travelling with babies
Sounds terrifying, right?
We have taken Brayden on a handful of trips in his little lifetime. At 3 months, we drove 5 hours to Montreal. At 5 months, we drove 12 hours to Ocean City, Maryland. At 7 months, we drove 8 hours to Chicago. At 11 months, we flew to Clearwater, Florida. At 14 months, we flew to St. Pete’s, Florida. At 17 months, we flew to Sao Miguel, Portugal (& I was 5 months pregnant). You’re exhausted just reading that, I know!
To say we have mastered travelling with a baby/toddler would be an understatement. BUT we have learned some key tricks on getting through some long-ass road trips & antsy plane rides!
You will need to pack your…
This obviously sounds like a no brainer but you really need all of the patience you can get. This is no longer a “you and hubby cruising the open country roads, blasting music, windows down” kind of road trip or a “sip mimosa’s, take a cat nap, watch a movie” kind of flight. NO problem. You will indefinitely make more pit-stops with your little in tow, but rest assured, it is still much better than staying at home! Just know that it doesn’t matter how prepared you are, you need to roll with the punches & laugh it all off… even if your babe decides to pull a tantrum mid-flight!
Hit up the Dollarstore before you head out on vaca to stock up on new toys for your little to keep them occupied. We all know how much kids LOVE to play with the (gazillion) toys that they own *insert eye roll*. They need something new and something that will keep them entertained, even if only for a few minutes. Crayons + paper are always a go-to for us as are little cars, squishy balls & anything with buttons… whatever you can find and pack efficiently into your carry-on. On our trip to Portugal, we brought along the iPad and Brayden was not interested in it one bit. Needless to say, we relied on the new little toys to keep him distracted!
Puffs, fishy crackers, veggie sticks… are all a lifesaver. Whether you are in a car, on a plane, on a plane and then in a car… these little treats will keep your toddlers occupied. The great thing is, when it comes to your babe, you can pretty much bring anything through customs and on to the plane. Plus, you can always buy any snacks while waiting to board your flight. Snacks are life when travelling with toddlers. If you have a babe under one, try and adjust their nap schedule so that they can sleep on the plane. Of course that sounds like a no brainer (& may or may not work) and in the case that it doesn’t, if your babe is on solids, bust out those puffs and bring a long some of their fave toys as well as a few new ones- distractions are key!
LET THEM RUN WILD… literally
Whatever “heebee-jeebies” you may have regarding airports… you gotta let them go. I definitely had to. Let your babe crawl/walk around the waiting area of the airport to let them burn off some energy. These poor babes will be stuck sitting on your lap for quite some time- the more tired you can get them, the better. This was hard for me at first considering the thought of Bray touching the seat at the airport made me want to die. You gotta get over it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t chase Brayden around with baby wipes but hey, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!
Aside from the above, there were a few things we couldn’t travel without:
Umbrella Stroller. Not only are they travel friendly, it came in handy when bringing Brayden to the beach. When it came to nap time, we would put him in the stroller, under the umbrella with a bottle and would rock him to sleep. Or… my hubby would take him for a walk and Bray would fall asleep. My hubby would usually bring him up to the room (still in the stroller) and let him nap- especially if it was super warm out. The best part was, this mama got some alone time
Advil/Tylenol/Thermometer. Both times in Florida, Brayden came down with a fever and it was horrible. Thankfully, I brought the thermometer with us so that I could check him out right away. Both times we took him to the walk-in to be safe, so make sure that you have your travel insurance sorted out! You can never over-pack on the baby “sick/emergency” essentials especially if you are travelling to a country that doesn’t have a pharmacy around the corner.
Bottles/sippy cups. Your babe needs to stay hydrated. When we first traveled with Brayden, I was still breastfeeding so that was fairly easy when we were on the beach. As he got older, I made sure to always have lots of water and would constantly be giving it to him (whether that be in his bottle or sippy cup)- so that he stayed hydrated.
Blow up bath/pool. Especially if your babe is little. Blow this bad boy up, leave it under your umbrella, put some water in it and your babe can splash away. This was a game changer. The first time we traveled, I used the blow up bath to bathe Brayden because the bath tub at the resort grossed me out; so whatever works for you!
At the end of the day, my hubby & I love to travel. We didn’t want this to stop once we had a baby. Yes, our vaca’s look a little different from our “pre-kid” days, but we still have SO much fun. Now with baby #2’s arrival just around the corner, our vaca’s may consist of more road trips but HEY… you take what you can get!
Life is too short… pack your bags, pack your babe, pack your patience… & book that trip!
With love, Chels