Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

Conquer holiday travel with little ones



Pediatrician-approved tips for you

Conquer holiday travel with little ones


The holiday season is a time for joy and togetherness, but it can often bring stress for parents of young children with the amount of “newness” in each experience, particularly when it comes to seasonal travel.

To help make holiday travel with little ones more manageable – whether traveling by bus, train, car or plane – Dr. Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, pediatric medical consultant for Gerber, offers this guidance for families.

Travel Light
Especially if traveling by plane, pack as light as possible (or check most of your luggage) so you have less to maneuver through security gates and on the plane. However, for longer trips, packing small, developmentally appropriate toys and snacks can provide perfect entertainment for little ones.

Prepare for Ear Pressure
Babies often scream during takeoff and landing on flights because they can’t easily equalize the pressure in their eustachian tubes, the connection between their ears and the back of the throat. When you’re ascending and descending, give your baby something safe to suck on, like a pacifier, to reduce the buildup of pressure in the ears. Taking small sips of water, breastmilk or formula and yawning are also ways to help babies and toddlers experiencing ear pressure during flights.

Plan for Time Adjustments
For long trips that include time zone changes, expect children to take several days to grow accustomed to their new schedules. Plan an extra day or two for that time adjustment, if possible, when mapping out your trip and make time for stops to stretch, snack and take bathroom breaks.

READ MORE: On the road with baby

Pack Convenient Snacks
Having easy-to-access snacks that don’t make a large mess can make travel easier and less stressful. For example, Gerber Plant-Tastic Banana Berry & Veggie Smash with Oats Organic Pouch and Plant-Tastic Lil’ Crunchies White Bean Hummus are nutritious snacks for toddlers that come in resealable containers that are easy to pack for on-the-go families.

Bring Sanitizing Products
Having your own sanitizing wipes on-hand makes it easier to freshen up often-touched surfaces in public spaces like seatback trays, chairs and tables. While safe on most hard surfaces, check the label before using the wipes then allow the area to dry completely before letting your child touch it. Warm, soapy water can also be used to clean toys and other personal products.

Maintain a Consistent Schedule
Keeping your child on his or her normal schedule during the holidays isn’t always feasible and a few imperfections are to be expected during the busy season. However, if your baby’s feeding or sleep schedule does get thrown off by holiday events, try to return to a consistent routine as soon as possible. Be patient with yourself and your little one as you both adjust.

Be Mindful of Anxiety
While attending holiday gatherings, your child may become overwhelmed when meeting new people, including family members. Babies start to develop separation anxiety and apprehension to strangers at about 6 months old as their brains start to understand the concept of object permanence (that something still exists when it is not present). Educating loved ones about this developmental stage can help you feel less anxious about big family gatherings with your little one. If your child is particularly sensitive, try introducing new people in smaller cohorts, as opposed to introducing him or her to the whole group at once.

Take Time for Yourself
While traveling with little ones can be a “bumpy road,” it’s important for parents to also try and enjoy the holidays as much as possible. Making some time for yourself – taking deep breaths, listening to a meditation on an option like the Calm app or playing a favorite song, for example – can help you recharge and relax ahead of a big event.

To find more expert tips and resources to help conquer the holiday season, visit Gerber.com.

(Family Features) 
Photos courtesy of Getty Images



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Residential refresh

    Personalized touches for your home

    Your home is an expression of you, your personality, and your lifestyle. When it comes to personalizing your home’s aesthetic, try leaning into your senses to inspire change within your space. read more »
  • An elevated sandwich for any occasion

    Your family is going to love this

    They might not be the fanciest of foods, but when you eat a filling, protein-packed sandwich, you are usually left satisfied and full of energy. From ham and turkey to mayo and mustard, the possibilities are nearly endless when sandwiches are on the menu. read more »
  • Graduation party planning

    5 tips to make yours awesome

    Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, a significant milestone worth celebrating. However, planning a graduation party can be overwhelming. read more »
  • Know as they grow

    How birth defects affect each stage of life

    Birth defects, structural changes that affect one or more parts of the body, are the leading cause of infant mortality. A baby is born with a birth defect every 4.5 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). read more »
  • Almost two-thirds of home fires are due to human error

    Here's how to prepare

    The threat of a home fire is greater than most people think. 40% of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire, yet residential fires are the most common disaster people face in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. read more »
  • How to erase negative self-talk and feel better

    Writing can help

    It’s been four years since the collective trauma of the pandemic created widespread grief, anxiety, and isolation, but the psychological wounds of this period have not fully healed. read more »
  • 7 ways to reduce energy bills during summer heat

    Don't let your budget get smoked during a heat wave

    With temperatures forecasted to run at least 2 degrees higher than historical averages across more than half the country, according to projections from AccuWeather, heat waves may lead to soaring air-conditioning bills this summer. read more »
  • Celebrate Father's Day with exciting outdoor activities

    5 ideas for a day of fun for the special guy in your life

    A thoughtful card or personalized gift can go a long way on Father’s Day, but what many dads (and grandpas) want on their special day is time spent with loved ones. read more »
  • Preparing for your first pet

    5 tips for new pet owners

    Welcoming a new pet into your family can be an exciting addition, but preparation is required to provide a loving home and enjoy the unconditional love of a four-legged family member. read more »
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 101

    What every student-athlete should know

    Heart conditions may be more often associated with older individuals, but you might be surprised to learn hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common condition responsible for sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In fact, it’s the cause of 40% of sudden cardiac death cases. read more »