One of my favorite people that I have “met” through the blogosphere is Nadine. I put met in quotations, simply because our friendship has only been online and we have not had the opportunity to meet in real life yet. However, I know we will one day and it will be an amazing experience! This Mom of two gorgeous children makes travel a priority and the fact that she has traveled the world with her son (her second child, a daughter, was just born), inspires me to no end. She graciously wrote an extremely helpful post on how to travel with an infant/small baby that I will be referring to over and over once we start traveling with Joaquín. You can read more about her life and her beautiful adventures at Celebrating Our Journey. Also, in her free time she creates stunning jewelry and several years ago she created the My Beautiful Adventure Earrings. I wear them all of the time, thus I am always thinking of her!
My husband and I love to travel and knew that we wanted to continue to travel even after we had kids. While I was pregnant, we often had the below conversation:
Random person: “There goes your traveling! But at least you were able to do it before you had kids.”
Our response: “What do you mean? We plan on traveling with our son, because we want to share our love of traveling with him. Plus we want him to embrace different cultures and experiences!”
Random person: *chuckles* “Just wait until, your baby comes. You will be singing a different song.”
Our response: “Well, we hope to continue to travel.”
We found out it was easier to just end the conversation there than to debate about the difficulties that come with little children.
With this being said, traveling with infants is different, but doable! Let me say/write that again traveling with infants/small babies is DOABLE! Yes, it takes some creative thinking, fast problem solving, and requires a ton more time, however it is doable! Yippie!!! Below are some of my tips that have helped us. Since, I always want to know “why” things are done, I will let you know my “why”:
a. SUPER IMPORTANT: When booking your flight, request a bassinet! On some airline/booking websites under social request, there will be a “bassinet” option. If the website does not offer it, call the airline after you have paid for your ticket and request it with the customer service rep. However, they might tell you that you have to do this when you check in. So far, we have been on 8 international flights and every ticket agent has been able to accommodate us with changing our seats, whether it has been over the phone or at check in. Just make sure you get there early, so that your seat change can be done. Also, do not forget to check the airline’s website, as they have different baby weight/length requirements. And if they ask you your babies weigh/length you know what to say. *wink* Why: The extra space you will have, because the bassinets are on the buck head seats, as well as the ability to have the option of sitting by yourself. After flying for several hours, it is great to have a little play area for the baby. This is priceless in my book.
If you wanna go the extra mile and spend some extra bucks to provide maximum comfort both to yourself and your little one, consider hiring a private jet. This is not only stylish, but a great way to start spending some quality time with your family even before you land.
b. When to fly: I like to book red-eye flights. Why: Because, fingers crossed, your little one will sleep for most of the flight. When you board red-eye flights, they usually will feed you dinner, then turn off the lights. Similar to what you do at home: dinner, hang out a little, then bed. Hopefully, your little one is already on a sleep schedule and this will continue on the flight. Luckily, it works for my son!
2. Your Carry-On:
a. Diaper bag: I have a backpack diaper bag. This is the one I have:
Why: I love this diaper bag and think it is one of the best backpack diaper bags, because I am not lopsided when I am holding my baby and the diaper bag. Plus, it has everything I need. Since you are allotted two carry-ons, I have one for myself and one for the baby. And I keep the diaper bag at my feet, so that his stuff is easily accessible to me.
b. Toys/Entertainment: to keep your little one busy. Why: In the carry-on that is designated for your baby, bring a good amount of new toys and comfort items. The new toys/entertainment is for their amusement, as they always love new things. The comfort items are for when they need to revert back to something if they need to soothe themselves. In the bassinet picture, he is playing with his best friend/soothing toy.
c. Misc: Several diapers, formula, baby food, baby medicine, blankets, burp clothes, bottles, an extra outfit for baby and 1 extra top for you, pacifier, baby wipes, sanitizer, changing pads, diaper cream, and anything else you usually keep in your diaper bag. Why: Because you need everyday items on your flight. Also, double what you think you might need for diapers and formula. The last thing you want to happen is to get stuck on the flight without diapers and formula and no way to get more!
3. Baby Equipment:
a. Baby Carrier: to help you carry your baby in the airport and during your trip. Why: Because you will need help with carrying your little one, as well as all of your stuff, plus all the lines at the airport. You will also use it at your destination. Baby carriers are the BEST! I have the two that I love: The Ergo and a Sling Ring. The Ergo has a strap that goes around your waist, so your baby’s weight is put in your hips. You can carry your baby trouble free for hours and hours. However, you and your baby’s body heat sometimes makes it hot. Also, the Ergo just came out with a new version called Ergo 360 and the baby can forward face, which is AWESOME! I hope to buy it too. I cannot tell you how much I love the Ergo!
The Sling Ring is a sling and is light weight. Since it is only cloth and a ring, it lets your body breath and is easier to carry when you do not have your baby in it. Plus, your baby can be back facing or forward facing.
b. Stroller: to also help you carry your baby in the airport and during your trip. Why: I use a light weight detachable umbrella stroller. I use it, because it is light-weight, cheap, and does the job. Since it is cheap, I do not care if it gets destroyed or stolen. Plus, mine has held up and was only $9.99. So far, it has been to 8 countries and hopefully countless more.
c. Car Seat: Your choice! Why: We took a car seat on our first international trip, we did not really use it. We kind of lived like the locals and from our experience, we did not see anyone who really used them. I mainly used my Ergo instead. And when we were in Europe, we did not take one, we used trains and buses and had no need to use it. So, it is totally up to you.
a. Baby Clothes: I like to pack an outfit or two each day, plus pj’s. I also bring a jacket, just in case. Why: You never know when an explosion or mess will happen and you need more baby clothes.
b. Inflatable bath tub: Easy inflatable tub to give your little one a clean bath.
Why: Because you dont know how clean the hotel bath tubs/sinks really are. If you co-shower, you do not know how powerful the water pressure will be. Lastly, the inflatable bath tubs are easy to inflate/deflate and small and light enough to fit into any suitcase.
c. Diapers: Although you can buy them anywhere, I like to bring a good amount in my suitcase. Why: I do not want to get to my destination and immediately need to search for diapers. Plus, if you are particular about a certain brand, then bring them with you. However, keep in mind that they take a lot of space.
d. Misc: Blankets, burp clothes, baby bath products, etc.
5. Additional Information:
a. Take Off/Landing: Breastfeed your baby or give him/her a bottle to suck on to help with the air pressure changes.
b. Sleep Schedule: If you have your baby on a sleep schedule, then try to maintain the same schedule/routine when you arrive at your destination. So, if it is night time when you land, then try and stick with that and give your baby the same nighttime routine.
c. Vaccines: Check with your doctor regarding any vaccines or precautions you need to take for the locations you will be visiting.
d. RELAX, BREATH, and ENJOY: There will be times when traveling with an infant/small baby will be overwhelming, but just relax, breath ,and look around at where you are… You are on vacation and try and enjoy your time!
Remember traveling with infants/small babies is DOABLE! Wishing you a safe and fun trip!!!