We recently took a trip to Cozumel Mexico with my parents and sister! We had so much fun and it was Wesley’s first big trip and first airplane ride! He did so good and though there were challenges, it was so worth it! Here are some tips for traveling with a baby:
First of all, don’t expect anything to go according to plan. Definitely prepare, but don’t expect. The night before our trip I was up at 2 AM stressing about all of the details of our trip and how Wesley would do. Of course, stressing didn’t do anything to help and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was stressing about. That being said, just accept the fact that your child will probably not get all of their regularly scheduled naps, and feedings are going to be very much on demand and wherever you can find a place to sit!
Tip number two: Bring as many tools of distraction as possible. In Wesley’s case, the most entertaining and distracting things are not actually toys! Don’t waste valuable carry on space packing tons of toys if your child is like mine, because they are way happier to play with or chew on your phone, water bottle, or eating a snack! Also, lucky for us, we had my parents to distract and entertain him! If at all possible, travel with grandparents!!!
Tip number three: Wear your baby. Our baby carrier saved our lives!! Many naps were taken in it. At the airport, on the beach, around the city, etc.! instead of rocking your baby and feeling like your arms are going to fall off, you just strap them to you and let them fall asleep.
Tip number four: Bring bottles, snacks, pacifier, or be able to nurse during take-off and landing! Your baby doesn’t know how to pop their ears like we do, so they will need a little help. I suggest having several of these options ready because your baby will need to pop their ears a lot during the flight and if your child is like mine, they eat through a bottle or nurse so fast that it won’t last as long as they need it! We had bottles prepared, snacks, his pacifier, and I brought my nursing cover so I could nurse him. We also gave him water from a water bottle when he ran out of milk! These things definitely helped when we noticed him getting fussy and tugging at his ears.
Tip number five: Take your time. Before baby, trips were so easy to prepare for! Packing and hitting the road (or the air) weren’t really that time consuming and didn’t require near as much forethought. Now with Wesley, I have to make tons of lists and check and recheck that we’ve packed everything. You really don’t want to forget something in your carry on (toys, bottle, pacifier, nursing cover, blankets, extra clothes, diapers and wipes, etc.) unless you plan on buying it at the airport. So take your time with your packing. Also, take your time in the airport. Unless you have a super short layover, try your best to get to the airport early enough to be able to go at a comfortable pace for you and your baby. If you’re stressed, your child will be too. And if you’re anything like me, being rushed with a baby is extra stressful!
Tip number six: Enjoy it! Traveling and seeing new parts of God’s creation is such a blessing. And experiencing new things as a family is so fun! I really try to enjoy all of these “firsts” because you only get so many. Try to enjoy all of the parts of your journey, even if some seem stressful, because you’re doing it as a family!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1