Mommy-juice in hand…ready to conquer our last flight home!
No matter what your situation is, traveling with a baby can be a very overwhelming task. It may even leave you wishing you had 8 arms and the energy level you had when you were 9. Then when you add in a having a highly active 12 month old, an anxiety and stress geared “mom-brain”, and no spouse/partner to help you out…well you have quite the adventure!
As most of you know, Franki and I recently returned from our trip to Las Vegas. While some of the trip had me in a “where can I get a glass of wine” type of mode, the outing in general made me feel a lot more confident in myself as a single mother and all that I am truly capable of.
Before we headed to the land of lights and slot machines, I googled around for some helpful tips on travelling with a baby. I found that most of the posts I saw were a little out dated and not as helpful as I preferred. Some pieces of travelling advice I found never gets old, like bringing a few toys your baby has never seen before on the plane or carrying a few plastic baggies with you for unforeseeable messes and dirty diapers, but I’ve decided to include some here I learned this last trip that will hopefully aid you in your brave excursion!
Good luck and happy travelling!
1) Bring a baby carrier AND a stroller.
Sometimes Taylor preferred the space, view, and snack tray area of being in a stroller, and sometimes she preferred to be held. Either way, having both of these items helped with carrying herandcarrying all of our things. Having two free hands is a blessing in the busy airports! As you can see in the picture at the bottom of the post, I had quite the system to maneuver around the crowds.
2) Different types of snacks…and a lot of them.
If you think you’ve packed enough snacks…head back to your bag and add more. I thought I had it all covered, from Ella’s kitchen pouches and bars to Plum’s rice milk melts. Turns out Taylor ate a lot more than I expected and also decided that day that she disliked purees! To save you from buying $20 meals at the airport, pack a little extra and a little difference just in case.
3) Tape their toys.
Although some people on the flight may think we can control the volume of our baby, we obviously can’t. But we can control the volume of the toys they play with. Most of the new toys I picked to bring with us did not have any sound (which is a good idea for your own sanity), but I did bring her toy cellphone. I taped the speaker over with some painters tape, which allowed her to hear it but not at obnoxious levels that could bother the lucky soul who got the seat next to us.
4) Have the important things you need in a handy place.
Our handy place was the front of our Ergo which has a zipper pocket. Stashing my drivers license, some cash, and our boarding passes made it easy to find whenever we needed it. While I don’t endorse wearing a fannypack in public, having a specific storage unit (like the leftside pocket in your carry-on) for all of your important items makes it easy and readily available when the time comes to use it. Less hassle, less stress!
5) Practice folding up your stroller.
The stroller I’ve had since Taylor was born is a great one for traveling around locally, but I pictured it being a giant monster at the airport terminal. I bought an easier and lighter stroller for the trip, but forgot one important tip…practicing to fold it up. I’m sure you can picture me, baby in the Ergo and two bags in hand, trying to fold up a brand new stroller for the first time for the gate guards. Luckily they had some humor and helped me out, but I urge you to practice on your own before you make the trip to the airport. If you’re anything like me and get flustered when things don’t go well…practicing will help.
6) Binky Clips
It was such a bummer that we actually lost ours while we were in Vegas, but it was such a help. When Taylor would nap in the Ergo or on the plane, she preferred her binky after nursing. If you’re a binky parent, you know that these little magical items have a way of losing themselves very easily. Having the binky attached to the clip (which was attached to my shirt) allowed me to rest easy that I wouldn’t lose the precious cry-stopper on the plane or wherever she decided to nap at our destination.
7) Organize your carry-on bag in sections.
Somehow I finally inherited my mother’s OCD packing and cleaning gene and packed a perfect carry-on bag. Big enough to hold all Taylor and I needed, I organized it in sections. Food in one corner, toys in the other, diapers in a specific pocket…you get the point. This made it easier for me, while crammed into those tiny and long leg hating seats, so I could reach for what we needed easily and without making a huge mess.
And one of the most important…
8) Don’t forget about yourself.
Finally packed with all Taylor needed, we were on the plane and ready to relax….when my stomach growled. I had forgotten about my own food and entertainment! It’s easy to get wrapped up in making sure the baby has all they need, but do not forget about your own necessities. Water, snacks for yourself, and a magazine (if the miracle ever happens that you’re able to rest enough to read it) will help make the trip easier for youself.
*When travelling with a child, what are some of your traveling tips you’d pass on?*