So a few weeks ago, I had my first experience traveling with a baby–by myself. Yes, my first time flying with the baby, I was ALONE. I was a little nervous about how it would go, but I did some research ahead of time, and talked with a few friends who’s flown with a baby before to get some tips. So, now after “successfully” traveling with a baby, I can now offer MY tips for how we survived! Actually, thanks to the tips of my friends, and my own planning, everything went SUPER smoothly! So, here are my tips.
- Check all of your luggage except the baby’s diaper bag. The last thing you want is to have to haul around a ton of luggage along with your baby. I checked our suitcase and her carseat, and put anything I needed for myself into her diaper bag.
- Invest in some sort of baby-wearing wrap so you can wear your baby through the airport instead of trying to carry her and her diaper bag at the same time. It helps when you’re trying to shuffle your boarding pass and ID as you go through security too. And this way you can grab something to eat and actually have hands to hold your food.
- Time out baby’s feedings so that she is hungry when you take off and land in the plane. If she’s sucking during take off and landing, she won’t have the pressure buildup in her ears. Baby’s don’t know how to clear their own ears, so they have to be sucking/swallowing in order to do it. Sucking on a pacifier would work too if the baby isn’t hungry.
- Change baby’s diaper right before getting on the plane. A lot of airports will have family restrooms, so that’s the most convenient place to change the baby, AND go to the bathroom yourself. Remember, if you’re traveling alone, there’s no one to hold your baby while you pee.
- If at all possible, get baby to nap during the flights. This will keep her from screaming, and it’ll help her not be super exhausted when you arrive at your destination.
- Pack as many “comforts of home” as you can. I knew we would be using a hotel crib for her to sleep in, so I packed our usual crib sheet to put over top the hotels’. I also packed the phone we use to play her bedtime/naptime music, her blankie, all her favorite toys, and her own bath soap. This helped her immensely when it came time for nap or bedtime, because at least her THINGS were normal for home, even though the environment wasn’t.
- Keep their nap schedule the same! No matter where we were-car, someone’s house, airport-I made every effort to get her naps in on schedule so that she wasn’t over tired.
- If you’re changing time zones, don’t stress about when the baby wants to go to bed. If it’s super early, just count that as a nap and wake her up when it’s time for bed. We were lucky enough that baby girl was exhausted by the time we arrived, so she went to sleep and slept until her usual time the following morning. Then the next day we just had to make sure she had good long naps so that she could make it to the new bedtime.
Hope these tips help you if you ever find yourself traveling with your baby! They definitely helped us, and we had an “angel baby” the whole week!!