Travelling with Babies   

At the tender age of four, my daughter has taken trains, planes, ships and automobiles to travel across the country and even overseas. I didn't step foot on international soil until I graduated college, so it is truly exciting to join her journey and give her a glimpse at the outside world. Years later, I feel this way, but when she was a baby, I was extremely nervous about taking her to the next neighborhood let alone a neighboring country! But when I armed myself with information, I calmed my flying fears and replaced anxiety with anticipation. Here are some tips to fly with an infant.   

Flying? Be sure to call ahead. Inquire if the airline allows you to bring a car seat on board or if you need to check it at the gate. Check your car seat's label to see if it is certified to use in both automobiles and aircrafts.  Before you buy your tickets, find out if you can sit in a bulkhead row, which provides more room to move around. If your baby is using a lap pass, inquire if it's in a row with extra oxygen masks.   

Also check the airline's stroller policy. You'll probably have to check your stroller with your luggage. If you're carrying a baby, diaper bag and carry one luggage, perhaps consider bringing along a baby sling, especially if you're travelling without another adult. Try the sling out before your trip! One brand made my baby sweat profusely, so it wasn't useful in the summer season. And please be sure to leave extra time to get through security. Inform the TSA officer if you are carrying formula, breast milk or juice.    

Staying at a hotel? Call ahead and reserve a crib. There may be limited numbers, so you'll want to get first dibs on one. This is extremely important, since co-sleeping could cause harm to your baby. If your little one has sleeping aids, like a night light or lullaby radio, make sure you don't forget them at home-or else you may not get a good night's sleep! If you're breastfeeding, ask the hotel if there is a refrigerator in the room. If not, find out if an ice machine is on your floor.   

To make the trip smooth for mom, dad and baby, be sure to pack your little one's favorite things. Don't forget the blankie, pacifier or teddy bear.    

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