.

If you must bring formula, be sure to pack the one your baby likes. This is no time to try something new.

For utmost convenience, buy a formula dispenser with serving-size compartments. 

You’ll also want to look for a gadget that can be used to warm, carry and prepare food.

If you plan to eat out a lot, bring a portable booster seat. The models with chair straps will make baby a part of the conversation.

7. Packing (just enough) diapers

Buy diapers and wipes at your destination.

Pack enough for the flight, with a few extras – just in case.

A good rule of thumb is packing one diaper for each hour of flight.

8. Caring for baby

Always pack a first aid kit with:

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for infants
  • Thermometer
  • Nasal spray
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Medicine dropper 

9. Sleeping aids

Many parents use white-noise machines to help their children fall asleep, especially when travelling.

Don’t pack a machine when there’s an app for that:

10. Dealing with jetlag

Jetlag doesn’t just affect adults, it affects children too.

Some parents go so far as to pre-emptively and progressively adapt their daily routine prior to departure. Tip: make sure nap time is not too close to bedtime.

Once arrived, try to maintain your normal routine. Listen to your baby and let him or her rest whenever necessary.