Traveling with a baby can be a daunting challenge. The thought of being those people on an airplane that everyone looks at with the stink eye is not a fun position to be in. Apart from the dirty looks, it can also be overwhelming to try and pack everything you might need for baby.
This past weekend my husband and I flew to Arizona with Millie and experienced what it is like to travel with a 4-month old. I am thankful to have our first trip out of the way, because there are things that worked well but also things that I would choose to do differently the next time we fly.
Things That Worked
- Bring a whole pack of wipes and diapers. (Side note: When we use disposable diapers, we use the Honest Company). When it came to traveling for multiple days, we found it easier just bring a whole case of diapers and wipes than trying to figure out how many she might use during the whole trip. This also allowed us restock the diaper bag without worrying about running out of diapers.
- Bring the car seat (obviously) and stroller. Not only are you allowed to check both items at the gate, but the stroller makes your life easier if you need to walk through the terminal. Note: TSA will require you to remove baby from car seat and break down the stroller when going through security. It is such a hassle, but people seem to be extra patient with families, so that helped!
- Stock up. Bring lots of books, toys, pacifiers, blankets, a wet bag and change of clothes for both you and baby. Spit up and blow outs happen at the most inconvenient times, so just expect that to happen at some point during your travel. You want to have plenty of entertainment and distractions for baby no matter how long your flight is. Make sure to go a little “overboard” on these items so you have plenty of backup. Thankfully, Millie loves her toys and books, so diverting her attention was not hard. Also, we experienced one blow out on our way home, so I was super thankful for her extra change of clothes and the wet bag to put dirty clothes in!
- Nurse your baby on the takeoff and landing. To ensure a happy baby, make sure they are sucking and swallowing something during the landing and takeoff. The change in elevation and pressure in the cabin can hurt the baby’s ears, so make sure they are nursing. However, if they are already sleeping, let them sleep! I nursed Millie on every landing and takeoff and she was a champ. She ended up falling asleep on each plane ride, and if she woke up we just kept her entertained…she never cried once on the plane, thank you Jesus!
- Create a home away from home. Once you get to your destination, try and create a setting that resembles your usual schedule; this will help your baby adjust to a new setting and help you cope with a new place. We set up a diaper changing station and brought her portable sound machine to recreate her room as much as possible. Note: call your hotel before you leave and reserve a pack and play for your room. We kept our nighttime routine the same to try and keep Millie on a somewhat familiar schedule. Yet again, another great reason to create a night time routine because you can take it anywhere with you! (Check out my blog on the Best Bedtime Routine!)
- Give yourself plenty of time and stay organized! Before we had a baby Alex and I could take our sweet time getting to the airport because it was just us and our carry on's.However, now that we have another person to hold and get through security, we have to give ourselves more time. The only way I can function is if things are organized. I find it incredibly helpful when I know my most important items are easy to get to.Having to worry about a baby is enough to handle, so make sure all liquids are easy to get to for security and that baby's diaper bag is fully stocked and the access to pacifiers is easy :)
Things I Would Do Differently
- Bring the Ergo. I know it may be overkill with bringing the stroller and Ergo, but there were multiple times I wished I had it.
- Wear nursing friendly clothing, duh! You think I would get this by now, but for some reason I keep wearing clothes that make breast feeding very difficult. If you are like me and get a little shy breastfeeding in public places, make sure your clothing is easy to breastfeed in to help you feel comfortable. Note to self, do not wear a dress with poor access to the boob while traveling!
- Bring more burp cloths! I only brought two burp clothes this trip and I wish I would have brought more. From using it on the airplane and dropping it on the floor in multiple places, I kept wishing I had a clean one. Call me germaphobe, but this is something I will take note of!
- Ignore the haters! Traveling with a baby can be very intimidating and the dirty looks from people don’t make it any easier. My only advice is just to ignore people who seemed annoyed that you have a baby. Do not worry about what they may think or say to you. You do what is best for you and your baby!
To be honest, traveling is exhausting, so adding a baby to it makes it that much more tiring. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. To keep it enjoyable just make sure you have everything you need for you and baby and stay light hearted! When you start to stress out, your baby will sense that, so stay calm and enjoy the ride. I hope these minor tips help you in your next travel adventure!
Abby is a first time Mom, and an amazing team member of Baja Baby. She lives in Colorado with her husband Alex, their beautiful new baby girl Amelia Grace and Maple the dog.
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