There are no tricks or hacks; just a bunch of ideas that worked for one family or another and lots of prayer. According to experts, we did everything wrong:
- We woke her up for a flight as opposed to leaving during her typical nap time
- We let her crawl/ cruise around the airport during a layover
- We also let her eat an obscene amount of cheerios, play with the tray table, and definitely overpacked our carry on bag
All of those points above were listed as Don’ts on one blog or another. I am just here to let you know that it wasn’t awful, we made it, and didn’t follow all the rules.
I’m not sure if you have seen this post floating around Facebook or not, but travel with your kids if you can. If you can afford the luxury of bringing them along, do so— I promise it will be worth it.
Now don’t get me wrong; it was a little messy, a lot sweaty, and a wee bit fear inducing but I AM
SO GLAD WE DID IT. We made it all the way to Kona, HI with an 11 month old and still had a great trip.
In the next couple weeks, Joy will turn 1 year old. She went on at least 15 fights during her first year of life. I thought I would share what worked for us. Some of these tips might only apply to the longer trips or ones with layovers.
Pack at least 3 outfits for baby in your diaper bag and a change of clothes for you as well. I will never forget tramping through the airport with spit up stained leggings because Joy had a messy burp and I didn’t have enough foresight at the time to pack a change of clothes for me.
If you can, baby wear! I always wear the Ergo 360 and it helps keeps my hands free. When Joy was really little, I would wear her and use our stroller as a cart for the carry on luggage. Another plus, they don’t make you take the child off for the security screening process. Makes things way easier.
As she got older, I would check the carseat and stroller at the baggage check (it’s free!), wear her, and carry my diaper bag/ backpack.
Don’t bring too many toys. Her favorites were Jeff’s watch, a pair of headphones, and the tray table. I did my best to wipe things down, then I just kept her occupied. She also loved to shake the bottle the puffs come in!
For the long trip to Hawaii, we did bring our iPad and preloaded it with a couple episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She wasn’t really interested but the theme song would keep her calm for a few minutes at a time.
Bring a portable water bottle with a lid for you! I could never accept the beverages offered out of fear that Joy would knock them out of my hand. Now, I bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up in the terminal or just ask the flight attendant to pour my beverage in it. (I have featured the exact water bottle I carry in my Mother’s Day Gift Guide)
Pack PLENTY of bottles and formula. You just never know when there will be a delay, longer than expected taxi to the gate, or long trip to your hotel after you land. It’s better to be safe than sorry! If you are still nursing, lucky you! Disregard the above.
On longer flights, don’t be afraid to walk the aisles a little bit. Our fellow passengers didn’t mind her waving and blowing kisses and Joy loved the change of scenery!
Lastly, smile and be gracious. Most people traveling have older kids and might even empathize with you. They remember how finicky and unpredictable young children can be. I know if I see a struggling mama on a flight I offer her some comfort and let her know it will all be alright and that I’m not even bothered. Don’t stress.
I don’t want you to think that Joy was this angel baby on all of our trips. We had our hiccups and a few short- lasting tantrums (they felt like eternity) but I would never let that keep us from traveling with her. The more I was prepared, the more relaxed the whole family was.
we love our UPPA Baby Travel System. If you purchase the protective travel bag for the stroller and damage occurs, they replace it. Quick and Painless. Our stroller suffered a little damage on the way to Hawaii and with one phone call and one email, I had another one on the way!
The last post full of travel tips will be up tomorrow. You won’t wan’t to miss it!