View Full Version : Suggestions for first car and/or air travel with baby?

04-29-2008, 03:30 PM
We have a couple upcoming trips planned with our new daughter and I'm realizing how much stuff we're going to have to take to cope with all her possible needs. I'm wondering if anyone out there has suggestions of things that a first time parent might not think to take, but will need when out of town.

The first trip is going to be a long car ride from Pennsylvania to the Montreal area to see family and we'll be staying at a hotel. We'll take the PNP for sleeping and we already have her passport. She'll be 9-10 weeks old for that trip. We'll be driving in a mid-size car, but with the PNP and our suitcases, I'm not sure we're going to have a ton of room leftover. We're planning to do the drive with an overnight stop figuring that 8 hours of car time will be far too much in one day with stops for BFing and diaper changes.

The second will be a trip by air this summer cross-country to California. We'll be staying with my parents and in-laws for that, so at least they have some supplies at the ready that we can use. She'll be 4-5 months old for that one.

I'm already nervous about how we're going to get by on the first trip without our bouncy seat and swing, but at least I think we can fold up the activity mat flat and take that.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

04-29-2008, 05:57 PM
We traveled by air for the first time with DS when he was about 4.5 weeks old. We were going on vacation with friends in Montana and rented a house. We took the pnp and stroller and ended up going to Target when we got there and bought a cheap bouncer that we decided we could live with leaving behind if we couldn't make it fit to bring back (I think it was only $20 or so). Well worth the money, and we actually were able to fit it in the suitcase by disassembling it.

We also did a long car trip (Colorado to Ohio, about 17 hours driving) when DS was about 9 weeks old. It was actually pretty easy. We left mid-afternoon, I think and drove through the night. DS slept most of the trip, so it was a breeze. One thing we did that made life a little easier was that I took my pump and started off the trip with one bottle full of pumped milk. When DS woke up and was hungry, if we weren't at a good stopping place or just didn't want to stop yet, I would feed him the bottle, then pump afterwards to replace it. We stopped twice for longer periods for meals/nursing breaks (and several more quick stops for snacks/potty breaks/gas), but not *having* to stop to nurse every two or three hours made the trip go a LOT faster, especially because DS was taking about 45 minutes to nurse at that point!

One other hint, to help you conserve room, is that since you're traveling places where it will be easy to go shopping when you get there, don't worry about taking everything you will need for the entire trip. Pack enough diapers/wipes/etc. to get you through the travel(and some extra of course), then go to Target or wherever when you get there and stock up with what you will need. It saves a TON of room in your suitcase not having to pack an entire jumbo pack of diapers!

Ooh, just remembered another great thing to have. The $3 sponge bath bear from Babies R Us is GREAT for traveling. You don't need a full baby bath tub, you can just lay baby on the sponge and only put a tiny bit of water in the tub. The great thing is that it's super squishable for the suitcase, dries quickly, and only costs $3, so if you decide you just can't bring it back for some reason, no big deal!

Will be back if I think of more! ;)

04-30-2008, 12:46 PM
At 9-10 weeks old, babies are great at sleeping long stretches, esp in the car. They can get a little bit constipated with extended car ride. So you may want to stretch out a bit more when you are not in the car. So I wouldn't worry about bringing a swing/bouncy. For your trip to CA, you will probably want to bring a few of her favorite toys to keep her occupy during the trip.

05-05-2008, 11:24 PM
Ditto the pump - the car adaptor was wonderful (plus a blanket so that other drivers didn't stare). If you use a Boppy bring it too. And tons of clothes and burp cloths with kid friendly detergent if you have to do a load at some point. Also bring along your pediatrician's phone number just in case. If you use any bottles or to clean pump supplies, bring a bottle brush & a small container of dishwash liquid. I found it was a bit yucky to clean them at a rest area, but it was better than nothing. A small cooler was good for storing milk along with our snacks.

05-06-2008, 01:28 AM
Ooh, regarding cleaning the pump parts, Medela makes some wonderful wipes (http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/cleaning/193/quick-clean-breastpump-and-accessory-wipes) that work great. I think I got a small pack at either Target or BRU. I used those for wiping out the parts between pumpings in the car, kept the semi-clean parts in the cooler, then did a full wash at our destination. Thanks for reminding me about that part!

I didn't get the car adaptor, I just used the battery pack that came with the pump. It took 10 (I think) AA batteries, but that lasted the whole trip there, then I think I replaced them for the trip back. They weren't dead yet, but I figured better safe than sorry!