Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Travel 101

i have been traveling by myself with babies for over 7 years. it is very daunting. i have been through a lot and i have gained a few tid-bits of advice i would like to share. i guess we can start at the beginning of a babies needs, diapers. we do use cloth diapers, but switch to disposable when traveling. when packing i only pack enough diapers to get me through to our destination. when we are where we are going i go buy diapers for our trip and when coming home i pack the rest up. this way i am not schlepping around pounds of baby gear. speaking of baby gear such as car seats, pack and plays, strollers and such, you can always bring your stuff from home and break your back or arrange to borrow gear from people you know at your destination. if you don't know anyone there are baby gear rental services in larger cities. you pick out what you need online and they deliver it to where you are staying, you pack it up when you are done and they come and pick it up. easy-peasy. i have done both before. this last leg i was able to borrow a stroller and car seat, bumbo, and excersaucer. makes my life sooo much easier. when packing clothes for baby and i, i always pack light and do carry on, i also pack an extra bag for goodies i purchase. we do laundry at least once while gone so we don't have to take a lot of clothes. two pairs of shoes is all i allow myself as well:( carrying a baby around with lots of luggage is not fun, i have cursed myself every time i over pack. i do buy clothes on vacation, even shoes, i then ship everything back through a shipping service the day before that i won't need the next day. what i have left i do check. i cannot be bogged down with luggage. wearing a child in an ergo or bjorn or sling is not easy work, but it is a lot easier for me than dealing with a stroller all through the airport, folding it up, folding it out, up, and out, up and out, putting it through security....arghhhh. security. this was the best trip through security ever this trip. we were treated great. you can bring baby food, with you, water for the baby, breast milk, formula. you lay it out through the x-ray and they might swipe it to see if there is any bomb residue on it. i brought opened yogurt for popi, water in her cup, coconut water, baby food, cheerios, and wholesome snacks for me, but that didn't stop me from enjoying mceedees for lunch. in popi's diaper bag(back pack) i had wipes, diapers, toys, snacks, my wallet, phone, and kindle. let me just take this time to say how much i love my kindle. i can read one handed while nursing or sleeping, it is perfect for mommies! thank you hunni for getting it for me for mother's day:)
so let's see. i carry our luggage on the plane as i carry my baby too. i have a blanket, toys and snacks for baby to play with on the floor while we wait for the plane. we always pre-board when possible so we can sit as close to the front of the plane as we can on an outside seat. we do that so we are close to the bathroom with the changing table up front, and the outside seat is easy for me to get up and down without disturbing anyone. i nurse or bottle feed when the plane takes off and lands to ease pressure on the ears. while in the air it helps to take it easy, be cool and have a little humor. babies are unpredictable! most people understand, don't take it personally if someone doesn't and is being rude to you. we exit the plane and go to the bathroom to change our diaper and use the restroom. at this point getting to your location by public transportation or car is your choice. any who....this is just my experience, yours may be different, it works for me!!


Mrs. O said...

Awesome post! When I flew alone to Florida the first time w/ Arthur, I needed this. I was so scared! The Atlanta airport...I still have nightmares.

I brought extra cash to buy drinks for my neighbors in case he went bonkers. Fortunately, he didn't! It was those darned switchovers though that freaked me out. I wore my peanut shell sling, and it rocked...I used it with Arthur until I was too pregnantly round to fit it...he was two and a half. I just slid him onto my back!

Oh also some hotels provide a pack n play or crib rails if asked or you can rent one, along with high chairs and all kinds of stuff, down to toys. If traveling to a place where you will be hotel bound you can also mail/send stuff ahead, which we did with our baby food!

Sacha, I also use a baby b'air for the little ones and C.A.R.E.S. system instead of car seat--they fold in your handbag. Then you just have to get a car seat when you get there, which as you mentioned isn't too hard.

Anyway, five star post. Time for a toddler post. That's a whole other mess! :)

cssolomon said...

If I ever find the courage and time to travel a long distance with my kid, I will refer back to this blog. Thank you for your words of wisdom :)