My little man is fairly well-traveled. We took the first road trip to Michigan when Noah was 2 1/2 months old and it was a piece of cake. Mostly because David drove through the night and baby, the pup, and I snoozed in the back seat. Then 2 months later David had a NS training in Georgia and we (meaning me) decided to go with him! So I packed up and took our 4 month old on a plane. Two reasons why this was bad timing:
1. Because it was two days after he had his well baby check and had shots
2. Because he was 4 months old. I’m not saying 4 months is too young to fly, take them at 3 1/2 months or 5 months but for the love of all things holy, stay home with your new 4 month old. The 4 month old sleep regression, the grumpiness, the clinginess, the growth spurt-ness!
That is a whole different story, we went anyway! He was actually fabulous on the plane. It was just all the in between that made me want to bang my head against the wall. After our “vacation” to Georgia, David had another training the following month and I decided to take Noah and the dog to Michigan alone. I drove through the night, per usual, and it wasn’t terrible. I was pretty much a travel pro at that point.
So when the opportunity arose to go to Florida, I jumped on it. By opportunity I mean, I saw that my in-laws had a week saved up on their time share! I thought, “15 hour car ride? Totally doable!” For me of course because I will be sleeping peacefully in the back. Or jumping out of my seat watching Harry Potter the whole way down. Either or.
We leave tonight on our big trip so I will be sure to update when we get back but these are my travel tips to date!
1. If you haven’t guessed my number one tip, it is drive through the night! If you have to drive (which I prefer just because I like to not have to worry about what I pack), drive when the baby is sleeping. Easy peasy.
2. Try not to over pack, even though I usually fail at this. It’s a biggie when flying. The hardest part about our flight was being complete pack mules through the Atlanta airport. Of course we go to one of the biggest airports ever loaded down with so much stuff we could barely move. The image of David walking to our gate carrying the stroller, car seat, diaper bag and his laptop bag is forever burned into my brain.
3. Gate check stroller and car seat and use waterproof bags! We have the J.L. Childress stroller and car seat bags that we bought from Babies ‘R Us. You never know when your stuff is going to get wet
4. Skip the car seat base when flying. Just make sure to look up how to properly install the car seat without it before you go.
5. If you are traveling with a baby younger than 5 months, take a Rock ‘N Play. If you know me, I think babies should sleep in those magically devices until they try to throw themselves out. It was great when traveling. We took the cover off and put it in our luggage and covered the frame with a huge free plastic bag at the airport. It got slightly scuffed but it was one of my many Craigslist deals so no biggie. You do have to go to over-sized luggage for it when you get to your destination so be sure to know where it is.
6. Carry on your pump! Do not let it out of your sight. I took this and the diaper bag as my carry on and personal item.
7. If you are taking breast milk with you, tell security before you even start the whole production. They take care of you right away and you get to skip ahead.
8. Try to feed/nurse baby on take off and/or landing. I timed it so that Noah ate on the way down but our flight got delayed on the way home and he wasn’t hungry and he still fell right to sleep. I made sure to offer a paci just in case his ears hurt.
9. Wear your baby. I thought it would be better to keep Noah in the travel system but they make you fold up the stroller and put it through X-ray so, it’s easier to wear baby and load up that stroller with luggage.
10. Relax and have fun! Easier said than done right?!
Thanks to Becky of Railroad Wife, Mommy Life for being our guest blogger this week. Becky is a lover of coffee, shopping, movies, food, babywearing and all things outdoors. You can read more on Railroad Wife, Mommy Life.
Interested in being a guest blogger on The Jenny Evolution? Click HERE to connect with me.