Baby, it’s cold outside, and you want to be sure your little nugget is toasty on your upcoming trip! Traveling with the baby—especially for the first time—isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the experience for both you and your little one. Whatever your questions may be, we’ve got you covered with these 10 tips for your holiday travel with the baby.
It’s all about the layers
If you’re traveling with a baby under one year old, the rule of thumb is for her to wear as many layers as you are wearing, PLUS one layer. Long-sleeved onesies and heat eco leggings (they’re like contemporary long johns) are a good place to start, no matter your baby’s age. And even if you’re not a hat person, the little one should wear that adorable beanie that’s been sitting around, waiting to keep the munchkin’s head warm in the cold. Mittens (which are preferable to gloves), scarves and wool socks are musts as well.
If you’re traveling with a baby over a year old, hats, scarves and mittens are also advisable, but he’ll only need as many layers as you have on. If he’s walking and it’s snowing or raining, rain boots are a must. Regardless of their age, zippered puffer jackets are great for the top layer because they’re easily removable.
Whether you’re taking a road trip or driving to the airport, the puffiness, especially from jackets, surrounding your baby will keep the straps from doing their thing: tightly strapping the baby into the car seat. So when you’re en route to your destination, remove the puffy jacket, strap him in, and bundle him up in blankets until you’re ready to take him out of the car. If you’ll be driving in a particularly cold climate, car seat liners can be very helpful keeping your tot warm.
A really good excuse to eat
Be sure to snack regularly. It slightly elevates body temperature, which can be a significant change for your little one. If she’s eating solids already, proteins and fats are ideal and have the most effect on your baby’s temperature. Also important: water. Hypothermia lingers when you’re dehydrated in the cold. Bring along thermoses with hot chocolate as a treat for your little guy.
Make no mistake about it, your munchkin is accident-prone—especially if he’s already walking. Not even the most watchful of eyes can keep your baby safe, and in case of emergency, you’ll be so much better off if you have the First Aid Kit, as well as nose drops in case they get congested. The sun and cold, bitter winds are harsh on your mini’s soft, delicate skin! Don’t forget the sunscreen and baby lotion.
Swaddling is the way to go here! Swaddling a baby is a way of wrapping them in a blanket that keeps them tightly bundled. Loose blankets are a no-no in the crib, and it’s very possible your little one enjoys swaddling more anyway. You can buy swaddles at the store, or learn from the best, i.e. YouTube, and become a master swaddler using a regular blanket. Opt for footsie pajamas when it comes to PJ attire.
Speaking of cribs, some may not be immediately available during your travels. Packable cribs are lifesavers in this situation, and are exactly what they sound like. Portable bassinets are great, too.
It may look like your bundle of love is in a puffy cocoon, but it’s actually a baby bunting bag, a convertible zip-up blanket that you put into your little gal’s stroller. They tend to be water-resistant; the lining is made of thermaplush, which keeps your baby toasty by retaining heat. If that weren’t enough, the bottom expands and grows with your baby. No age-specific collections necessary.
Rain, rain, go away…
Rain is always a possibility. Be prepared with a stroller rain cover—your baby will stay completely dry under this clear overlay. No need to let a little rain keep you stuck inside!
Keep boredom at bay
Whether it’s Sesame Street on an iPad or a game your little one enjoys, be sure to find ways to keep your bambino entertained on your road trip and/or flight. You can also buy special headphones for your baby—they keep external noise out and are designed so that your little one’s gentle ears aren’t overwhelmed. Also, don’t forget their favorite blanky or doll!
Keep an eye out
There are certain signs you should keep an eye out for in case your tiny tot isn’t feeling well. If your little one is showing any of these signs, take her to a doctor:
- She’s lethargic (limp posture and doesn’t make noise or eye contact).
- She’s showing unusual behavior.
- She’s sweating more than usual, even though it’s cold outside.
- She has red cheeks and is sweating.
Don’t ride shotgun
Many babies sleep on the road, but if your little one is awake, he’ll be much happier having someone by his side to read a book, sing a song, or play peek-a-boo. If there are more adults in the car, try your best to spend time in the back with your baby. You can resume control over the playlist by returning to the front seat when he falls asleep.
Whether your holiday travel is cross-country or a two-hour drive away, traveling with your baby is always a production. Keeping these holiday travel tips in mind when planning will help keep you focused so that you can enjoy the fun you’ll have with your little munchkin as you embark on your vacation. Happy holidays!