Travelling with a baby isn’t easy, but you don’t have to wait until they’re walking and talking to have a family vacation. Of course, most airlines require a baby to be at least 2 months old before they can travel on a plane, but after that, all it takes is some careful planning and preparation. Here are a few ways to make taking your baby on vacation a lot easier.

Schedule Ahead

You don’t want to worry about herding your kids, carrying a baby, and trying to get your car parked all at the same time. Rather than putting the extra stress on yourself, plan ahead for everything you possibly can. Look up changing stations for the airport you’re going to, and find out what their policies are about strollers before you go in. Do a little research for your particular airport, for example, parking at Seatac. You can find valet services, pre-paid parking for long or short term, and even shuttle services well in advance so that you can go straight to the airport check-in the moment you arrive and get to a quiet seat sooner.

Pack the Essentials

If your baby has already been born, you’ve no doubt fairly mastered packing the diaper bag with everything your baby needs when away from the house. However, airport security may make packing the essentials a little more difficult. While you may want to err on the side of more to make sure you’re prepared for everything, airport security in different countries have different regulations on how much breast milk you can bring. You also will need to declare your liquids for inspection at the security checkpoint and be aware that they will examine the containers and even test the liquid for explosives. To avoid long waits and complicated check-ins, it’s best to bring only what you need to get your baby to your hotel.

Family Friendly

Many parents dread the risk of their baby crying on the plane, but there are ways to help prevent that. One major cause of babies crying on the plane is the change in air pressure as the plane changes altitude. This change can be uncomfortable on their sensitive eardrums. This can be mitigated, however, by the sucking action that they perform on bottles or pacifiers. If your child doesn’t fall asleep after that, you can walk up and down the aisles to keep them calm and entertained.

Insurance

While you may be used to skipping the travel insurance when booking flights, now is the time to reconsider. Traveler’s health insurance can come on handy if a serious health problem should arise while you are out of the country. If you are traveling to an exotic location, immunizations will probably be necessary, but it is also a good idea to bring some basic medicines with you. This is doubly important when traveling with a baby. Their delicate systems may not handle local remedies very well and some countries have problems with counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Of course, you will want to do some research to make sure that you aren’t bringing restricted or illegal medications, and you will need to declare them at the security checkpoint at the airport along with your liquids and other items.

Remember that vacations are supposed to be fun. This is a chance for you to enjoy being together as a family without the pressures of home. Take time to prepare well in advance, and you and your family will be able to enjoy a wonderful bonding experience on your vacation.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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