Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Traveling with Baby

I thought I would start off with one of my favorite comedy routines re: traveling with baby {I adore Bill Cosby}:



Traveling with your little one(s) can certainly be stressful - even nightmare-worthy if you are planning your first trip. Let me assure you that it's not as scary as it sounds...people are generally SUPER friendly/helpful to mommas with babies {you should remember this... and pay it forward one day when you are old & grey}. Below, I have answered some questions that I had before making my first trip - hopefully the answers are useful to you:

What baby equipment should I bring and what will it cost?
In my experience, airlines allow you to check baby gear for free. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK WITH YOUR SPECIFIC AIRLINE BEFORE TRAVEL but these are the current regulations for American Airlines. I would suggest checking the car seat upon check-in and checking an umbrella stroller upon gate-check. I also have had {several} friends tell me that they were allowed to check a pack n play/portable crib upon check-in (and that it classifies as a "baby item")...though I have never tried and can't 100% confirm. Anybody out there that can confirm that pack n plays can be checked for free? {Bueller?} You can also bring your electric breast pump as a carry-on and it did not "count" as a carry-on item...they allowed it to be an "extra." You just have to send it through the x-ray machine. I can't tell you how easy the Medela Pump in Style backpack is for traveling {its a breeze}.

What should I pack for my Carry On's?
Bring a stroller and/or a carrier. I really love a carrier because it keeps your little one close and free of random germs. You can go through the metal detector with baby IN the carrier...they will just do an extra scan. I would suggest a backpack for loading up your stuff...purses/straps can be pretty cumbersome when chasing around a crazy toddler at the airport. I have found that these nifty Knapp Sacks are amazing for travel - they are super sturdy and BIG for storing tons of goodies (including a special protective sleeve for your iPad)...plus they are hand-made (with COMPLETELY customizable color options) in Montana by my brother-in-law {shameless plug}. Hehe. 

I am a big fan of Freezer storage bags.
  • I used one storage bag for diapers/wipes/wet wipes.
  • One storage bag with any nursing or feeding supplies + binky for ear "poppage" (nursing cover, burp cloth, bottles, formula, etc.).  
  • One storage bag for two extra outfits (babies tend to blow out of their diapers at the WORST possible times...especially on airplanes).
  • One storage bag for snacks (non liquid)...cheerios, Goldfish, yogurt melts, etc. are small and distracting.
  • One storage bag with the liquid stuff that you have to send through Xray machine (hand sanitizer, chapstick, diaper rash ointment, etc.).
  • One storage bag with toys - I would suggest you pick up a few new toys that he/she has never seen...the Dollar aisle at Target has some goodies. For the courtesy of those around you, avoid overly noisy toys.
  • One storage bag with books.
Pack a thin swaddle blanket for coverage from germs and cold air IF baby naps {say a little prayer for a nap} - I love the Aden & Anais ones. Make sure to bring your iPad/Tablet and/or iPhone/Smartphone and make sure that you have PRE-DOWNLOADED some movies and apps (the WiFi on the plane can be too unpredictable to count on) - some of my favorite toddler apps are here.  Or bring a portable DVD player. Trust me - you need some sort of movie distraction for the flight.

How does feeding work?
As I said above - you can bring your electric pump through security - along with all of your feeding supplies (pumped milk, formula, dairy milk, etc). Be sure to pack AT LEAST two extra servings of formula or dairy milk if you are not breast feeding. You can never know if there will be delays, etc. And a hungry baby on a plane could prove to be disastrous. For nursing - just bring a nursing cover and request a window seat so that you can lean against the wall for added comfort and privacy. I would suggest nursing or bottle feeding your baby on take-off and landing - it will help to soothe him/her. If your child does not want to nurse or drink a bottle/sippy cup - be sure to bring a binky to help pop his/her ears. Also be sure to bring plenty of snacks and non-messy foods for munching/distracting. For warming pumped milk and formula - two things you can do:
  •  While in terminal - go to Starbucks/coffee shop and ask for a half full VENTI cup of hot water. Plop your bottle in there for warming.
  • While on plane - ask your flight attendant for a half full cup of hot water for warming your bottle.

How can I be proactive to fight against the airport/airplane germs?
Bring some Wet Wipes and wipe down your seating area and tray. Use hand sanitizer/wash hands frequently. Use the thin/gauzy swaddle to cover baby while sleeping to protect from germs coming from air vents. Give probiotics to baby (and momma) before and during travel - I swear by them!
  • My favorite brand is the Nature's Way Primadophis Children's - its a flavorless powder and dissolves in milk/formula when shaken.
  • The Florastor Kids powder is flavored and another favorite - I would suggest mixing into your little one's favorite yogurt.
  • Probiotics can also be found in Yobaby yogurt and Happy Bellies cereals (I really like both products...they are BOTH organic and have added DHA too).

How can I keep sane and organized?
Be sure to get plenty of sleep the night before. Be sure to pack ahead of time (including carry on's and baby items). Be sure to take your probiotics and drink plenty of water. Arrive with PLENTY of extra time to the airport. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Avoid too much jewelry that will need to be removed during security. Bring yourself some snacks. Just breathe and enjoy this new experience with your baby. If you are relaxed and prepared - your baby will feel relaxed too!

Any other tips you can recommend!? Bon voyage! And don't forget to say a little travel prayer! :)

4 comments:

  1. It's official. You are a genius! :) Using a 1/2 filled Starbuck's Venti cup of hot water to heat a baby bottle! OMG! Love it! So practical and smart! Great blog!

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    1. You are so sweet Laura! Thank you for the lovely compliment! Don't forget to get YOURSELF a venti coffee drink while getting your hot water ;) Hehe. Xx

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  2. Hi Jessie! I love your blog! The travel tips are great, since I will be traveling with Lola very soon to Becky and Austin's wedding!! I can't wait to put them into practice and say that little pray too of course!

    See you in June!

    <3 Jessica

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  3. Awe. Thanks Jess! So glad you are following the blog! I can hardly wait to meet sweet little Lola! So exciting! I will say a little prayer for you! And just nurse on the plane! She will just get cozy and fall asleep! ;) Xx

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