15 Tips for Traveling with a Baby
We recently did two big trips with Kinsley; we traveled 13 hours to Turks & Caicos and we did a 13 hour road trip to Northern California. Before Kinsley was born Spencer & I both agreed that we would never let our children hold us back from traveling, we wanted our child to experience it with us and it is SO DOABLE. & Now, I honestly feel that Kinsley is happiest when we are traveling! We are by no means experts but we did learn a few things along the way and I thought it would be helpful to share.
Stroller Car Seat: This is a big one for me, I use the Doona stroller car seat and I couldn't recommend it more. I get so many compliments on it, especially while traveling because it is such an amazing tool. We use it for pushing her around the airport and then it easily folds up into a carseat for the taxis. One way I didn't expect to love it was for escalators! Instead of searching and waiting for an elevator with your stroller, you can easily fold it up in 5 seconds and hop on the escalator to carry the car seat. I am going to be upset the day Kinsley grows out of this stroller because it is such a game changer.
Baby Carrier: Kinsley doesn't always want to be in her stroller carseat and thats when the Happy Baby Carrier comes in handy. It keeps her close on me and frees up both of my hands. I like this one because its really easy to put on and take off which is very important.
White Onesies: On our first road trip to Northern California I threw her in a cheap plain white onesie on the way up. I am glad I did because she had a massive blow out in her carseat and I ended up just throwing away the onesie. It made it so much easier for clean up.
Mind Set: I am a big believer that babies can sense the vibes you are giving off and it is so easy to get anxious but try your best to get excited rather than nervous. If you are dreading it and stressed, the baby will know it and work you both up. Kinsley ended up being a million times better than I could have even hoped for and I am sure your baby will be the same.
Window Seat: If you are traveling with someone request the window and the isle because chances are if the flight isn't full, a stranger is not going to book the middle seat and you end up with a row to yourself. If someone does book the middle seat we have had no problem offering our isle seat for the stranger. When deciding between window and isle I 100% prefer the window seat. When she started to get fussy I was able to turn my body to the window to shut everyone out and help myself focus on Kinsley. I also liked the window for nursing, it felt a little more private.
Ask for empty row: If the flight isn't full it doesn't hurt to ask for an empty row! Flight attendants are very accommodating to little ones and will be more than willing to help you out if they can. We were lucky enough to get a row to ourselves on our first flight and it made a huge difference. We were able to sprawl everything out, get a little more cosy and Kinsley slept on her Snuggle Me in between us.
Flight Times: Booking earlier in the morning for us was very helpful. She is always happiest in the morning and is usually due for her morning nap, so she just hung out and napped for the majority of our travels. If you can book based off your baby schedules, I think it will help a ton. However if you can't, don't worry about it! Our travel back from Turks and Caicos was in the middle of the day and into the late hours of night and I was expecting her to get fussy towards the end but she ended up being a champ!
Breastfeed Anywhere: Whether you are EBF or formula feeding your baby, don't be afraid to feed your baby anywhere!! Kinsley is EBF and I've fed her in planes, fancy restaurants, the beach, grocery stores, etc. I've found that I prefer using swaddles for covers. It's easy enough to tie two corners together in a knot and throw it over your head. Kinsley prefers using a nipple shield still and I kept the shield in my nursing sport bra for easy access.
Diaper Change Anywhere: For me diaper changing is more intimidating in public than nursing, I think because it is easier to cover up and be discrete with nursing than changing a diaper. However you do learn pretty quickly to change your baby whenever and where ever. I found that changing pee diapers in my lap on the plane was a lot easier than having to continually get up and use the changing station in the bathroom. If she had a poopy diaper than I of course used the restroom but I didn't see any problem with changing her in my lap otherwise.
Brave the Germs: Not sure if you all know this but airports are full of germs and there is literally NO way to avoid them. We did bring hand sanitizer and did our best to wash our hands as much as possible but be prepaid and accepting and it will all be okay.
Pump: Soo I really hate pumping and avoid it at all costs but your pump counts as a medical device and does not have to count as a carry on! We both had two carry ons plus the pump and we had no problem once I told them it was my pump. So instead of trying to shove it in your luggage you can save some room and carry it separately.
Layovers: When booking flights I was trying to avoid layovers but ended up with two on the way there and one on the way back and honestly I liked it. I felt that Kinsley started to get restless so the layovers gave us the opportunity to stretch our legs and give Kinsley a change of scenery. I also recommend to change your baby and feed them right before the layover so they will be content as your traveling through the airport.
Diapers: We only packed enough diapers for 2 days and bought the rest at our destination. Our bags were packed to the brim so it helped with one less thing for us to travel with.
Hydroflask: I've always been obsessed with my Hydroflask but it especially came in handy while traveling. For starters, Starbucks will fill it up with water and ice for free. If you are unable to swing by a Starbucks like us the flight attendant was more than happy to fill us up with water as well. Staying hydrated is so important and being able to easily grab water without worrying about it spilling is sooo worth it!
Words of encouragement: It is easy to picture yourself being "that mom and baby" on the flight that won't stop crying but try your best to be EXCITED, you are about to travel with your best little bud! I was also soo surprised by the amount of supportive people we encountered. I had multiple people tell me before flights to not worry if she started to cry and to relax. We got a lot of compliments and let's be real, EVERYONE LOVES BABIES, use that to your advantage. If for some reason they end up being a nightmare. . . ITS OKAY! Chances are you will never see these people again. Just focus on your baby and doing the best you can to help them. YOU GOT THIS!!!!!