Thinking about traveling with a baby made me anxious, and the thought of traveling without my husband and my baby was a definite NO. But when I had the opportunity to meet my family in Palm Desert, all of my friends convinced me that I had to jump at the opportunity. Thank goodness I listen to them. I have always loved traveling, and during my 20's I went to as many places as I could. Having a baby shouldn't limit me to this, and I had to get over my fears. So here are a few things I learned on my first trip with Liam. I will link all of the items at the bottom of the blog! Also, make sure to pack an extra set of clothes for you as well as the baby. You never know when you will get spit up, milk, food or all of the above on you!
1. BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT: This was something we had to learn the hard way. When you are travelling with an infant they NEED a boarding pass. When you book your flight you need to indicate you are traveling with an infant, and when you are getting your boarding pass at the airport, make sure you have one for your baby. If you don't you will not be allowed on the plane!
2. CARRY ON: I personally always travel with a carry on, because if our bags to were get lost I would at least have a few things to survive a few days. I made sure to have all of the necessities on me; diapers, wipes, socks, onesies, bottles, soothers, a book, etc. I also packed a few toys and things to help keep him occupied on the flight. I went to the dollar store and picked up a few items he had never seen before; stickers, a spatula... Also snacks! I made sure to have a few pouches, formula, water already in the bottles (they allow you to bring your own water if it is for a baby).
3.GETTING THROUGH SECURITY:
- Carry baby on me: I use the Baby Bjorn One Air and love that he can face forward and watch everyone. It's also super light and breathable
- Push your stroller with all of your things on it (carry on bag, breast pillow, etc.) I brought a Summer Infant 3Dlite stroller with me, instead of our Vista and I'm so happy we did. It's a perfect size to travel with and super light. We were also looking at the Babyzen yoyo stroller, which I've heard great things, but the price difference is what sold us on the Summer Infant.
- If you choose to use the stroller instead of a carrier keep in mind that when you are going through security they will make you take them out of the stroller, but you can keep them in the carrier. Keep that in mind for naps!
- When you are traveling with a baby you can bring as much water as you need, so take advantage! I brought a few water bottles filled that I did use for his bottles, but one was also for me.
4. FAMILY PRIORITY: Once you have checked your bags and you are on your way through security, you can take the "family priority" lane, which is much faster than the other lanes! Make sure to find someone and ask to go through here, especially if you have any liquids you're bringing with you for your baby as they have to check them.
5. CARSEAT: We didn't bring ours with us because I was trying to pack as light as possible, and we were able to rent one when we landed in Palm Springs. If you are bringing your carseat, I would check to see if your flight isn't full and if you can bring it on with you so you don't have the risk of loosing it or it getting damaged. You can also purchase a travel case for it so it will be covered under insurance if anything were to happen to it.
6. TIME CHANGE: The first day for us was a write off. His naps were off, and his sleeping was horrible, but it was a new place and three hours different than home. But once we were able to get into a grove, we mostly took him for walks in the stroller for him to nap, and for bedtime we put the crib in a room and used the Slumberpod to create complete darkness! Having this was a game changer! We were able to put him to bed in the living room, and still have all of the lights on until we went to bed! It's totally a personal preference on how to handle naps and sleeping, as every baby is different!
7. SHOWS/MUSIC: Make sure to have their favourites already downloaded on your phone or iPad. We had Little Baby Bum and his favourite music playlist downloaded so when he started getting really fussy on the plane, we had this ready for backup.
8. CHOOSING A SEAT: This was something I made sure to pay extra for when booking the flight. Liam was 10 months when I flew, and he was very active. So making sure I had an aisle seat was important, as I would be getting up to walk him up and down the aisle as much as possible. This way I didn't have to disturb people constantly with him wanting to get up and move around.
** If you are traveling with someone else, try and book the aisle and the window seat, because a lot of the time people won't choose to sit in the middle seat and you can have the whole row to yourself! Score!
9. BOARD EARLY: When traveling with a baby you get prioroty boarding, take advantage of this! It does mean you are on the plane for longer, but you will be able to get yourself organized and put things away before everyone else is on the plane and waiting for you. Also gives you an opportunity to wipe down all of the surfaces your baby will be touching with wipes to get rid of any germs left behind.
10. BASSINET: When you check-in, or sometimes when you are booking your flight you have the option of asking for the bassinet. There are only a few and sometimes only one of these available on each flight, so if you know your baby could sleep on the plane, ask for this! They move you to an exit row and fasten the bassinet to the wall.
11.NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES: These came in really handy when Liam was napping on the go- airplane, on walks. The announcements on the airplane are usually really loud, so if your baby is already sleeping these are great for helping with not waking them up. We used babybanz
12. DISINFECT: As soon as we boarded the plane I use Lysol wipes to wipe everything down. Liam is at the age of putting everything in his mouth, and planes are notorious for germs.
13. TAKE OFF/LANDING: We had a bottle ready for him for take off and landing to help with his ears popping. I filled a few bottles with water in them, and portioned off the formula before I left so it was easy to make while on the plane.
14. BREAST PILLOW: This was something that I thought about leaving at home because of how awkward it was to carry..but thank goodness I didn't because it was by far the best thing I brought on the plane with me! He slept on it both ways, and I was able to have my hands free at the same time!
15. CRIB: The place we were staying was able to provide us with a pack and play, but I was planning on bringing mine with me in my checked luggage. Make sure to call ahead and check if where you're staying has a crib and if they don't, bring a Playard- The Nuna Sena. It packs up really nicely and can be checked in oversized luggage. Also pack a crib sheet!
My Packing list:
noise canceling head phones
bag for dirty clothes or dirty diapers
Love Child food pouch
portable noise machine
blanket (we used this one to cover the stroller when he was napping)
diapers and swim diapers
backpack diaper bag
everywhere belt bag (great for keeping your passport and money instead of carrying a purse)
Travel Stroller (we used this one, but the BabyZen YoYo packs up much smaller and fits in the overhead compartment)