If you haven't realized it by now traveling with baby (or even just running around the corner to do some errands) can be a daunting task. To help make things go a bit smoother the next time you hit the road with baby in tow try some of these helpful tips from parenting coach Tammy Gold.
Stick to the schedule
Children like routine and tend to behave better when they have a predictable sense of order. So whether you’re going to be away for a few hours or a few weeks, do your best to mimic the same schedule you use at home as much as possible.
Know their limits
If you can help it, don't run errands or attend events when baby's tired or hungry. If it’s baby's naptime, encourage him or her to rest or sleep. Remember that kids have short attention spans and can’t sit still or in one place for a long period of time.
Keep them engaged
Bring books or toys with you in the car, at the shopping mall, on the airplane or wherever you may be. When babies are bored, they tend to act out, so you want to be armed and ready to keep them occupied. It's even better if you offer up toys that are new, or that baby hasn't played with in a while. Slowly reveal new things to play with over the course of your trip to keep baby engaged and interested.
Try the double diaper
Long car or plane ride? Gold recommends putting two diapers on baby (one right over the other) to prevent baby from getting uncomfortably wet. Overnight diapers work well too.
Keep snacks handy
Everyone gets cranky when they're hungry or thirsty. Pack plenty of formula, bottles, water and snacks—more than you think you need, in case of delays, says Gold. If you're flying, nurse or bottle-feed baby during takeoff and landing to prevent ear pain from the air pressure change. For older kids, swallowing snacks or drinks should help.
Bring baby's lovey
Don't forget baby's favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Having that small comfort from home when baby's in a new place can go a long way to making him or her feel happy and safe.
Tammy Gold is a licensed therapist, certified parent coach and the founder of Gold Parent Coaching and co-founder of NYC Nanny Concierge. She’s worked with families for over a decade, helping parents manage everything from finding the perfect nanny to handling the terrible twos. As a nationally recognized parenting expert, Tammy appears regularly on Good Morning America, The Today Show, FOX and CBS News.
Updated November 2016