AXA Travel Stories

AXA Stories

Personal narratives from travelers who share their unique experiences and adventures from around the world.

Packing Tips for Traveling with a Newborn

Learn practical packing tips for traveling with a newborn from an experienced mom, Alex. Check essential gear to ensure an enjoyable journey with your baby.

Tips for traveling with a newborn from an experienced mom

When our newborn turned two months, we decided to take him on his first of many adventures to meet Grandma in the Dominican Republic and Grandpa in Puerto Rico. We found a cheap flight from Chicago that was supposed to be 8 hours with a short layover in Florida. 

Little did we know, this "cheap" flight, as my mother would say ("lo barato sale caro" - cheap things end up expensive), would be our first parenting adventure in itself.

Long story short for our first stop in the Dominican Republic, our quick 8-hour trip with a layover in Florida ended up being a 24-hour trip with a layover in Florida, Punta Cana, and a bus ride to Santo Domingo. 

But how did we survive this as parents traveling with a newborn? 

We packed the right things! Packing was a completely different experience for me altogether as, in the past, I lived in different countries for months at a time with nothing but a backpack on me. This time around, we had two checked bags, three backpacks, and a gate-checked Stroller/car seat combination.

Here’s our traveling with a newborn checklist
 

Baby Carrier

My number one must-have item to recommend would be a baby carrier. Wearing our baby during takeoff and landing kept him comfortable and secure for most of the trip. 

Our biggest anxiety with traveling with our newborn by plane was the pain one gets from the change in air pressure during take-off and landing. We had pacifiers, bottles, cotton balls, and everything you can think of ready to ease his pain. The carrier provided comfort and familiarity, keeping him content through the turbulence.


Car Seat Stroller Combo

Next up on my travel essentials list is a car seat stroller combo. They streamline your gear by combining two necessities into one. This combo is not only essential for flying but also incredibly useful when traveling with a newborn by car.

Bonus tip: Get the red gate check bags from Amazon to protect your car seat and stuff all the diapers you can in there. You can never have too many diapers when traveling with a newborn. Also, we noticed that the same brand of diapers we used in the US had a much different quality in the Dominican Republic. 

Wearable Pumps

Wearable breast pumps were a game-changer for me on this trip. Read reviews and compare features before purchasing a wearable pump. My baby loved to sleep for long stretches, and wearable pumps meant I could pump whenever I felt full without interrupting his precious rest. It's multitasking at its finest. Here is an example.
 


Blankets

We found ourselves in many more airports than we expected and wanted to give the baby a break from either sitting in her car seat or being worn in the baby carrier. Luckily we packed lots of different blankets to be able to lay him down safely and not have to worry about reuse and risk putting him on the “dirty” side of the blanket.

A Good Attitude

Last but most important is to have a good attitude. So many of our friends “warned” us about how hard it was going to be flying with a baby and how the whole plane was going to hate us. But we had the completely opposite experience. By staying calm and prepared, we were probably better equipped to handle any situations that arose with the baby.

 

Pro tip: most airlines allow you a diaper bag at no extra charge when traveling with a lap baby. Make sure you pack disinfecting wipes to wipe down your plane seat, along with bottle soap and scrub to wash the million bottles a newborn goes through. Even if you are breastfeeding, I would recommend packing some formula and a thermal in case of any emergency. 

If you didn’t know, security allows breast milk and formula. TSA might run an extra security step and test to make sure it is breast milk or formula, but you're allowed to bring what your baby needs.

Your world adventures don’t have to stop due to your new addition. Take full advantage of lap child flights, as they allow you to travel together for less. But keep in mind these deals typically expire when your child turns 2.

Learning how to travel with a baby involves some trial and error, but with the right preparation, it can be a rewarding experience for the whole family.

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