10 Tips for Traveling With a Baby
Since the holidays are coming up I know that a lot of you will be traveling quite a bit! We are planning several trips over the next couple of months and I thought I would put together this post for all of you who may be bringing a baby along for the first time! Traveling with a baby can seem daunting but if you can be prepared it really doesn't have to be. Since my baby was born she's been on numerous road trips and countless flights. It can be exhausting but trust me it is 100% worth it! We always knew that we didn't want having a baby to keep us from experiencing life and while she does slow things down a bit, I've come to realize that that isn't the worst thing in the world. We love having her with us and watching her experience new things has been so fun! The hardest part of traveling is always the actual journey. When you have your hubby with you it's easy breezy. Just take the baby and leave the rest to the muscle, but when you're on your own it can get little trickier. I have gone through all the trial and error and have come up with a pretty fool poof system so I've put together some of my best tips for getting through your trip as seamlessly as possible!
1. Dress Comfortably I feel like this is obvious but I have seen way too many poor mommas struggling through security because they were not dressed appropriately for the occasion. Leave the knee high lace up boots in your luggage and opt for some slip on sneakers. Skip the jeans because high waisted leggings and tunics are your friend. Don't bother with scarves or hats or excessive jewelry. Keep it simple and comfortable and most of all easy! (I'm currently working on a post featuring my favorite travel outfit so stay tuned for that!)
Shop my comfy travel faves:
2. Wear Your Baby When going through security, you will have to put your carseat and stroller through the x-ray machine, so if your baby is in them, they will have to come out and if they're sleeping that means you have to wake them up. It also means that now one of your hands is occupied which makes folding up the stroller and putting your baggage up on the belt a whole lot more complicated. I carry Ella in the Baby K'tan or Ergobaby 360. I prefer to have her on my back because it's a lot easier to get my shoes off and on but truly it's whatever works in the moment.
They won't make you take the baby off but they do always have to test your hands so don't rush off after you go through the metal detector!
3. Push Your Luggage When I travel by myself with Ella, I never check a bag. That is just one more stop that I have to make at baggage claim and when I get off of the plane at my final destination I am just ready to be done. Since I'm wearing the baby I always place the car seat on the stroller, put the carry-ons on top and hang the diaper bag on the handles. The Mutsy Evo is a great compact stroller for traveling because its reclines back all the way, (perfect for carrying all of your stuff) and it folds up super easily! I also always keep my boarding passes, phone, and id / credit card in my Stroller Organizer. It attaches to the handlebars so everything is right in reach plus there's 2 cup holders for my coffee and water.
4. Dress Your Kid in Layers I always dress Ella in footie pajamas over a plain white onsie. That way if its cold on the plane she's prepared and if it gets too hot I can just peel of the pajamas it ain't no thang. I Also bring a pack of white onsies in my diaper bag because blowouts happen - usually at the worst possible time. If they do you can just take off the dirty one and throw it away and you don't have to carry poopy clothes with you the rest of the day.
5. Take Your Time Don't stress out about about people waiting behind you in security. Everyone understands and even if they don't, you will never see them again. Most people are even willing to help you out. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance!
6. Take Advantage of Early Boarding & Ask for an Extra Seat Most airlines will allow people with young children to board the plane first. Take advantage of this so you can drop your stroller of at gate check, get you bags put away and get your little one situated without also being stuck in a crowd of people. When you arrive at the gate always ask if you can bring your car seat on the plane. If the flight isn't full they will usually let you! It's so nice to be able to lay the baby in their car seat and give your ams a break!
7. Nurse / Feed During Takeoff / Landing (Unless they're already asleep!) The change in altitude can bother baby's ears so I aways like to nurse Ella during takeoff. It also keeps her calm and still during the first half hour or so and usually will put her to sleep so she's out for the majority of the flight. It's a win - win - win! I love nursing covers for flights because it keeps everything private when everyone is packed together like sardines. The all around coverage is perfect and there are no straps or flaps to worry about so it's super easy to use. Ella usually HATES being covered but she doesn't mind this one because it's light and stays away from her face. Plus she loves to play peek a boo through the neck hole. Also when Ella was smaller, I always brought my BOPPY nursing pillow onto the plane and kept it on my lap. It was perfect because if she fell asleep then i could just leave her on the boppy and then I could use my hands.
8. Rent a House Instead of a Hotel This applies to people with babies over 9 months. That second bedroom is crucial if you want to keep your child on a regular sleep schedule. Any time we are staying in a hotel Ella is up as late as we are and she usually ends up in our bed because if she can see me, she wants to be near me. Plus a little crying it out is never an option because you are always very aware that there are people staying in the rooms around you. Getting an Airbnb is totally worth it because you can put the baby to bed in their own room - make sure you have a portable playard (This one is awesome because it's inexpensive and travel friendly), you have a whole kitchen & a laundry room! Plus it's always nice to have a whole house to yourself so you don't feel cooped up in a tiny room with a baby. We co-slept for a long time with Ella so when she was little we were fine with a hotel room and we would just let her sleep on the King bed with us (Hotels usually have little cribs you can use but Ella never likes them. The Dock-a-Tot is great for this if you're not 100% comfortable with co-sleeping because it creates a barrier between you and the baby and prevents the baby from rolling off the bed! We got the Dock-a-Tot for our most recent trip to Europe and it was completely magical. Ella slept like a champ the whole trip! Plus it made the hotel crib so much comfier for her so we could have the bed to ourselves!
9. Don't Overpack I always bring way too much stuff when I travel with Ella and I always regret it! Bring clothes that mix and match and don't pack things like baby shoes (if they aren't walking yet). You WILL lose at least one. I usually only bring enough diapers to get me through the travel day and then I buy a pack after we land. That way they don't take up a huge chunk of my luggage. I like to bring two blankets, one to lay on the ground at the airport so Ella can get burn some energy before the flight and one to use on the plane in case it's cold. These swaddles are perfect because they're huge but roll up really small so they won't take up a lot of space in your diaper bag. (plus they're on sale right now!)
10. Don't Stress This is by far the most important advice that I have for you. If you are stressed out, your baby will feed off of that energy and they will be stressed out. Even if someone is rude to you or making you feel like you're taking too long or if your flight get's canceled or you miss your connection DON'T FREAK OUT! The airline will always make sure that you get to where you are going and if you are kind and patient with them then they're much more likely to take better care of you! Trust me, I've been through it all. Stressing get's you nowhere and only makes your trip harder on you and your baby.
Thanks so much for stopping by guys! I hope this was helpful for you!
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