Traveling with an infant is definitely an experience. Normally, I fly through check in, security and find myself a nice spot at the gate...stress free travels! Traveling with the baby was not as difficult and stressful as I anticipated, but it definitely was not a breeze. In one of my earlier posts, Things You Shouldn't do While Wearing a Baby, I talked about all the stuff I've unfortunately dropped on Alexa while wearing her. Flying added to that list! Bread crumbs littered her hair like dandruff and I even found a piece of shredded cucumber in one of her neck rolls. Sorry baby!
I have mastered some new mommy skills on the train ride and flight. I can now do the "one handed coffee maneuver". I can get the to go lid off, rip open sugar packets and pour them in without making a mess and then get the lid back on all one handed! I've come to thoroughly appreciate binky holders. We managed to get from Linz to New York without losing or dropping the binky on the ground at all! Whoever invented these things is a genius and I'd say a parent too!
After having Alexa we registered for the Bipa Baby Club. It is basically just a store card where you are able to get discounts on baby supplies once a month. After registering they sent us a welcome package that included a diaper, a small lovey toy, baby butt cream and of course a tiny little pack of wipes. When I first saw the tiny pack of wipes I was annoyed. What the heck is that going to do for me?? Well, I decided to throw them into my purse on the way out the door. Smartest decision I've ever made. They were so handy, easily accessible and did not take up any room at all! Thank you makers of mini wipes.
A few other things I learned included how NOT to pack a diaper bag when traveling. I brought along a few books and toys to keep Alexa entertained while on the go. What I did not do, was think about how I was going to reach those books and toys while we were on the train, in the plane or in the car. I packed three board books, which are slightly heavy, so I put them on the bottom of the diaper bag. I stuck the diaper bag in my carry on to make it easier to maneuver around. I also threw my purse on top. When it was time to reach for her books I had to take out my purse, dig through the carry on and into the diaper bag and try to move everything else that I'd stuffed in there. Not the best idea. The changing mat, which was soooo necessary I couldn't even access because of where it was in the diaper bag/carry on mess.
Here are a few other things I learned on this adventure...
Only pack essentials in the diaper bag - put the rest in checked luggage
*diapers - bring however many you would normally use at home during the length of your travel time plus maybe 2-3 more. (Packing 1 diaper per hour of travel was RIDICULOUS and took up way too much space!)
*2 burp cloths (1 for spit up and 1 to cover up while breast feeding)
*a thick blanket (Regardless of the time of year! It was cold on the plane)
*a teether toy for baby to suck on and occupy themselves
*Book - as in one (1), no need to pack your library!
*an extra outfit (If you have a really pukey kid or one that has frequent poosplosions, then you might consider packing 2 extra outfits)
*bottles of pumped breast milk
*water in a baby bottle
On the way home, I'll be dressing Alexa in long sleeves and feetie pants (one piece jammies work well too!). It was very cold on the plane and I felt awful that her pant legs kept riding up and her legs were ice cold. I will definitely have at least 1-2 3oz. bottles of breast milk prepped and ready to go. Babies do no care if flights are delayed or if you cannot nurse right then and there. When they are hungry, they are hungry. Period. I will also be packing water in a baby bottle. As long as it is in a baby bottle and you try it then they will let you bring it through security. You might need it for formula or just for baby to have a little sip off of while waiting to board and get settled.
I wore a nursing bra, nursing shirt and a zip up hoodie. This was perfect for traveling! When you board and get settled, unhook your nursing bra on both sides for convenience and leave them undone until you get to your destination. Ask the flight attendant for a big bottle of water the first time they come around for drinks. Once you tell them that you're nursing they will be happy to oblige. Don't forget a few snacks for yourself. I brought three granola bars and they were the perfect snack.
Thanks to all of my friends who gave me tips and advice before my travels! You guys are helping me along in more ways than one.
To all of you parents getting ready to go on trips with your little ones...Good luck and Happy Travels!