Candlelight dinners, trips around the world with A BABY
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Not a "Mommy Blogger", but I am someone's mommy and this is my blog so here we go!
Fresh off our first Euro vacay as parents, (jet lagged baaaaaad) and after so many very lovely complimentary messages from other mom gal pals I feel compelled to note our travel with baby experience!
I asked for tips from mom friends, and read so many great and informative "travel with baby" blogs from actual mommy bloggers before our trip. Some of the info I completely repressed apparently, some I utilized! If you are looking for even more to read prior to your trip with info you may or may not remember, welcome friend!
The following is strictly about flying as we did not travel around Europe, and stayed with Erblin's parents (which could be a whole other post really). My point is I have no advice for once you land at your destination, as we tried to approximate home life as much as possible. Also important to note is that our lil dude was just shy of 9 months for this trip and just shy of 10 months on our return trip. We flew from Toronto to Frankfurt, then hopped on a smaller plane for a 2 hour flight to the Balkans, so all in all our travel time from start to finish exceeded 12 hours.
Everything about our experience may differ from yours, so I feel it important to know that mental preparation is really all that matters. Babies are truly so adaptable, especially if they feel safe and secure so going with the flow and being in control of your own nervous system is likely the key to calm (general life statement really).
First off let me give you an idea of my mental state prior to our trip: I was horrified and stressed. I was trying to downplay it because I loathe drama but I wasn't necessarily stoked for the vacay. Travelling long distances, planes, layovers, time zone changes etc. All the exhausting things that one encounters, and that's before caring for another human life. I also think I felt some guilt about jolting Gabriel out of his comfort zone, stress his sleep schedule, possibly his language development, the solids I wanted to introduce, the list goes on... He's a pretty happy dude and chill af so perhaps my anxiety was unfounded.
Regardless, here is my petite list of helpful "flying with a baby" tips:
🌸 When booking travel, a bit of a layover can be a good thing!
We booked with a travel agent and expressed how we were travelling with our son and didn't want long waits between flights. Somehow on our itinerary this was translated to ONLY an hour (ish) to connect. Fucking madness. Not to mention our first flight was delayed 1.5 hours so we were carted like cattle from flight 1 to flight 2 with no bathroom break, no chance to diaper change Gabe, stretch our legs etc. Sure we made it to our destination on time but it was miserable.
🌸Get a back pack diaper bag, or just use a regular backpack as your diaper bag.
My usual day to day diapey bag is a one arm side carry gal, and she just would not do for international travel. Having my hands free to hold Gabriel, push stroller, or help with luggage hauling was ideal!
🌸Invest in a light weight, easy folding travel stroller. Clutch item!
I was lucky enough to borrow the one we used from a girlfriend ($ saved woooooot). If said gf with this stroller doesn't exist for you yet, bite the bullet and buy one so that down the road you can be that golden gal pal with the borrowable travel stroller (you guys are the dopest)!! Check it at the gate and traverse the airport much easier.
🌸Carry on everything (mostly) for baby!
I say mostly just because liquids like baby shampoo or lotion have to be ziplocked in checked luggage.
I had the genius idea to pack all of Gabe's clothing in our carry on luggage. In my head this was a great idea in case we lost our luggage -at least we would have everything for him. I don't know if I subconsciously manifested this or psychically knew but indeed our luggage was lost. What fresh hell.
I would also suggest remembering to toss in an extra change of clothes and undies for yourself in your babies items. I did not remember to do this unfortunately. Feel sorry for me and also laugh that I was meeting my in laws for the first time ever on this trip and I looked and smelled like hot travel stank in a European heat wave for the first days of the trip. Glorious.
🌸Pack a packing cube, or separate bag within your diaper bag with just diaper change supplies (change pads, diapers, wipes, etc).
This came in handy and saved me from so much diaper bag fiddling. Also useful when going to change baby on the plane in the miniscule closet "washroom" with a micro slab of plastic that folds down as a "change table". You do not need to take your entire diaper bag with you!
🌸 You are allowed unlimited snacks and liquids for baby!
Cue me throwing in many snacks for myself and Erblin. Having a baby is a travel #snackhack.
🌸Having a window seat was actually ideal! This one depends on your baby. I enjoyed having a window seat. It allowed me to nurse and snuggle G with more freedom than if we had an aisle seat. However, if he were a fussier dude or needed more walking to keep him occupied an aisle seat would have been necessity. Moms know what's best!
✨And DO NOT CARE about asking people to get up so you can walk or change your baby, they are always happy to oblige!!!! A happy baby in their row allows them a more peaceful flight as well. It's in their best interest to be at your up-down, down-up mercy! ✨
💩 An extra (sealable) bag in diaper bag a good idea just in case your baby is like my baby and unloads a huge explosive poop mid- flight which requires a full outfit change...
🌸Nurse/bottle or soother for take off and landing to ease the ear pressure
🌸Dress baby in layers because the temperature in every plane is so unpredictable
*Extra things to note that I have zero experience with:
An infant bassinet is an option but we didn't ask for one. Gabriel hardly sleeps in his crib at home so I knew it would have been a futile attempt to be hands free. I was also advised by my bestie that she had to take her daughter out of it every time there was turbulence (makes sense). So it's a matter of the flight itself and how much waking up and soothing back to dreamland you are up for.
Long trips are exhausting but the memories of this trip are so worth any of the stress of exhaustion. Would I do it again, one hundred percent. Do I want to do it again anytime soon, hell no. Ask me again after I down my first full pot of fresh coff- I bet I will say yes.