Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I took a traveling break for my whole pregnancy and the first six months of my new motherhood journey because I wanted to wait for all of Pano’s vaccinations to be done. But finally, the time is here, we just went on our first family vacation!
I know trips and all that comes with them can be super nerve wrecking for any travelers but especially new parents. I wasn’t really nervous about traveling with Pano because his overall demeanor is calm and happy. I thought if there was any “noise complaints” on the flight it would be his new love for hearing himself scream and babble, lol.
But, our first flight was easy breezy and our fellow passengers complimented how great he did on his first flight.
If you’re an OCD packer, planner, and keeper of the schedule for your family (like me), here’s my travel tips with a baby.
Planning your vacation
Research the places you’re interested in going to and look into hotels or rental properties to insure that they are family friendly and/or accommodating to babies, look into transportation options, how far airport is (if that’s important to you), and what’s around the area for attractions, dining, walking, etc.
For us, we were fortunately staying with my parents at their home so we knew we were good with this
Know your budget
What are you comfortable with spending? Talk to your spouse about what your vacation budget is so you know what level of lodging you can afford or what’s worth scaling back on to then fit in attractions if you’re interested in that, car rental, etc.
Our first trip came after the holidays, during tax season, and before we baptize our son so we didn’t want to be spending a lot of money, we knew shopping and fancy dinners were going to be limited but a massage was definitely getting budgeted in for me!
Ugh, the worst. I am into minimal packing but I like to be prepared as well. I know you can pick stuff up at the store, buy something new if you need to but to me that means impulse buying or higher pricing because you didn’t shop around. I also just like to have what I need. So, traveling with a baby for the first time was more than I expected in this department. I watched the weather so I had the right clothing for him.
We went to Southern California in February so that meant warm days but cool nights (my mind instantly goes to packing double).
My punch list for packing for baby was:
-outfit for each day
-a couple light jackets or sweaters (or layers)
-a couple pairs of shoes that could go with everything
-bath towel (1), wash clothes (2), baby wash, lotion
-traveling first aid kit/Tylenol/teething gel
-bottles, bibs, burp clothes, swaddle blanket
-swim wear (if needed)
-sun screen, hat, and/or sunnies
I sent packages with my formula, wipes, diapers, bottle drying rack, dish soap, detergent, and a cheap bath. This saved me lots of room. Most all hotels accept packages and will hold them for you.
AMAZON PRIME IS MY BEST FRIEND!
I also found a great company called toddler’s travels that brought over a crib, high chair, exersaucer, and car seat (to the airport). They were affordable and more than anything, saved us a lot of hassle bringing our baby gear from home and paying for more suitcases/overweight suit cases.
This made the actual travel part of the trip SO convenient for my husband and I. We literally just walked into the airport with two suit cases, a diaper bag, and our baby in the stroller. Easy Peasy!
Other companies I found like Toddler’s travels are:
Rent the Baby Gear
Baby’s Get Away
(I have not used these companies but they are same concept and good reviews, I personally would probably ask the hotel where I was staying for suggestions as well)
(I highly recommend Toddler’s Travels company if you’re in the San Diego area. They were very accommodating to our changing order after my niece and nephew were no longer able to come due to the flu, and then us extending our rental. They had clean, safe, up to date equipment and baby gear as well).
All airlines have their own rules and regulations they must follow when it comes to traveling with children (and baby gear). Make sure you know what sort of identification you may need, the rules about seats, car seats, and strollers. The weight limit for bringing strollers on flight or gate check in.
I flew on American Airlines and I was a little apprehensive because of the comments I read about how they weren’t accommodating with parents traveling with baby gear and how strict they were. I was pleasantly surprised by their kindness and offer for help.
One baby gear item I did want to bring was my own stroller because half the reason I wanted it was through the airport. I knew I could have purchased a cheap, lightweight, small stroller but then I wouldn’t have wanted that for walking around on vacation. I read that you had to check strollers in with bags if they were over 20lbs. but they let me take mine all the way up to gate check in. Awesome! My little guy was able to chill in his stroller until it was time to board.
Flight Must haves:
Warm layers (planes are kept cooler for health reasons)
Disinfectant wipes (I wiped everything down around us, you can say its a first time mom thing, I say it’s better to be safe than sorry especially during flu season. Airplanes unfortunately carry so many germs.)
Entertainment for your littles My recommendations would be books, color books, crossword puzzles, music, small toys, etc. Charged iPad if that’s your thing. My son got antsy on the way home and I was sweating when he got noisy. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than feeling stuck in a space where we are interrupting other people’s experience whether it’s a plane, restaurant, etc. I was able to soothe him with toys and walking up and down the cabin, thankfully.
Bottles and/or snacks but again check with the rules of the airline because they may have restrictions.
Diaper bag all packed up with diapers, wipes, antibacterial cleanser, a change of clothes, bib, charger.
Baby carrier if you’re traveling alone or need to free up both arms.
Nursing Cover so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable breast feeding baby.
I felt really good when both on the way to California and back home to Chicago, fellow travelers complimented how quiet he was (phew! It wasn’t as bad as it felt to me.)
Travel hack that was awesome for us:
We timed out our baby’s feeding time/nap time for the flight so that on the way up in the air he could have his bottle (which would help with ear pressure) and it worked like a charm. As soon as he was done, he napped for half the flight.
I hope these recommendations are helpful to you and your travels with baby. Remember, even if it doesn’t go smooth, it’s a baby…they cry. If anyone has a problem with that, that’s exactly what it is, their problem. We can only do so much!
And if you haven’t taken your first travel with baby, I am here to tell you, it’s not as bad as some may tell you… book that trip, you deserve it!
And if you have, is there other travel tips you have? Or have you ever used companies like toddler’s travels, sent packages, or felt like this was new helpful info? I’d love your feedback!
Find joy in all of your journey,
Spoiled Milk Club