Apr 30, 2024
Developmental milestones
April 30, 2024
Developmental milestones

Tips for traveling with a newborn baby

Whether you're daydreaming about a family getaway or already have one in the works, preparing for travel with a newborn is a big deal. Between packing, sorting out travel details, and wondering how on earth you'll keep your baby happy during the journey, there’s a lot to consider. Traveling with a newborn should be fun and it’s a wonderful opportunity to start building precious family memories. But before you jump into planning, let's go over some key family travel tips to make sure your adventure is a smooth and enjoyable one for everyone involved.
Dahlia Rimmon, RDN
Written by
Dahlia Rimmon, RDN
Content Writer
Medically reviewed by

When can you travel with a newborn baby?

​​The guidelines vary depending on your mode of travel. For road trips, there aren't strict rules regarding the age of the newborn. If you're flying, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests waiting until your baby is at least two months old. This precaution is due to the higher likelihood of exposure to germs during air travel. By two months, babies have typically received their first round of vaccinations. 

No matter how you're traveling, it's important to remember that newborns have developing immune systems and are more prone to catching germs or illnesses. Make sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your baby's hands or face. 

What’s the best age to travel with a baby?

It depends how you enjoy traveling. For newborns who spend most of their time sleeping and are happy to relax in a stroller or car seat, leisurely trips might be the way to go. Think along the lines of an all-inclusive beachfront resort where you can relax on the beach and enjoy the hotel's amenities and activities without venturing too far. On the other hand, if your vacation dreams involve more adventure and sightseeing, it might be enjoyable to include an older baby or toddler who can join in on the fun experiences with you.

What should you pack?

Tiny people sure do come with a lot of stuff. Here are some packing tips for traveling:


Feeding essentials:

  • Formula 
  • Bottles
  • Bottle cleaning kit - bottle brush, sterilizer, dish soap
  • Breastpump 
  • Pacifiers 
  • Burp cloths 
  • Baby food, if applicable 


Diapering essentials:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Travel changing pad


Clothing essentials:

  • Onesies
  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Sweater 
  • Bathing suit
  • Booties/shoes
  • Hats


Sleeping essentials:

  • Pack n play
  • Pajamas
  • Swaddle or sleep sack 


Traveling essentials:

  • Car seat 
  • Lightweight stroller 
  • Passport or copy of birth certificate, if applicable 
  • 2-3 changes of clothing (hello spit up and diaper blowouts, we see you!)
  • Diaper bag with extra diapers, wipes, travel changing pad, burp cloths
  • Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer 
  • Medications/first aid kit
  • Formula, bottles, food (if applicable)
  • Doggie bags for soiled diapers 



  • Sunscreen (for babies over 6 months) 
  • Body cream or lotion
  • Baby monitor 
  • Baby toys and books
  • Teethers

13 tips for family travel with a newborn baby

Here are some of our favorite tips when traveling with newborn babies:

Remain prepared, yet flexible

Being prepared is key. But it's not just about organizing your travel arrangements, getting a passport for your newborn, or writing out packing lists. Babies can be unpredictable, and so can travel. If your baby is fussy or irritable, that special boat ride might not be happening as planned. Be ready to have backup plans for each day and activity. It might seem like a lot of effort and extra planning, but you'll thank yourself later. 

Bring a baby carrier

Babywearing isn't just a cozy bonding moment - it's also a fantastic way to travel hands-free. Whether you're hustling through the airport with your luggage, shopping in a new city, or soothing your newborn to sleep during a museum tour, wearing your baby allows you to keep your hands free for other tasks while you're on the move.

Consider a travel stroller

While your top-of-the-line (and probably pricey) stroller probably boasts a ton of features, nothing beats having a lightweight stroller for travel. You’ll want a stroller that’s easy to transport and gate check, and one that doesn’t mind a bit of sand or dirt sneaking in. Simplicity is key when you’re on the move. 

Stick to a consistent routine

While newborns usually have unpredictable schedules, it’s important to remain consistent with bedtime, naptime, and feeding routines. The consistency will ensure everyone is well-fed and has enough sleep, and will make it easier to transition back to a regular routine after traveling.

Buy diapers when you arrive

While it’s important to have plenty of extra diapers and wipes in your diaper bag, there’s no need to overload your luggage with them. Most grocery and convenience stores stock diapers, so you can easily purchase them when you arrive at your destination. You can also use delivery services to have them delivered directly to your hotel when you’re there. 

Pack a first-aid kit

For added reassurance, it's wise to pack a small first aid kit with items like Infant Tylenol, nasal saline drops, and a thermometer. It’s also important to be aware of the nearest emergency room or urgent care facility near your accommodations in case the need arises. Remember, Summer Health is always here to assist you—we're just one text away.

Understand TSA rules

When traveling with a baby, TSA regulations may allow certain leniencies, such as prepared bottles of water for formula or liquid allowances for baby foods. Review the TSA rules beforehand to avoid surprises while you're waiting in security lines.

Time milk feeds

During takeoff and landing, your baby may feel discomfort due to changes in cabin pressure, which can cause ear popping. Offering a pacifier, bottle, or breastfeeding can help soothe this sensation. Consider timing your feeds around takeoff and landing so that your baby is more comfortable during these phases of the flight.

Diaper changes before taking off

Whether you're heading out on a road trip or boarding a flight, it's a good idea to check your baby's diaper before departure. While you can't predict when they'll need to go, ensuring they have a dry diaper can help keep them comfortable. Keeping a travel changing pad in your diaper bag can also be helpful for those last-minute diaper changes. 

Plan to gate check 

Most airlines offer free gate checks for car seats and strollers. Gate check your stroller and car seat right after security, so you're not stuck lugging around bulky gear. This is where baby carriers really come in handy. 

Pick your airplane seats wisely

If you’re taking an international trip, certain airlines provide bassinets in the bulkhead section for babies. If that's unavailable, consider your preference between an aisle or window seat (let's all agree that middle seats are a no-go!). For those who prefer to move around with their baby, an aisle seat offers easier access for strolling up and down the aisles. Meanwhile, parents who prefer to stay settled and enjoy the view might find comfort in a window seat.

Plan where your baby will sleep

Consider the sleeping arrangements for your baby once you reach your destination. Many hotels and vacation rentals provide cribs, bassinets, or pack 'n plays. You can also rent baby gear from rental companies, but make sure they meet safety standards. If you decide not to bring your own bassinet or pack 'n play, consider bringing along your own sheets to provide a familiar scent for your baby's comfort.

Bring a blanket for the airplane

Airplanes can get chilly, even in the summer months. Bring along a cozy blanket for your baby to keep them warm and snug, or for draping around your neck during breastfeeding sessions. The goal is to make air travel as comfortable as possible.


American Academy of Pediatrics: Flying with Baby: Parent FAQs

Dahlia Rimmon, RDN
Content Writer
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