I wanted to do a recap post on taking a baby on a holiday, I am by NO means an expert but this is based off our experience and then obviously every baby is different but I did learn a few things from our first trip with a baby.
The best thing we did by far was not travelling with a ton of stuff. This meant a couple things:
1- Renting necessary baby equipment. I realize depending on where you are going this may not be possible, however in Phoenix we found an awesome lady (Sweet Pea Baby Rentals) and were more than happy with everything we rented. The equipment was dropped off and picked up for free too!
I cannot say how many people I have heard having strollers, carseats etc wrecked when travelling or just coming back really dirty. Since we have a fairly nice stroller I did not want this to happen. More importantly, I did not want the hassle of carrying more stuff than needed through an airport. We already had three carry on`s plus a baby! haha. Using a stroller in a busy airport also is not for me, I much preferred using my Baby Bjorn.
2- We did not have an extra suitcase for Avery since that would have costed us $50 with our airline. Instead we packed her stuff in with ours and packed only the necessities and stuff we could not buy there. Again, this would change depending on your destination. I only packed enough diapers and wipes for the first day. Because we had access to a washer and dryer I only packed a week of clothes too, even though we were gone two weeks.
In all honesty I could have packed much less too, probably 4 sleepers, 6-7 outfits would have been enough.
Other things I packed I found useful:
1- The baby monitor! So Mom and Dad can enjoy evenings while not worrying about baby
2- Unwashed blankets from home that they`ve used. I am not sure if this helped but Avery`s sleeping habits did not change on holidays so it might have. But the idea here is that they have a scent from home to help them feel like they are still at home. Makes sense to me!
3- A lightweight blanket (I brought aden & anais ones), this was super useful in a hot climate for cover Avery up outside on walks. Since she is under 6 months and cannot use sunscreen this provided the needed protection. Plus it was great for on the plane as well.
4- An extra soother (if you use them) that has been used by baby before. I would not want to loose a soother and then have baby not take a new one… just saying.
I also made sure to pack half of her stuff in each of our suitcases just in case one was lost (I am always paranoid about that).
I think that covers my main thoughts on packing. Onto flying…
I was not overly worried about flying with her, I know some people worry about their ears but I did not. I planned to neither nurse her or use her soother for take offs and decents so she was sucking to help her ears adjust. Funny enough, my attempts did not work and she was always alseep with no issues.
I would highly recommend a window seat. It allowed a good amount of privacy to nurse on the plane if Dad or someone else you know is beside you.
Avery slept the entire flights both ways, which was really nice, so if you can keep baby awake prior to flying so they are extra tired I say go for it!
Onto the trip part:
I do not want to say we have a strict routine at home but we do try and follow eat, activity, sleep 90% of the time, and we do have a set bedtime routine. But at the same time I did not want not to be able to enjoy holidays and do things because baby was sleeping etc. Avery is pretty portable and will sleep where ever which helped us a ton.
If we had a day outing I would make sure to semi plan to leave a bit after her feeding, so she had some play time out of the carseat, then she`d (hopefully) fall asleep in the car for the drive and it worked almost every time. Same thing before heading back home from where ever we were. This meant we were able to basically do all the things we would have without a baby, it just took a tad longer sometimes and required quite a few backseat nursing sessions!
At the Zoo:
Out for lunch:
Naps at the house were tough, some would be in the playpen in her room which was the best but most were in the carseat or on the couch which did mean shorter naps cause it was nosier than she is used to. She was also harder to settle with so many (new) people around. Next time I would push more naps in the playpen for sure. One thing I loved if I could not get her to nap was going on a walk
Napping in the carseat by the pool:
I did not change her bed time or routine at all, we started at the exact time as we do at home which I think helped her sleep good there as well.
All in all we had a great holiday, Avery was a great traveller and we have a couple more trips planned this year already with her.
What are your tips for travelling with a baby?