So Kevin and I flew to the East coast a couple days ago to see my family, and today we are flying to Chicago to see his family in Indiana. We’ve been so excited about this trip but a little bit anxious, ok we’ve been REALLY anxious, because it’s our first cross country trip (and then some) with Molly. And as many of you know, traveling with a baby isn’t easy. We actually flew up to San Francisco with her a few weeks back and considered it our “test run” with her. We wanted to do a shorter, easier trip with her first so we could figure out what we needed to bring and what we could leave home. That way, when it came time for this longer trip, we’d be totally prepared. Ok, you can never be totally prepared as a parent, but we’re doing our best to get close to it!
So today’s blog post is all about traveling with a baby – what you need and what you can leave at home. Obviously, every baby is different and all parents are different but these are the things we couldn’t travel without.
But first, how cute is this picture of Molly with her cousins! So cool for me and my sister to get our daughter all together for the first time!
Now onto the travel stuff…
Something to Put in Her Mouth
Yup. Whether it’s a pacifier, a teething toy or just about anything they can get their little hands on, babies love to put things in their mouths. And these days, Molly is not very happy unless she has something to rub against her gums. So having a great teething toy is essential for us when traveling. I wish Molly would take a paci but she usually won’t. Maybe she will 10% of the time, but the other 90% of the time she won’t. But she LUVS the Sofie teething toy. Something about the design of this toy allows her to easily hold it (she’s still learning how to use her little baby arms and hands). We’ve tried so many other teething toys and this is the one she can’t get enough of. So it’s a must in our travel bag!
But for those babies who will take pacifiers it’s really great to have one because the sucking action helps pop your babies ears when the plane ascends and descends. I’ll breastfeed when we take off (or you can give a bottle) to help pop her ears, but I can’t breastfeed the entire flight so I hope she’ll take a paci if her little ears hurt. So we’ll bring her Wubbanub just in case.
Something for Your Baby to Sleep in
I’ve written about the 4moms playard/bassinet before and it’s an absolute MUST HAVE for us when traveling. In fact, Molly used to sleep in this in our room once she got a little too big for her bassinet. And when we’re traveling it packs up really nicely to check on the plane. It’s so important to have a safe place for your little one to sleep when traveling and this is the most convenient way to do it in my opinion.
If you’re only doing a day trip and want a space for your baby to nap, we bring the doc-a-tot with us since it’s smaller and easy to throw in a suitcase or in the car.
Alcohol Milk Testing Strips
Ok, I like to have a few drink when I’m traveling. It’s vacation! Especially when Kevin can watch Molly sober and I can let loose a little bit! Being a parent is exhausting! We need to let loose every now and then! Well, it’s great that Kevin is such an awesome dad and we can count on each other to care for Molly. However, when you’re a breastfeeding mom you never REALLY get a break. If I decide to drink, I have a trade-off to make. I have to know that my milk might not be safe for Molly and I might need to pump and dump (or as we like to say/do, pump and put in her bath – MILK BATH!) But how do I know if my milk is ok? The answer – milk alcohol test strips! I love these things. It gives me peace of mind knowing that my milk is ok for Molly or not okay.
Warm and Fuzzies
Many of us are traveling for the Holidays and it’s COLD in most of the country! We just bought Molly her first “snowsuit” and it’s adorable! Ok, it’s not an actual snowsuit (she won’t be playing in the snow obviously), but it covers her from head to toe so that’s what I call it. I also have matching beanies that Molly and I wear that I go for only $9 (for both!). Gotta keep those little ears warm!
This is a MUST HAVE on the plane. We like to use a baby wrap because it can easily be rolled up in your diaper bag which is great for traveling. But we also love our larger baby carrier. It just depends how much room be have. The reason a good baby wrap/carrier is a must for us is because it’s the only way Molly will sleep on the plane. She WILL NOT fall asleep in our arms by just being held. She needs to be all wrapped up like she’s in a cocoon to fall sleep when she’s not in her car-seat or in her crib in her sleep suit. I seriously would not step foot on a plane without one. You can see my wearing one in the pic below with Molly at the airport, but it’s black and I’m wearing black, so it’s hard to see. And sorry for the poor lighting and blurry pic. We were kind of rushing through the airport.
Molly needs stimulation or she gets really fussy. No really, I started wearing her outward facing in her carrier when she just turned 4 months old (except when I want her to sleep – then she’s inward facing). I know I know, that’s a little early to put her forward facing but she HAS to be able to look around at things so I made the decision as her mother to let her face out early as long as it was only for a short time. Anyway, my point is that my little girl needs to look at everything and be distracted! On the plane, that distraction came in the form of the Smart Noggin Stik. Molly LUVS this thing. It’s the only rattle she likes to play with right now. She loves all the colors, lights, textures, and sounds it makes! It kept her entertained for hours on the plane.
Hummm what else?
A Couple More Things…
Sterilizing bags are super convenient and easy to pack. A good nursing cover. Not necessarily to cover up nursing, but to cover your baby for most of the flight so he/she doesn’t get sick! Our pediatrician told us it’s also a good idea to try to keep Molly covered on a plane. It also creates a dark space for your little one to nap. The longer Molly naps on these flights the better!
Ok we are about to board the plane to our next stop – Chicago then Indiana! Hopefully this leg of the trip is as successful as the last! Wish us luck!!!