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Packing for Baby

Getting there can actually be half the fun with a baby on board -- if you are properly organized and prepared. Simple labeling techniques can make finding your baby's favorite toy a breeze while traveling, and having necessities at your fingertips when those little emergencies arise will make the journey less stressful. If you're planning on bringing your baby along on a trip, remember these helpful hints while packing.

-Store your baby's essentials in labeled plastic resealable bags (the kind with a label window so you can easily identify items such as extra one-pieces, bibs, pajamas, burp cloths, etc.) Also pack extra bags for soiled items after use.

-Pack at least two extra outfits, because the trip will get messy.

-Keep a supply of travel-size antibacterial premoistened towelettes for quick and easy clean-ups.

-Bring a clean baby blanket to lay the baby on if you are unsure about the cleanliness of an airplane, car, train, or lodging establishment.

-Pack formula and feeding supplies in a separate plastic bag, just in case they accidentally spill or leak. Note: Airline regulations differ regarding bringing formula on a flight, so check with your carrier before departing for the airport.

-Don't forget in-case-of-emergency must-haves such as pediatrician-approved liquid pain reliever/fever reducer, gas-relief drops, baby thermometer, and any other medications your baby needs. Pack all liquids separately in a resealable plastic bag if boarding a plane. Hint: To reduce ear pain during takeoff and landing, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you encourage your infant to nurse or suck on a bottle.

-Make sure your baby's car safety seat is appropriate for his or her age, weight, and height. Just as in a car, these safety seats offer the best protection for your child in an airplane or train. Also consider a restraint made only for use on airplanes and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Belt-positioning booster seats are not allowed on airplanes; however, you can check them as luggage for later use in taxis or rental cars. The AAP recommends that, although the FAA allows children under age 2 to be held in your lap, each child be secured in a safety seat in his or her own seat, and if this is cost prohibitive, parents can check with carriers that offer discounted seats for infants or choose a flight with empty seats.

-To save room in your luggage or car, pack only enough diapers for the duration of the trip, as these are easily purchased at most destinations. Include lots of favorite soft toys to entertain your baby along the way.

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