Oh well hello there often neglected corner of the internet. I have missed you! As you may have heard, working fulltime and having a toddler doesn't leave an amazing amount of time for personal endeavors beyond showering daily and maybe watching some YouTube videos.
There is something we have been doing a lot of - traveling! Since Bricket has been born he has gotten around, including long haul trips to Europe and Australia. Before I started traveling I googled about traveling with a baby and there was so much great information. I wanted to pull together some posts by topic on the things I've learned, if for no other reason than to be able to look back on it when/if we have another baby. For those that know me, or have been reading this a while, this will also catch you up on where I have been.
Let's start with traveling with a baby that is 12 weeks or younger.... First of all congratulations you brave soul. Booking that first trip is anxiety inducing for even the most seasoned travel. Starting them young is a great idea!
Bricklet's first trip was NYC-SFO at 8 weeks. My husband needed to go for work, and I wasn't keen on not having any help with the baby, and my husband wasn't keen on being away from him. Here's what I learned on that trip:
What you'll need
- Passport for baby if traveling internationally
- Baby carrier. This will make your life so much easier.
- Bottle / breastmilk / nursing cover / etc
- Toy and/or book
- Blanket - especially if domestic as many carriers won't provide, especially if you fly economy
- Car seat - not super required if you don't have a seat for baby, and are not hiring a car on the other side.
- Covers for stroller and car seat. We didn't have one for our full stroller. We got this one for the car seat and it worked wonderfully, although if I were to do it again I would splash out on this one.
- Tylenol. Even if you generally don't give it, better to have it on hand.
- Diapers. Bring twice what you think you'll need on the airplane. This also buffers if you have delayed luggage (like we did when Bricket was 8 weeks old, and we had to do a Whole Foods run upon arrival for diapers and wipes).
- Change of clothes or two for the baby and you. Because wearing pee is not glam.
Navigate the airport
- Strollers and car seats can be gate checked. If you are baby wearing use the stroller as a cart. Note it does need to go through the xray machine in most airports
- Security: Let TSA/screeners know about the baby's milk (unless you are only feeding 'straight from the tap')
- You will not go through the full body scanner with the baby - just the old school medal detector. They will also swab your hands for an additional test.
In the air
What no one tells you is this is magical baby time. Although terrifying, especially if you are a first time parent on your first flight, most babies under three months will sleep most of the flight. There is built in white noise and motion.
- Feed at take off and landing to help with their ears, ignore any asshole who gives you any sort of evil eye. I also breastfed whenever he complained because it was an easy way to minimize crying.
- Wear that baby so when he or she falls asleep you can read and your arms don't fall asleep.
- Make sure and skip to the loo BEFORE the baby falls asleep. Otherwise you will not be comfortable!
- If baby cries, ignore any asshole who gives you any sort of evil eye. Don't panic. You're doing your best. Do what you can to soothe the baby. Sometimes, babies gotta cry.
- Don't be above giving Tylenol if you think the baby needs it.
- If you rent a car, have a car seat (duh). At this age, we preferred to bring our own.
- Car seats can be rented, do know you will have to install it yourself.
- Book the crib in advance. Make sure they offer cribs. Some offer pack and plays which do the trick. Note some don't' have proper crib sheets and you will panic about the baby's safety - you can ring ahead to inquire, or bring your own just in case.
- Many offer baby toiletries (usually Johnson & Johnson), some offer baby tubs, changing tables, etc.
- If you're a germaphobe, make sure and put down blankets. You could request an extra flat sheet or duvet.
The amount you will bring for the baby is crazy. Bricklet took a full suitcase on this 5 day trip.
What tips can you add? When was your first flight with your little one?