Traveling with babies + IBD

Being a patient and a parent, the holidays are always a mixture of joy and stress. The food. The family. The travel.

I get so excited about the holidays because I look forward to seeing my friends and relatives. There is something magical about the season. All the lit homes, gift-giving, and singing seem to make the world a little closer and warmer. However, at the same time, it can seem daunting.

There is a lot of traveling, partying, and work that comes with being a festive participant. And for some cultures like mine, there are multiple days of one holiday. For a few weeks, you spend your time bundling up and transporting little ones who have consumed too much sugar and have not had enough sleep. Over the past 10 years, I have found some tricks to help me while traveling through the holiday season. Here are some of my tips and tricks for long-distance travel and local holiday trips.

Tips for travel around the holidays

Traveling by air

Order and ship large items. For those longer trips, I order larger items like diapers, wipes, formula, snacks, and bottles of water to my destination. That way, we didn’t pay a considerable luggage fee or have to carry it everywhere. It’s cheaper to order through Amazon Prime and have it delivered to your hotel or family member’s home. 

Check your stroller at the gate and use your baby carrier, sling, or wrap for the plane. If you are not using a car seat on the flight, then I would suggest using your carrier. For smaller babies, I prefer a wrap or soft structured carrier like the Ergobaby Embrace. Which are both safe for newborns and ostomy friendly. For an older baby, I like to wear a carrier up a little higher, so it’s comfortable.

If you have a child with IBD who is struggling, the Tula Baby Preschool carrier will hold up to 60lbs for back carry. If you are looking for a more ostomy friendly carrier, the Onbuhimo carriers by Sakura Bloom and 2Lambie Creations. For those in need of back support from their carriers, the 360 or Omni 360 by Ergobaby work very well with supporting your back and distributing the weight evenly. A stretchy wrap or a ring sling works best for sleeping on long haul flights lasting 8+ hours. 

Overnight flights worked the best for us. Everyone slept! We get all the wiggles out before boarding and go to the restroom as close as we can to board time. I also dressed my LO on a onesie pajamas. And when we boarded the plane, I removed his shoes and put him in a sleep sack. Ergobaby now has sleep sacks that are thicker fabric with the feet out. Make sure to have warm socks and an extra blanket. The BedBox by Stokke is useful in seat traveling mattress. There are some restrictions on it, but it can be a good option for little ones on a long haul flight. 

Travel in comfortable clothes. Always have a change of pants, underwear, disposable wipes, travel roll of toilet paper, and a bag reserved for soiled clothes. Also, pack your own blanket as well as Clorox wipes and a plastic bag for trash. Pack reusable water bottles for the entire family. Most airports now have filter water great for filling your reusable bottles. Before and after a flight, shake a rehydration solution in there to help combat dehydration and swelling.

Roadtrip tips

Map out a route that has as many rest stops as possible. Pack a portable heating blanket. Pack disposable ice packs. Pack snacks and rehydration solution packs. If you have increased urgency, opt for a disposable adult doctor.

Local travel tips

Pack an extra set of comfortable clothes to change into. Change little ones into pajamas and sleep sacks for the ride home, so that you can put them straight to bed after the long night. Pack an emergency kit of things you may need to soothe your symptoms or wounds. Give yourself a time limit at each location if traveling to multiple. If you are not comfortable with eating out, eat before leaving home.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of enjoyment. Focus on the positive things, and find a way to work through the rest. I hope that some of these tips can make your holiday travel a little easier so that you can enjoy the holiday season.

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