Before I start here, I just want to say that I am no pro yet at travelling with a baby but given I just did our first trip with our little one ( who was 6 weeks) I thought I would shed some light on what worked for us! We had an amazing trip to Florida and a great road trip to Key West..both with Chloe in tow! We did the beach everyday, did restaurants and nothing stopped us from enjoying our holiday. I am sure there is a whole set of new tips and tricks for when she can walk and move more which I will share when we reach that point but for now, this is what we learned!
Gate check strollers and car seats.We found that pushing the stroller through the airport was easier than using a carrier. Personal preference. You can your stroller all the way to the gate and they will check them for you for free at said gate. Some airlines will give you a car seat cover and others won’t. I would call ahead and ask or if you have your own than you don’t have to worry! You can also shove some items into the car seat and place the cover over so you can pack some extra items. See what travel stroller we loved below!
Get some Items shipped directly to your hotel/vacation rental– If you are staying in the same hotel or an Air Bnb for a week or a longer strectch, get some items shipped directly there. We got a sweet Fisher Price chair/rocker for only $60 which was cheaper than renting one for 2 weeks.G
Sanitize your plane seat before you get situated. Ok this is completely neurotic but can’t hurt to do ( i am not normally someone who does this). Especially if you are travelling with a newborn who hasn’t had any shots yet…or if you have a mother who has watched an episode of 20/20 that goes into the sick details about the seats on planes! We put some sanitizer on a wipe and wiped down all of our seats and trays.
Car rides: We went on a 5 hour road trip with Chloe when we were in Florida and the best thing that worked for us was having someone other than myself in the back seat with her. When I was beside her in the car ( we drove to the beach everyday which was a 20 minute drive), she would fuss a lot more because she smelled me and would want to eat. Having my mom in the back seat made her calm and she was easily soothed with the pacifier. On the 5 hour car drive, we also brought a bottle of milk so that we could give her a top off quickly at a gas station or road side instead of having to breastfeed
Deal with Strangers. Here’s the deal…people will either be SUPER nice and understanding when they see you have a baby on the flight/at a restaurant/on the street or they will cringe at you and be complete jerks. When someone offers to help…take it!! If someone is an asshole, give them the dirtiest look and hope they lightly trip on the sidewalk. Just know you will have both extremes!
Reconsider boarding early. As a courtesy, airlines allow you to board the plane early if you’re traveling with small children. But you may not want to take them up on it. Remember, it takes 30+ minutes for everyone else to board, and all of that is just additional time your baby will be in your arms having to be held, not being bounced etc
Breastfeeding,Frozen Milk and other baby liquids: I brought a few bags of frozen milk with me incase I wanted to give her a bottle when we were out at dinner or if Aaron and I wanted to head out for a date night( my mom was travelling with us). Security didn’t even look twice at it. I heard they sometimes swob it but this wasn’t the case for us. I also had gripe water and gas drops for her in my carry on and you are allowed to bring! Also if you are the type of people that are on the go and out and about- plan to breastfeed just about anywhere. I did at the beach, in a public bathroom, in a shopping centre. It allowed us to still do everything we wanted to do without having to rearrange our day to feed her.
Take an Aisle Seat: Ok note this is for newborns only. I am sure for toddlers or moving kids, you don’t want them easily accessing the aisles to run around but I found for us that getting an aisle seat where I could quickly jump up to rock her or change her in the washroom was KEY!
Know your days will not go entirely as planned: If you are going into the vacation with set plans, you are setting yourself up to FAIL! This was a hard one for me initially because I am a planner at heart and like having a bit of a game plan for each of my days. We often laughed at how this 10 pound little human was navigating our plans so intensely! Go with the flow and have some back up plans if baby is not cooperating at certain times
Pack more than you need: Normally I am against over packing but for a newborn who needs so much attention and is not on a schedule, we found it was good to have more than we needed. I will have another post telling you what I packed!
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS THAT MADE TRAVELLING EASIER
Doodle and Co Pacifiers: These bad boys are the BEST! The company was featured on Shark Tank so I took note of them while I was pregnant and they truly live up to the hype. They protect the nipple of the pacifier so if you drop it or baby spits it out- it stays clean! This was so key while travelling
Mountain Buggy Nano: This is my absolute favorite stroller for travel. It folds up compact enough to fit in an overhead bin (though you can gate check it if you like), has a sizeable undercarriage, and is so easy to fold up and pop out (for a stroller anyway). Can’t recommend highly enough. You can use it with their brand new Carry Cot add on, with your car seat and switch to the seat once they’re big enough. It also has wonderful accessories for different weather conditions like rain, cold, and sun.
Sound Machine: We use the Baby Shusher and bring it everywhere with us! It makes a rhythmic shushing sound that mimics in utero noises and soothes your little one
Milk Snob Car Seat Cover: Best car seat covers in the game! Not only are they super stylish and sleek ( Legit got approached by strangers asking me where I bought this when we were out), but it is multi functional. It protects from the wind, cold and sun when you are out but you can also use it as a shield for breastfeeding when you are out in public
Beach Pop up Tent: If you are doing a beach vaca, I couldn’t recommend this enough. You just pop it open from its tiny packaging and it expands into this shape. It is SPF protected and not only covers from the sun but also blowing sand if you face it the correct way. She loved laying in it as if it was her bed!
Boppy Newborn Lounger: We got this delivered directly to the place we were staying and let me tell you…it is the best $40 we have spent! When you are on vacation you don’t have your usual glider chairs with you to place your baby in when you need to do something and this is the best alternative. Chloe loved being prompted up where she could watch us all while being super comfortable. You can either sell it before you leave or just gift it to a donation centre. We loved it so much we ordered it for home too.