From nap schedules to feeding rituals, you finally feel like a rock star because you’ve aced your at-home routine with your babe. Then the invite to your sister’s baby shower comes…and she lives hours away from your comfortable home turf. Rule number one: Don’t panic. Rule number two: Accept that travelling with a baby will be 100 per cent different than travelling without one. Rule number three: Follow these tips that will help you and your little enjoy the ride.

Prep & Plan

A thorough checklist will ensure you won’t run out of diapers, formula, or the extra onesies that your baby will need. If you’re taking to the skies, call ahead to confirm if the airline or airport has any parent-friendly comforts. Ask about available baby-changing stations and request seats with more legroom to house all your necessities. For long-haul flights, inquire about in-flight baby bassinets (also called a sky cot or travel cot) near a bassinet designated seat. Provided by the flight attendant, these give baby—and you—extra room to rest. For littles who are already on their feet, locate play areas in the airport or if you’re on a road trip, plan your pit stops near parks and restrooms.

Pack Smart

There are oodles of pre-travel lists you can find on Pinterest to help you organize your essentials including snacks, drinks and wipes. While you’re gathering all these goodies, remember to pack an extra day of necessities in case of a flight delay or lost luggage. Take note that air travel with reasonable quantities of breastmilk and formula are allowed along with frozen gel and ice packs to help keep them cool, however, your supply will require proper screening at security checkpoints. Also, bring pacifiers which will help baby adjust to changes in air pressure. Worried about your babe disturbing your in-flight neighbours? Try to let go and remember crying and squirming is normal baby behaviour that is often overlooked by airline staff and travelers.

Keeping wee ones busy requires planning too. Pack one small prize, book or toy for every hour of travel and present them one hour at a time. Wrapping each activity in tissue paper will make every reveal special, even if it’s not a new toy. When travelling by car, there’s room for more play things to keep your baby or toddler happy in between travel breaks. Be prepared for spontaneous roadside messes including plenty of paper towels, small garbage bags, car cleaning wipes, a change of clothes for you plus zip lock bags where you can store soiled clothing.

Stay Strong

An itchy throat or the shivers during a big trip can turn into the chaos of a flu or cold while you’re on the road. If possible, skip travel during cold and flu season and keep little ones away from crowded places. “Even after babies receive the flu vaccine, it can take a couple months for their immunity to kick in,” says Joe Rubino, Lysol’s chief microbiologist. However, we all know visiting friends and family is an extra special trek to take, so don’t feel guilty if you do take your little away for the winter holidays. Joe recommends bringing several travel packs of disinfectant wipes, such as Lysol Disinfecting Wipes— to help keep surfaces clean in germy airports, restaurants and public places. Heading down south? Remember to provide hats, sunscreen and plenty of snacks for the whole family.

Have you travelled with your baby yet? Share your experience with our community of moms.

What’s the one thing that you should’ve packed and why?

Did you try to keep your baby on a regular nap schedule? If so, how?

What was your little’s favourite travel toy or activity?