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Back to articles White Pantsuits Optional... What to wear when traveling with a baby or young child...

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There are a couple of travel stories about me as a toddler that are often repeated in my family. One is how when we were in Scotland, I dumped a chicken dinner on my mom?s lap when she was wearing her white pantsuit. ...

Another is how on a plane one time I spilled a full glass of orange juice on her lap while she was wearing her white pantsuit.  Now that I’m a parent and a traveling one at that, I have a question, “What on Earth was she thinking wearing a white pantsuit?”

My uniform is typically black from head to toe, and while that can disguise a multitude of problems, when you’re with an infant it only highlights various slobbers and the kind of goo that only a baby can create with a cracker.  After arriving at various destinations feeling less than fresh, I’ve learned enough to feel confident sharing my travel attire tips.

Layers aren’t just for cakes...
On any given travel day, you could go through as many as 3 different climates, and the plane offers its own temperature variations as well. If you start out with a few light layers, you can remove as needed.  Bringing along a few changes means you can add or subtract as the thermometer dictates, and maybe even get away without a full outfit change should baby spit up or have a diaper failure.  Try to avoid cardigans or sweaters with zippers, you’ll have to remove them going through security.

Shoes blues...
Everyone in your family needs to remove their shoes when going through airport security, even family members who are wearing them for fun instead of function.   Have everyone in footwear that’s easy to get on and off, and if possible, have baby wear outfits with built in feet to avoid keeping track of yet another item.

Think flight patterns...
Multi-coloured patterns can hide a multitude of messes (including the aforementioned cracker goo), so even if you’re not really clean, you don’t look messy.  Keep this in mind for babies and little kids as well. In a pinch, diaper wipes work remarkably well at taking out stains.

Save pyjamas for cats and bananas...
Was it Paris Hilton who popularized wearing pyjamas on the plane? I guess I’m old school, but I try to dress up a bit for air travel and the same goes for my kids.  For a really early start, I’ll put them to bed in the (comfortable but cute) outfit they’ll wear on the plane, and my travel clothes are those that feel like stretch pants and sweats without actually being them.  Not convinced?  Note that you’ll never be upgraded on a flight if you’re wearing flip flops and sweatpants.  A bit of effort CAN go a long way if you’re lucky.

Corinne McDermott is the founder of Have Baby Will Travel, your online guide for travel with babies and toddlers.  For more information or to connect with her please visit www.havebabywilltravel.com or www.twitter.com/hvbabywilltrvl



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