Baby Adventurers: As They Grow Tips

Author: Family Travel Forum Staff

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Research the best ways to travel with babies from newborns through 36 months.

Most parents would agree that any journey with an infant is an adventure! Here are some travel ideas to make it easy, safe and fun at different age levels:

Newborns: She's the easiest travel companion and won't complain as long as you're together. Take it easy -- she defeats jet lag by sleeping when she wants, but you'll be beat. Discuss your destination with the pediatrician and get local medical references. Carry her everywhere in a front carrier, and bring a porta-crib and favorite blanket from home.

3-6 months: Roam the world! This is the age for long plane flights, classy urban hotels, fine art museums, and elegant restaurants (before the dinner crowd arrives.) Your good napper is not yet a big crawler, so travel is pretty easy. Keep her close in a backpack, give her things to hold, and watch what she puts in her mouth.

6-12 months: Travel is harder but more fun. Your bubbly traveling companion sits up, greets everyone, makes new friends easily. A time for new words, pocket parks, duck ponds, playgrounds, Wash n' Drys, teething toys, and brief bouts of sightseeing with a stroller. Be sure to do your own babyproofing; the better hotels will have baby gear and babysitters.

12-18 months: Travel is harder because your new walker needs to run around! Think about Asia, Latin America, and countries where children are cherished, expected to appear in public, and all behavior is considered adorable -- even shrieks of "No! No! No!" A fussy child will surprise you by discovering new foods, toys, ways to play. Bring a stroller for afternoons -- or a backpack, if streets are unpaved.

18-24 months: A toddler with a mind of her own may seem more in command than in tow. Great time for staying around the resort: it's convenient for naps, the kiddie pool will help her overcome her fear of the water, and there's room service when everyone's grumpy. Let her play and sleep in her very own collapsible play tent -- you'll get some privacy, too!

24-36 months: Your contrarian travel bug may sit still on a plane, in a bus, at a cafe, on a train. Her increased attention span allows other adults, toys, and books to engage her. Choose urban or rural destinations mixed with plenty of time for play. Rent a condo or house so you can cook, teach table manners, and avoid many social situations requiring "good" behavior.