Seeking Advice on How to Best Travel with a 4 Month Old.

Updated on April 14, 2008
B.B. asks from San Diego, CA
7 answers

My husband and I will be traveling with our 4 month old daughter to Hawaii next month. I need advice on what neccesities to bring for the flight as well as the hotel stay. I am worried about the time zone difference as well. She is such a great sleeper and I don't want to throw off her sleep/nap schedule. We will only be gone for 4 days....should I try to keep her on Pacific standard time and just deal with waking up at 3 am? This may also sound like a dumb question...but if my baby is bottle fed, how do I clean and sanitize her bottles etc in the hotel. How many bottles and supplies should I bring?

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answers from San Diego on

Here is what I do when I travel with my kids (and yes, we travelled when my son was that young).

I pack enough clothes to get through the trip.

Lots of blankets, preferably the junky ones that you don't care about if they get dirty or yucked up, and 3-4 of the large ones that you can use to put baby down on the floor with.

Gate check your stroller and carseat that way you don't have to lug it through the airport. When you check in at the front desk, they will take your carseat and have it waiting for you at the gate. And then just wheel your stroller up to the gate and they will stow it for you under the plane and have it waiting for you outside the plane door at your next arrival.

For bottles, formula, wipes, and diapers I bring enough to get through the first day. Then I hit the local Target or Walmart and buy what we will need for the whole trip. Most of the islands of Hawaii will have a Walmart or Target (my family comes from hawaii). Since my son was on formula at the time, i just put in the correct amount of powder formula into the bottle and put 4 bottles into the diaper backpack bag. Then on take off and landing I would just pour water and mix and then feed him with the 1 or 2 bottles of water that I also had in the diaper bag.

I would also take some ziploc baggies for any stinky diapers that you might have to change on the plane. Then you can give them to the attendant and have them throw it away in the main cabin trash. Also good for if baby barfs all over themself on the just change them and put the yucky clothes into the baggie.

Bring a few comfort toys/items for the plane. Then pack the another handful of toys to play with during the trip. Since your baby is so young, you won't need to pack too many of them.

Once we arrive I just buy a small bottle of dish soap and wash all the bottles and stuff in the hotel room each night.

If you have a small travel bath tub thing that would be good too since you never know how clean the tub in a hotel really is. Or you can bathe them in the sink since your DD is still pretty small.

Bring lots of SPF protective wear for your baby since she is still too young to put sunscreen on.

As for the sleep issue...just play it by ear. You know what her sleep signs are. With my two kids we usually plan to do one activity a day and plan with flexibility in mind in case we see the kids are too tired and we need to head back to the hotel.

I highly recommend using backpack style carryons when travelling with kids. Plus it reduces the amount of times you will knock the heads of other passengers while passing through the aisle while getting on the plane.

Oh and try to ask for bulkhead seats when you check in. They give you a little more leg room/baby walking/soothing room.

Don't forget to bring your carseat for riding around Hawaii, or see if you can rent one from the car rental place.

Most hotels will have a pack n play or small crib that you can reserve ahead of time. I would bring your own sheets and blankets though.

I know another Mom suggested bringing your boppy. For me it was a pain to have to have another thing to carry on so we just brought my Maya Wrap Sling. So if you have a baby carrier/Baby Bjorn you can use that in the plane to help soothe your baby.

Good Luck and have fun!



answers from San Diego on

This is all great advice. I have traveled several times with my now 10 month old, and usually just bring a bottle brush and dish soap and use the sink. One piece of advise for the plane is if she uses a pacifier, make sure it is connected to her or something on a pacifier clip. You don't want it to fall on the ground. Not only is it dirty, but it's really hard to reach down in those tiny airplane seats to retrieve things that fall on the floor. Have a great time, and know that if you forget anything, I'm sure there is somewhere you can purchase whatever you need, so don't worry.



answers from San Diego on

Medela makes a microwaveable sterilaztion bag. I think you can buy them at Target. You use it ten times and toss it. You add water and you bottle parts and microwave it.



answers from San Diego on

I hope you have a terrific time! You can try to stay in the timezone, many people try, especially if you are there for only a week or two. I would have the hotel provide a playpen for a crib. I'd bring:

Lovables - blankie or whatever is the lovable
Car seat
Lots of sun tan lotion (although you can buy that at any corner in Hawaii)
Sound machine (we used this with our kids)

I used the inserts, although you are probably aware of the plastic concerns. If you are ok with using plastic, I'd bring the inserts with a bottle brush (won't be able to find that readily in Hawaii unless you are staying in the suburbs) for the nipple and use hot hot water.

You can buy diapers in Hawaii. Walmart is very close to Waikiki - unless you are going to another island. Might be a tad bit more expensive, however, you won't need to fill your suitcase with diapers.

