Tips for Traveling With a Baby for the Holidays
For as long as I’ve known my husband, we’ve both traveled for the holidays. Whether by plane or car, together or separately, we’ve traveled. Sure, it’s a little bit of a hassle, but it’s more than worth it to see family and be able to spend the holidays together. Up until this year, it was just the two of us. So traveling was relatively easy, even when a flight was involved. This year, we’ll have our son Beckett, with us. Though we’re excited, throwing a baby in the mix definitely changes things. Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful in navigating the “holiday traveling with a baby” chaos:
- Order online and ship gifts! When we drive to my parents house without gifts, our car is quite literally filled to the brim. After all, traveling with a baby basically means you have to pack the whole house. So adding in gifts to our load really isn’t even an option. Enter: the internet. Seriously, thank goodness for it. My go-to method of shopping has been a whole lot of clicking and “adding to cart” and shipping to my parents’ house. It’s worked out quite nicely, and we’ll be even more thankful when our car isn’t busting at the seams.
- Don’t pack diapers. Let me take that back. Please pack a few diapers for the duration of your trip, but do not pack enough diapers to last you your whole stay. They take up way too much precious space, and I have yet to come across a town on the map that doesn’t sell them. So buy them when you arrive at your destination.
- Pump on the road. Beckett can’t last the 5-6 hour drive to my parents’ house without eating. We usually stop about halfway, I feed him, change his diaper and we’re on our merry way. A friend recently shared an excellent time-saving tip with me that I intend to use on our upcoming drive home: use the car adapter for your pump, pump while you’re still on the road and go ahead and feed the baby as you’re driving along. When it’s time to stop, you can get the baby out, burp him or her and change their diaper. But not having to stop for the whole duration of the feeding will definitely save you some time.
- Set expectations with family members. For my husband and me, Beckett is the first grandchild on both sides. So this is the time when holiday traditions may change a little bit. I have no desire to take Beckett out to multiple family members’ homes. I know my baby, and I know that it might be overwhelming for him, and therefore my husband and I wouldn’t enjoy it. This year, family members are coming to my parents’ house to celebrate instead of us traveling to them. Be upfront with family about what is going to work best for you and your baby.
I do have dreams of one day waking up in our own home on Christmas morning with Beckett and any future siblings he may have, and hopefully those dreams aren’t too far off in the future. For now, though, traveling is what makes the most sense for us. So until my Christmas morning dreams come true, we’ll be making the very best of it on the road.