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Traveling with an infant: the 5 most stressful moments

Author: M.J. Collins
Published: Aug 6 2013

As a new mother, you may not ever want to leave home without your newborn. Even when you plan on leaving home for several days, you probably still want to take your baby with you. In fact, you are not alone in your desire to keep your newborn with you at all time, particularly if you are breastfeeding or if your baby has health issues like colic. Even so, you should prepare yourself for what will inevitably be stressful moments during your trip. Recognizing the situations that could cause both you and your infant to stress out can help you prepare for your journey and be prepared to act when these moments arise.

Tantrums and Boredom

Traveling with an infant

If your baby will be strapped in a car seat for the trip’s duration, you should bring along plenty of toys to keep him or her distracted. Teething rings, squeaky plush stuffed animals, toys that play music, and textured storybooks can keep your baby focused on these distractions until you arrive at your destination.

Feeding Time

Regardless of how you are traveling, whether it is by car, train, or airplane, your baby will still have to eat at regular intervals. Plan ahead for how you will feed your infant while you are traveling. You should take a nursing pillow that you can place on your lap while you nurse. These pillows can provide soft comfort for your infant and help you support your baby’s weight. Having a pillow on hand so you can feed your infant en route will make your trip more tolerable.

Diaper Changing

Like needing to eat, your infant will also need regular diaper changes throughout the trip. You can plan ahead for these moments by packing more diapers and wipes than you anticipate actually needing. Having more than enough supplies on hand for changes can help your baby stay dry and spare you and your fellow passengers the unpleasant smells that come from full diapers.

Colicky Moments

If your baby has colic, you already know how difficult it can be to calm him or her during colicky spells. When you are traveling with a colicky infant, be prepared for these moments by packing gas drops and bottles of water flavored with peppermint and baking soda. When your infant starts to show signs of colic, you should try to pull over at a restaurant or rest stop to attend to his or her needs quickly. Feeding the flavored water and walking with the baby until he or she calms down can be the best way to deal with these episodes.


Many babies experience car sickness, even on the shortest of car trips. If your baby vomits during the trip, you should find a roadside area to pull over and change his or her clothing, as well as give the baby a quick sponge bath with baby wipes. If you are on a plane or train, use the lavatory to sponge off your infant and change his or her clothing.

Being prepared for some of the worst moments when traveling with a baby can actually put you at ease and help you know what to do when those moments arrive. Keeping calm and packing extra supplies can be some of the most helpful strategies as you plan for your trip.

M. J. Collins understands how difficult it can be when traveling with an infant. She encourages the use of a nursing pillow during feeding time, and planned times during travel to stop, stretch and diaper change your baby to help promote a more relaxed and stress-free trip.

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