When Caroline was a wee little one, we lived up to our pre-baby promise to keep doing our global travels. In her first year and half of life, she traveled from our home throughout Florida to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Italy, and Ecuador .
Traveling with a baby resembles a dirty word. Every time we would mention it to friends and colleagues, they would cringe and say things like “ohhhhreally” “you’re taking her with???!!!”
The reality is traveling with a baby is not as scary as we make it out to be. It is all about preparation and mindset. Here are nine tips for all you mommas preparing to travel with an infant — international or domestic.
- Make a list. — Include EVERYTHING you can imagine you might need. Write it out on paper and make sure to check it more than twice.
- Find a bag that does it all. —Every traveling momma needs a great bag. I have found that diaper bags can be limiting, so I found myself a large messenger “ish” bag that has shoulder straps and a cross body strap but also zips closed and has more than enough room for the essentials — diapers, wipes, toys food my wallet and passports, my camera and a few extras.
- New Toys—Find some small new toys that are interactive to distract your little one during taxi and take off. Keep them handy and use as needed throughout your journey.
- Wear your Baby. —Don’t ditch the stroller by any means. You will need that thing! Do, however, bring a wrap or baby-wearing device so you can board and de-board with your hands free to carry any extra baggage you might have.
- Get a Fly Baby. —They are awesome!. You attach it to the seat in font of you and yourself to make a baby hammock that your little one can sleep in or just sit up and face you. This helps give you some extra space and frees up your hands a bit.
- Find a sturdy umbrella stroller. —That way you can fold it up and toss it around.
- Call the airline. — If you are traveling internationally and your baby is younger than one and under a certain weight, the airline will at NO EXTRA COST move you to the bulkhead AND you can request the bulkhead bassinet. Yup, that’s right! You will have a bassinet that after take off your baby can sleep and play in lap free and at no extra cost to you. They are limited per flight so make sure to call the airline as soon as you book your tickets to reserve the bassinette.
- Do your research. —If you are traveling abroad, know what the culture is like in regards to babies and prepare yourself. That might mean bringing your own car seat or packing some extra baby food. You might be surprised how tolerant other cultures are in regards to little ones. However, you also need to be prepared for those not-so-great things like no cribs in hotels.
- Breathe. —Try not to stress out and enjoy the process. It is what it is. If your baby cries, do what you can to soothe him or her, but if it does not work just know it will all be over soon! You will find most people are understanding and might even tell you how awesome of a mom you are in the process.