Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chronicle 38: Say What?! Wednesday: Traveling with Baby


A friend of mine is flying across the pond with her adorable 8 month old in a few weeks. For those of you who are interested, that is a 10 hour plane ride with a recently mobile little guy. An independent, mobile little guy. She wondered if I had any suggestions for traveling with a little one and, after wracking my poor, tired mommy brain, I gave her a few suggestions that helped me when my husband and I flew cross country with G.

Baby G, at 3.5 months, and mama!
Planning the Flight:

1. First thing's first, it is MUCH cheaper to hold your child on your lap, no matter the length of the trip. Many airlines DO have discounted seats for children under 2, but you will still pay close to full price. If your child is not mobile, you are allowed to carry them in a Baby Bjorn or something similar.

If you choose to buy a seat, then you must have a TSA approved car seat for your kiddo. Usually the car seat will say if it is approved on the side, or you can check the manual it came with, or even call the manufacturer. If your child is mobile, they may not want to sit in the car seat the entire time, so be prepared to end up holding them anyway!
Traveling with a car seat
2. Try to schedule an early/late flight. Most children do better in the morning or late at night, and will actually sleep after take off. The cabin pressure and motion of the plane combined with snuggling equals nap time! We left early and came back late, and G slept for most of both flights!

3. In that same vein, do your best to leave on a day when the airport is not as busy. This will make it easier to navigate the airport and security. If you are switching flights, pick a layover that is over an hour, preferably two. This way you can gather everything, de-board, pick up the stroller & car seat, etc. without rushing, panicking and running through an unfamiliar airport.

4. It is painful for little ears when the plane takes off and lands, which causes VERY unhappy babies. The best way to combat this is feeding your baby during this time. If you are nursing, make sure you pack a blanket or nursing cover to take on the plane. You are allowed a certain amount of pre-made formula, so check with your airport's TSA policies to see how much you can carry-on, and how much you can pack if your destination does not have the formula you normally buy.

5. You can check the car seat with its base AND your stroller for FREE at the gate. They will have it waiting for you when you disembark.
Where to check your stroller
6. Airlines will ask you to bring your baby's birth certificate to verify age and identity. They do not accept copies. Even if you have obtained your child a passport, take the birth certificate as backup.

Packing for the Plane/Trip:


1. If you are visiting with relatives, ask if they have access to a Pack n Play or portable crib. Many hotels also offer these for free or an additional fee, so call and check with your hotel. If you are unable to procure one at your destination, see if you can fit your Pack n Play into a golf bag and take it with you. 

2. Pack enough diapers & formula to get you to your destination, then buy the rest when you arrive. This will increase your packing space dramatically. 

3. You will need at least 2-3 outfits per day for baby. If you have access to a washer & dryer, pack less and make life easier for yourself! Also, take bibs that can be wiped down and don't have to be washed. You don't want to have to worry about rotting food particles stinking up your suitcase!
Easy Wipe Bibs
4. An inflatable tub is cheap and easy to fold up and bring along. If your destination is warm, it can double as a baby pool! I found mine at Buy Buy Baby, but you can also buy them from Amazon, Target, Babies R Us, etc.

5. Bring a backpack rather than a diaper bag. That way you can pack your entertainment/snacks along with the baby's and it is easier to carry.

Vacation:

1. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible! Nap times and mealtimes should not be delayed and /or missed. It will be difficult because you will want to do so much, but it will be to your benefit to avoid meltdowns when traveling AND deviation from your child's routine once you return home. Little ones cannot handle it as well as we. 

2. Traveling on airplanes can cause constipation in babies, so be prepared. Give a bit of water and juice throughout the trip to help them regulate (always talk with your pediatrician first).
Juice!
3. Take a small first aid kit with you. I always pack baby Tylenol & baby Ibuprofen along with our Dr.'s dosage recommendations. I also pack nail clippers, a rectal thermometer, cotton balls, and Neosporin. You never know when you'll need them! 

4. Don't panic if you forgot to pack something! Many times you can find what you need at the airport, a gas station, or Target/Wal-mart/Meijer once you arrive. 

Most importantly: have fun! Traveling with a baby can be stressful, but roll with the punches and everyone will enjoy themselves. Please comment or e-mail with any additional questions, mamas!

Xoxo,
The Hot Mama



7 comments:

  1. Wow, Jenn, I had no idea traveling with a baby required such logistical maneuvering! I have to say I have a whole new respect for moms/dads who travel with kids. Thank you for this really practial post; when I have children I will definitely be re-reading it. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lauren! I had no idea either, before baby G. I am so glad I did my research beforehand. People are much more understanding and helpful than you'd expect. My worst nightmare was that we would be "that" family on the plane, but most passengers were friendly and sympathetic. As for the others, you can't control that - and will most likely never see them again! ;)

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  2. Nicole5/23/2012

    I love this chronicle! Thank you for posting it! I'm such a reader and a list person that it is helpful to have a plan readily accessible. Rest assured, I will reference this several times in the next week! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for being the inspiration! I know it is a lot of information, but I tried to cover everything I could think of. Good luck with everything and have a wonderful time! Can't wait to hear how it went! Xoxo

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  3. KPhizzle5/25/2012

    Oh wow..... SO glad I don't have kids to travel with. It's hard enough carrying my stuff and not completely spazzing over the germ factor on airplanes and airports. I couldn't imagine traveling with a baby. I can't imagine how the Jolie-Pitts do it, then again they have a private nanny for each individual child (wahhh?!) so I suppose Brand and Angie aren't that output on their, oh yeah, private plane.... now how say someone without all of the staff and private planes and litters of children - how they don't just get drunk on tiny wine bottles to handle the stress of flying is beyond me! Kudos to you mamma! ;)

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  4. I guess it is one of those things that you just kind of take in stride? When planning for something it just takes a little extra and then eventually it becomes the norm. The first time always comes with a steep learning curve, which diminishes with each experience. I'm not sure if I would try to fly with G at this point; he won't sit still for a second nowadays!!

    ReplyDelete
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