Have a great great time!



answers from San Diego on

Be sure you have a bottle for her for the take-off and landing, or something that you know she will suck on to help with the pressure on her ears. The flight will be long, but you just get through it the best you can with toys, book, occassional walks up and down the aisle - I can't think of much else you can do with a 4 month old. I have traveled a few times to the east coast, 3 hours in the other direction, and I tried to keep them close to west coast time. They naturally adjusted their internal clocks a little bit, but we kept them within an hour of their normal routine (west coast time) and I think that is the easiest thing to do, especially for such a short trip. When my boys were that little, they had a really hard time just with switching one hour to and from daylight savings so I would say to keep her as close to her usual times as possible. The flight may throw off her sleeping routine, but getting her to bed a little early may help her recover. Worst case, her sleeping may be all confused during your trip, but once you get back home you will probably be able to get her back to her normal routine within a few days. As for the bottles, she should be fine if you just wash them with dish soap and the hottest water you can handle. That's what I have done while travelling and never had a problem.



answers from San Diego on

Hi B.!

These are great questions! I started traveling with my baby when she was one month old and now at 8 months old she is a great traveler! I got lots of advice from others, here is my compilation of what was the best:

1. Sleep. I would recommend not trying to switch her sleep schedule. By the time that you have her on the new schedule you will be boarding the plane to go home. But of course you could always try the first night and see how it goes!

2. Bottle washing. I just brought a travel size container of dish washing liquid and a bottle brush. I used the sink in the hotel room and set up a little bottle washing station. It was surprisingly not a big deal at all.

3. what to bring. Honestly, OVERPACK. On my first trip I packed what she usually wore when at home and I had to go and buy an extra onsie and sleeper. I found that she seems to poop a lot more when we are traveling/ dirty more clothes.

BOPPY PILLOW – this is a lifesaver on the plane. My girl sleeps almost the whole time and this way your arms aren’t numb by the time your arrive. You can put the pillow on your lap and even use your hands to read or whatever while your babe sleeps away.

SEAT- if you can try and get an empty seat next to you. (if the plane is not full). It works great for a play area, changing table, and crib while you are on the plane. I have found if you ask at the desk before you board they will tell you if the plane is full.

CAR SEAT and stroller.- you can check these on the plane. At the desk when you check in , ask for a plastic bag for these. (helps prevent scrapes) Car seat is a great rocker/highchair/crib/etc.

BOTTLES-3-, dish soap, bottle brush.

SHEET/BLANKET(s) - I found the hotel will very often not have a crib sheet in the crib you borrow. It grossed me out. Also blankets can be great play mats in the hotel, at the pool, etc.

ONSIES- 3 per day! (see comment above about dirtying more clothes then usual)

SLEEPERS -3 (same as above)

MEDICATION- Tylenol, nose sucker bulb, orajel, nail clippers. (on one trip she broke a tooth and on an other she got a cold. It is nice to have it with you and it doesn’t take that much space to pack it).

CHANGING PAD- probably in your diaper bag, but I used it on the plane, and set it up in the hotel as a changing station.

TOYS- not too many, but enough to keep her happy!

DIAPERS/WIPES – you can bring or buy there. Both work. I like bringing mine cause then I use the space for bringing back souvenirs. 


4. Other advise. Bring an extra change of clothes for both you and your baby on the plane. I know a couple people who have had a relaxed sleeping baby who pooped on them on the plane. I like to be prepared. Also change her diaper right before you board. It is much easier then changing it on the plane. Also, feed (bottle?) while taking off and landing. They need to be sucking so not to pop the ear drums.

I know this is a lot, but I hope it helps! Have fun!
ALso, here is a link that is somewhat helpful.



answers from Los Angeles on

I haven't flown with my children at that young age, but I would pack a carry on diaper bag. Diapers,wipes,bink,toys,bottles. If your daughter drinks formula fill the bottles with water and then you just need to add the formula on the flight. during take off and landing having her suck on a bink or bottle will help the pressure in her ears. I'd probably bring Tylenol and gas drops as well, although, I don't know if you can have those on the flight anymore.
I always bring my daughters Pack N Play, it's a perfect size for hotels and it's perfect for naps and night time sleeping. Also great for playing in on the beach, to keep her out of the sand. I would pack her her own blankets and sheets from home, to make her comfy.
Pack a bottle brush, if nothing else you can use the sink in the hotel room with hot water and dish soap (which I'm sure you could find there) and wash them. Also, a lot of hotels offer kitchenette rooms, with a stove and dishwasher, in which case you could wash them there.
I'd bring a snugli, if she uses one. Hats, and sunscreen for her. And, either travel sized baby soaps or those great washclothes with the soap already on them, you just need to add water when you get to the hotel.

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