Friendly Friday #5 – Traveling with Baby

Laura is one of the blogger moms that I have “met” since I started blogging! I’m not sure if I followed her on twitter and then found her blog or vice versa. Either way, it’s been really nice getting to know her! I hope that you will love this post because packing for a baby is stressful but Laura offers up tons of great tips! Please stop by her blog as well to say hello!

Traveling With A Baby? Get Packing!

By: Laura from Stroller Parking Only

While I’m no expert, I certainly have my fair share of experience traveling with a baby, as my little girl has already been on eight flights. I consider that to be a lot given the fact that she is only 10 months old, and given the fact that each flight feels like ten years.

As you know, babies come with a lot of STUFF.  Unfortunately my desire to be a minimalist is often in direct conflict with my fear of being unprepared, and so I end up pretty much just packing everything I own. There. Blog post over. Pack everything.

Okay so because you can’t fit everything into your suitcase, you need to be strategic about what you bring. The most important thing, in my opinion, is to make a packing list. While it may be a tedious task, it will save you a ton of time, and it will hopefully prevent you from forgetting a whole slew of essentials.

I like to start my packing list weeks in advance. The words “neurotic” and “compulsive” have sometimes been used to describe me, but I prefer to think of myself as organized and prepared.

When a trip is approaching, I keep my packing list in the back of my mind, and I write things down as I think of them. This way, when it comes to actually finalizing my list, it’s already almost complete. See? Organized. Not neurotic (Well, maybe a little…)

The following list is geared towards air travel with a baby because that is where my experience lies.  Obviously everyone’s needs are different, but I’ve compiled a list of some things you might want to include when you make your packing list. Because you are going to make one, right?

Another person- Having another adult with you (particularly when flying) helps immensely. If this is not possible, rest assured that you can do it alone. I’ve done it numerous times, and although I am always a hot mess by the time I get to my destination, I do typically make it there in one piece.

Food- Lots and lots of food. For you and for the baby.  And don’t forget feeding accessories such as bottles, sippy cups, plastic spoons, bibs etc. Make sure you have enough food to keep your baby happy and comfortable. Same goes for you. You may not have my particular problem where I turn into an angry witch if I go more than two hours sans food, but you still need to give yourself some much-needed energy.

Extra Everything- You know how it is. Babies have a way of turning lovely pretty things into barely recognizable smelly debris. So bring extra clothes, extra wipes, extra diapers, extra tissues, extra pacifiers, and an extra-large dose of patience.

Car Seat and Stroller- If your baby is still young enough to ride in a car seat that fits right into the stroller, it makes your life much easier. I keep the car seat in the stroller as I go through the airport and then gate check them both.  Since, I don’t buy a seat for my baby, I always ask at the gate if there are extra seats on the plane and whether they’ll let me take my car seat on board so she can sit in an extra seat beside me. There have been times when the person at the gate has said “no”, but then the flight attendant allowed me to do it, so it never hurts to ask! My daughter will not sleep when I’m holding her, but she will sleep on the plane if she’s in her car seat. Also, I highly recommend bringing your car seat’s instruction manual, because you might have to refer to it if you are installing it in someone else’s car or in a cab. I’ve yet to travel with my “big baby” car seat, but I know you can buy wheels for them like these and these  so that you can wheel it through the airport like a stroller if you so choose.

Toys –A good toy can go a long way to keep your baby entertained and your patience intact. In addition to your baby’s favourite toys, I recommend also bringing a new one (or one that baby hasn’t seen in awhile) that you can pull out at a time when you really it!

Medications/Vitamins- If your child takes any medications or vitamins, make sure to include these on your packing list. It’s sometimes so easy to forget the most essential items. I always bring my daughter’s Vitamin D drops when we travel as well as baby Tylenol in case she gets a fever.

A Place to Sleep- If you’re going to visit grandma and grandpa and they already have a crib set up, lucky you! If not, don’t forget whatever travel sleeping device you have. I love my Pack N Play, but I am coveting the Pea Pod Plus for when my daughter gets a little older because it looks roomy, lightweight, and practical.

Baby Monitor- This is the easiest thing to forget because you can’t pack it until the last minute, and you don’t typically take it out of the house. However, if you’re not going to be sharing a room with your baby on your travels, mark it down on your packing list right now!

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I could write pages and pages about what to pack, but because this is a guest post, and I feel the need to be polite, I will not bore you with a rambling, endless essay. Enjoy your travels!

Laura blogs at Stroller Parking Only . She lives in Canada with her husband, her 10 month old baby girl, and her rambunctious Labrador Retriever who frequently steals the baby’s toys. If you ever see Laura at an airport trying (in vain) to manage her giant dog and squirmy baby, please do not hesitate to lend her a hand. Or if you’re shy, you can tweet her @StrollerParking

Comments

  1. Meredith says:

    Laura, all the props in the world for travelling with a baby–I loathe it! Since takes me essentially 3 suitcases and loads of stress just to take the kids on errand runs, I try to avoid travelling far at all costs! Thanks for the great list–will stash it for when I get brave enough to venture away. Renee–adorable blog, glad to find it through Laura!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks, Meredith! I can relate to the immense amount of preparation it takes just to run errands. It takes me about an hour to get out the door. That’s why I when I travel, I start preparing WEEKS in advance.

  2. Excellent tips. Traveling with babies on the plane is a pain. Sounds like you have it down pat.

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