Saturday, April 14, 2012

Top 10 Tips for Traveling With a Baby

Ok so we are by no means experts traveling with the little man, but I feel like our trip to Green Bay (haha I just accidentally wrote Green Baby) gave us some insight into the dos and don’ts of flying with an infant.  Of course little man is only 10 weeks old and was 9 weeks old at the time, so I’m sure of these tips would be different for a younger/older baby.  But here goes:

10.  Think before you book your flight.  We got lucky and my dad booked our flights right during little mans normal nap times.  This meant that he went down for naps really easily darning the flight.

9.  Consider your layover.  I didn’t give this much thought when looking at our flights, as I normally want the shortest layover possible, but with a baby, I think that anything less than an hour and half is really pushing it.  This is because you will have to check your car seat and stroller under the plane and wait for it to get unloaded after the flight.  Then baby is going to need a diaper change (not every plane bathroom has a changing table in it), everyone probably has to go to potty and everyone will enjoy a little walking around/grabbing a bit to eat before loading back up again. I think that two hours is probably ideal so that between all that you need to get done and any unexpected delays you will board your next plane with a happy baby who is ready for another bottle and another nap.

8.  Travel light.  We had so much stuff with us in addition to the stuff that we checked that getting around and situated was a pain.  I think that next time we will try to get down to just one purse and one diaper bag.  Instead of having a cooler full of formula I’d bring the powder and buy a bottle of water once you get through security and maybe bring just one premixed bottle.  And we were so worried about diaper changes and blow outs that we ended up with like 20 diapers and 3 outfits, which wasn’t necessary.

7.  Bring a toy.  At some point, that baby is going to wake up.  We brought two of Jude’s favorite small toys so that way when we was awake we were trying to get him to focus on something and play instead of just sitting there bored.

6.  Bring snacks for yourself.  Life is better if you arn’t cranky, hungry and tired.  Traveling with a baby you are bound to be cranky and tired but at least you don’t have to be hungry also.

5.  Bring your baby monitors.  I know that some people might not have baby monitors or don’t use the ones that they have, but they are really nice when you are somewhere other than home.  Of course if you all are staying in one tiny hotel room then they might not be necessary, but at my dad’s it was wonderful to put little man down at his normal time and still get to hang out with my family in the evening.

4.  Make sure the little one is either drinking a bottle or sucking a pacifier during take off and landing.  This helps their ears to pop like they need to and keeps crying because of that sort of thing to a minimum.

3.  Don’t plan too much.  We made that mistake the first day we were in Green Bay and took Jude all over town, ignoring his normal schedule.  Of course by the end of the day he was over stimulated and cranky.  Things went much smoother when we planned around at least his long afternoon nap.

2.  Download a white noise/sound machine app onto your phone.  Jude sleeps at night with a sound machine and it was really nice on days when we had to be out and about during his regular nap times to have him snuggled up in his stroller with my phone playing him rain noises.  It really helped him to stay asleep no matter what we were doing.

1.  If all else fails, take the baby in the bathroom on the plane.  At one point S took Jude into the bathroom for a diaper change and he was just screaming.  We had seats that backed up to the bathroom and I could just barely hear him, even at his loudest.  So if you can’t calm down a little one, hole up in the bathroom for 5-10 minutes and see if you can get them settled down without the pressure of the angry glares from fellow travelers.

Hope this helps anyone who is planning on traveling!

1 comment:

  1. When I took 18 month old Elliot to Hawaii and back, the BEST thing I found for that age to keep him occupied on the plane were post it notes. I let him post it the entire window/seat/tray/me/himself the whole way there.