Having a newborn is the best thing to ever happen to a parent. For most, the first thing that comes to mind is “I cannot wait to show my little one off to all of my friends and family.” However, with the holidays here, traveling with the newborn to visit family can be a scary thought. Here are some tips to help make traveling with a newborn a bit easier.

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Sleep Schedule

If traveling to a different time zone, start getting your newborn used to the new time zone approximately a week or so before leaving. Adjust feeding and sleep schedules based on the new time zone.

If staying in a hotel, request a crib be brought into your room. Most hotels do not charge for porta-cribs, but some do charge a small fee to use their cribs. If you are staying with family, ask if they have a crib for your newborn to sleep in. It may be necessary to rent one or borrow from someone who lives near the family you will be visiting.

Packing

Pack light. Use only one or two bags when possible. This will make it easier to handle the bags and your little one’s stroller. Of course, you are going to need to pack more for the little one than you would if it were just you flying, but only pack the essentials to get you there. The less you have to worry about in transit, the easier it will be on you and your newborn.

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Flying

To help ease the pressure off of your newborn’s ears during takeoff and landing, give the little one a bottle or pacifier during these times.

Take time to review the TSA’s guidelines for bringing liquids on through security and when going through the security checkpoints, hand the formula directly to the agent for screening.

Related: Best Places In America For A White Christmas

Feeding

If breastfeeding, keep yourself hydrated at all times. Bring along or purchase extra bottles of water along the way to ensure you have water when needed. If you are not breastfeeding, only bring a few pre-made bottles of formula with to start. Pack ready-to-use formula to make along the way and during your time away from home.

Extras

Packing a few extras before leaving will have you prepared in case your baby’s diaper leaks or he or she gets sick while traveling. Things you need extras of include diapers, bibs, outfits, wipes and changing pads.

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Car Seat And Stroller

No matter how you plan to travel, bring your newborn’s car seat along. This will protect your child no matter what mode of transportation you take and ensures you have one to use when driving at your destination. Study and learn how the car seat is installed on a plane, train and car for yourself.

The best option when traveling with a newborn is to use a stroller-car seat combo set. This ensures you have something to secure your newborn while traveling and have a stroller with to push the little one around.

Related: Car Seat Installation

Outdoor Gear

There are some essential items you will need to protect your newborn from the elements of Mother Nature. No matter how hot or cold it will be outside, if you plan on spending a significant amount of time outdoors, you will also need some sunscreen and a hat to protect your baby from the sun. Also, pack appropriate winter gear if you will be traveling to a colder climate than what your newborn is already accustomed to.

Toys

As a parent you know what your baby likes. Bring along any of his or her favorite toys. These will keep the newborn entertained while traveling. Toys to bring include nesting toys, baby-proof mirrors, rattles, plush animals, plastic keys and teething rings. Musical toys are great when driving, but try to avoid using while flying or traveling where others can easily hear the toy.

Emergency Kits

Put together an emergency kit for your newborn. This includes a small first aid kit and extra sheets that can be used immediately when an accident happens. The emergency sheet can also be used when you need to lie the little one down on the ground of a busy airport.

Include small plastic zip locking bags in your emergency kit. This will seal up dirty diapers until you are able to find a trash to throw them in.

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Arrival

Take time to organize your room immediately after you check in. Stage the room with everything you need during your stay and make it as comfortable for you and your little one as possible. Set up play, sleeping and changing areas in the room, so you know where everything is and your baby has plenty of space.

Issues

If you are experiencing issues with your newborn, be polite to the others around you. For example, if he or she will not stop crying and there is nothing you can do to get her to stop, take the time to apologize to those around you. If you show concern for them, they will be more likely to understand how difficult it can be to deal with a fussy newborn.

Traveling with a newborn can be a fun and exciting experience. However, it is not as easy as some people would like to think it would be. With a little planning and patience, traveling with your newborn will help you create long lasting memories you can share with him or her as they grow older.

Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.

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