Oh the very exciting idea of travelling with your little one. Well to be honest, leading up to it or even thinking about it leads to a mix of mathematical algorithmic planning coupled with complete and utter nausea. Then you do it and realize, the planning at an actuary level was indeed useful, the nausea was not.
I flew alone to Florida from NYC with Parker when he was 7 weeks. Now if you’re thinking its cause I have useless husband, its not the case. Maybe you weren’t thinking it, but for shock value figured I would throw it in there. Hubby had a sales meeting in Arizona and rather than dangle solo in NYC I figured I’d head to Florida where my folks were and then the hubby joined.
Anyway, back to my travelling survival guide. First off, simple living is the way to go. So even it was $25 a bag to check, I still brought 2 so that I could have all I felt I needed. Secondly, I also gave myself tons of extra time and prepped days in advance. So below are my survival items.
1. Plan in Advance – know what time you want to leave the house days before vs. waiting till that morning to start thinking about it. This way you can pack, get a car if needed, work in the baby’s naps etc.
2. Keep the Routine – as much as possible of course. For us, evening/night flights worked. We would give Parker a bath, even if it was at 4pm and then head out with him in his PJs, this way he knew it was going to lead to sleep eventually
3. Carrier is Key – I believe a carrier was really the game changer, especially when you’re alone. Also, when they are small, its better to keep them close to you and avoid any airport germs. I always travel with my Solly Baby Wrap since its lightweight, easy to stuff in a purse and fits nicely under a blazer, jacket, etc. I would put Parker in it once we were through security.
4. Nurse, Nurse, Nurse – I think the boob usually always works so I totally milk it (see what I did there? Nice pun right?) Once we would board, I’d nurse him through take off, then either rock him to sleep or put him back in the carrier and walk around until he fell asleep. 8 flights so far and it has worked every time (fingers crossed)
5. Have a BackUp Boob Plan – if the baggage check line is long, security line is long or if you get stuck in traffic I found having a bottle was super useful. For one, I travelled with the Tommee Tippee bottle warmer travel case which kept HOT HOT water for over 8 hours and 2 5oz medela bottles of breast milk in this cooler. This way, I could feed him in a car or in his stroller as we wait for security and any unused milk wouldn’t go to waste.
6. Put your Back into it – I have a normal diaper bag at home but when I travelI use this JJ Cole Diaper Bag backpack. Its great for dad or for mom if your travelling alone and also has a shoulder strap!
7. Basics – Now, for me these were ah –has when I was a super new mom (note: still VERY much a new mom today). I wore comfortable easy boob access clothing, had a back up top for me and outfit for baby. I also had 2 pacifiers, pacifier cleaners, face cleaners, sanitizer in bulk and at least 5 diapers for an 8 hours trip (door to door). See my ideal travel outfit details here
8. Strolling – this isn’t for everyone but since we live in NYC I really invested in a great stroller since we walk literally EVERYWHERE. So I didn’t want to gate check it in fear it would be ruined. Thus, after help from another mom friend, I bought the Kaia Maxi Cosi umbrella stroller. Its great cause it fit with my Maxi Cosi car seat and wasn’t too expensive that it made it worth it. We just only use this when travelling and its super light weight. Also, if you’re like me and just don’t want stuff being ruined, I got these gate check bags for my car seat and umbrella stroller all thanks to the recommendation from my friend Sam.
Here is a final recap
1. Solly Baby Wrap - $65
2. JJ Cole Diaper Bag Back Pack - $79
3. Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle Warmer - $15
4. Medela Breastmilk Cooler Set - $23
5. Dr. Brown Pacifer and Face Wipes - $3.25 Each 3 Count
6. Milk Snob Toggle Nursing Cover - $55 (on sale now $36)
7. Maxi Cosi Kaia Umbrella Stroller - $200
8. JL Gate Check Bag Car Seat - $10
Best of luck mamas, just know you got this! Having a baby doesn’t mean you cant ever travel again, its not nearly as laxidazical as it used to be. Also, people are INSANELY nice and accommodating when you’re with a baby and if they’re not, run over their foot with your stroller or position your little one to yak on them ;)
Bye for now,