traveling with a baby1:44 PM
I know there are dozens of these posts floating around on the internet and my meager contribution is probably superflous. However, I will say that I read several that were incredibly useful to us and yet we still learned some of our own lessons so I figured why not share them?! Someone just may find it useful!
I'll make it easy and break it down into five simple tips:
1. Get yourself a good and comfortable baby wrap. This was our lifesaver! Our pediatrician recommended it as a way to keep V contained and close to us on the flight and I will tell you when we hit some turbulence I was happy to feel her close to my chest and secure. In addition to the fact that it was perfect for the security line. I had her wrapped in it before we got to security and it gave me the opportunity to have both hands available to put our stuff through security without ever having to remove her. And she was happy as a clam!
2. For those of you that will be traveling with formula or breast milk in bottles - don't be nervous it's totally fine! The official TSA rules are that you can have enough bottles "within reason" for the duration of the flight and the time spent in the airport. I had two large and three smalls bottles premixed for her. I simply had to tell them at security and they quickly "checked" them and handed them back to me. The incredibly sweet & thoughtful Kim gave me a wonderful suggestion weeks ago about storing formula when traveling in, ironically, breast milk storage baggies! It worked great! I put in the measured amount, labeled them and had them in my purse in case of an emergency!
3. Travel via red eyes. It's a little hard on you (but hey when it's for vacation who even cares right?!) but it's so much easier on baby. Once again it was a recommendation from our pediatrician and he was right again. We took her right in her jammies straight through security and onto the plane where she promptly passed out after taking a bottle and slept until we landed! She was happy and it ended up being so stress free for us!
4. Have everyone wearing comfortable, easy clothes. Birdie wore pj's the whole time, I wore leggings, Toms and a light sweater for the cooler temperatures of airports and I forbid papa bear from wearing a belt as those become the bane of your existence in the security line. So we were all very comfortable, security was a snap and we were neither too cold or too hot. Oh and I packed an extra pair of pj's for V in my purse that came in handy on the flight back home as she had soaked the first pair with drool :).
5. Give yourself plenty of time in between connections and spend that time playing, playing, playing. We would wear Birdie out by playing and engaging with her as we waited for our flight so that she would inevitably be ready for a nap by the time we boarded. She was not awake on a single one of our flights.
Lastly, here are some items that were key to our success:
*For some reason a stroller bag didn't cross my mind until 2 days before our flight. I wasn't willing to commit to spending $250 on a bag made for our stroller in such a short span of time (I like to take my time and do my research when it comes to big purchases) so we took a risk and went with the classic "Gate Check" bag. It was $12, fit our Stokke Xplory perfectly and worked just great! Just as an additional tip we used two bungee cords to secure the two separate pieces of our stroller to each other to ensure that it wouldn't break.
**This rattle is perfect. It's small so it fits in almost any purse, it's fun and at the same time it's soft enough for V to cuddle with when she gets tired of playing. It was much better than having to stuff my bag full of ginormous toys.
And last but not least here is the link to the official TSA rules regarding traveling with children!