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Tips For Travelling With Young Children: Air Travel and Car

Travelling with a baby and young children can be sometimes challenging. Being prepared before and during your trip are the best ways to make travelling by car vs taking a plane with your children run smoothly.

Tips For Travelling With A Baby And Young ChildrenPin

Air Travelling With A Baby and Young Children

When air traveling with a baby and toddlers, being organized and prepared for anything that may arise are the only ways to make air travel less stressful. Travelling with infants or children under two years of age can fly free. This idea may sound tempting, but realizing each child will need to sit on each parent’s lap the entire flight may not make for a stress-free flight.

Here are some helpful tips to make air travel with child less stressful:

Contact the Airlines

Contact the airlines when air travelling with young children and ask about their policies in regards to seating arrangements, baby food and formula, luggage, and stroller restrictions. Also find out whom to make arrangements with for cart assistance to the next terminal and if these arrangements need to be made in advance over the phone or on the day of travel.

Tips For Air Travel With Young ChildrenPin
Air Canada Plane

Many airlines have bassinets for babies under six months old. Usually, these seats are the bulkhead seats and give more legroom to allow even toddlers the option of sitting on the floor with toys. Parents need to be aware that they will not be sitting beside one another rather across the aisle from each other due to safety regulations.

If planning to take two umbrella strollers, clips are available to attach the strollers together to make one side-by-side stroller. Using this way of combining the strollers may be slightly more difficult to push and is wider than the family bathroom’s doorway; however, using this type of stroller is better than not having one at all. Checking an airline’s website can give vital information about restrictions.

At the Terminal

Parents should ask the check-in attendant if the plane is full. The attendants are more that happy to arrange the seating to allow the toddlers the extra seats providing there are two open. If seats can be purchased prior and not having to take a chance of empty seats at the gate would be money well spent.

Tips For Air Travel With Young ChildrenPin

Packing Carry-on Luggage for Air Travel With A Baby and Young Children

Making sure the carry-on bag is packed with essentials for the trip is important when you are air travelling with young children.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Take extra diapers above what has been packed.
  • Pack a set of clothes for each child in individual bags.
  • Pack an extra bottle above what is needed for the trip. If a child is on formula, make sure the milk is made and ready to serve. Purchase a cold/hot bag and placing the bottles in the bag with a zip lock bag of ice cubes is a great investment. Of course, if a child is on 2% milk, then fewer bottles are needed and can be refilled by the flight attendant.
  • Make sure enough juice boxes and snacks are packed.
  • Pack new toys and some favourites. Buy a few new toys for the trip but make sure to stagger giving out the toys.

Air travel with young children can be a challenge for the most experienced parent, but travelling with kids does not have to be difficult. By purchasing seats for the children, packing enough food, and contacting the airlines about restrictions can make flying easier. By being prepared and organized, this can make flying with the kids exciting and enjoyable.

Baby Car Travel Tips

Travelling with a baby begins the day both mother and child leave the hospital. It can be a scary time for first-time parents, and most mothers find themselves sitting in the back seat watching the baby for any sign of distress, whilst the father is driving more carefully than ever before. Rest assured that this first, and often stressful trip, will get much easier as time goes by.


  1. Always avoid travelling in the hottest, or coldest, part of the day. In summer, it is usually at its hottest between the hours of 11.00am and 3.00pm. Even with air-conditioning, it can still get too warm in a car for most babies and toddlers. In cold weather, the coldest time of day is usually just before, and just after dawn breaks.
  2. Allow extra travelling time. If it normally takes an hour to get to the destination, allow at least an extra half hour, just in case it is necessary to stop somewhere to change a dirty diaper, or feed the baby and young children.
  3. Travel with the baby or toddler car seat in the middle of the back seat. Although not necessary, it does offer a little protection in the result of an accident, especially a side impact accident.
  4. Try to use only natural fibres in the car seat. Cotton or lambswool are perfect for sitting a baby on for a long trip. No matter how cool the car, some babies will sweat whilst in their seat.
  5. Check the adjustment on the seat belts in the car seat to ensure that they are not too tight (which can put pressure on baby’s shoulders) or too loose (causing them to fail in the event of an accident). As the child grows, the belts will need to be adjusted to ensure they fit comfortably and correctly.

No matter how long the trip is, there are a few things that should be packed for any baby and toddler

1. A fully stocked diaper bag. This should have at least 3 spare diapers, wet wipes to clean up any messes, a jar of baby food (if the baby is on solid foods) plus their favourite feeding spoon.
2. An extra bottle of formula already mixed up (if not breastfeeding), a Sippy cup with water, a plastic bag for storing soiled diapers (whether using cloth or disposables), and some spare blankets.
3. A change mat for those emergency diaper changes in the back seat of the car. It is a good idea to use a waterproof one (just in case of spills or sprinkles) and cover it with a cotton wrap or blanket.
4. A spare set of clothes for the baby and toddler. If possible, put two changes of clothes in, including underclothes and socks.

Tips For Travelling With A Baby and Young ChildrenPin

Most babies and young children will happily go to sleep on car trips. If parents follow the tips and tricks listed above, there is no reason why each and every trip will not go smoothly, at least from the baby’s point of view.

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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