Traveling Tips with Baby: Infant Addition

Now that we've completed back to back weekends away I wanted to share some tips and things that helped make our travels go smoother. I am not an expert, but I'm hoping this helps a few new parents who are preparing for their first trip with their babe!

The biggest things I have learned through these weekends are:

  • It is easiest to travel in the mornings. Yes, it throws their whole day off BUT you are able to keep their established schedule better, and it they are off a bit you can work on getting them back on schedule by the end of the day. We booked Av's second flight in the afternoon and it was a complete disaster because it threw her afternoon/bedtime schedule off. Our other flights were flights departing first thing in the morning and it made for much easier transitions and days for Tiny. We found that doing it this way the babe has more time to get accustomed and used to the changes, and time to relax, before going to bed in a place they're unfamiliar with.
  • If you're staying in a hotel, get a room big enough so that you can separate yourselves from him/her. The first place we stayed in was a cramped hotel room where she was sleeping directly next to us. As soon as it was time for her to go down for bed we found ourselves sitting on the bed in the dark whispering like kids who were trying not to get caught by mom and dad that we were still awake-HA!
    • This past weekend we stayed in a suite just so we could have our own space once she went to bed. She has been sleeping in her own room since she was three weeks old so I think this was also another way for her to easily transition into not being at home.
    • We stayed in an AirBNB for one of our nights in Arizona and I would tell anyone and everyone that that is the way to go. It is no doubt the easiest way for families to travel. If I hadn't been cheap and paid for our hotel in Austin under the option where you pay upfront for cheaper room I would have definitely gotten us an AirBNB.

Below is a quick and easy checklist for you as you prepare, pack and run around stressing to get ready for your big trip with babe:

Mom & Dad Pack List for Baby:

  • Pump
  • Pump Charger
  • Pumping Bags
    • I brought a whole package of pumping bags but you could always bring the amount of bags you know you will need. It made me more comfortable to bring a package because some days I pump an extra time AND we use the bags to reheat milk in bottles if they're being reused.
  • Pack and Play- we have this one and absolutely love it. It is so quick and easy to pack up, unpack, set up, and travel with. It's light and durable and something I am SO thankful we registered for. Currently it has the bassinet insert on it which is perfect for putting her Dock-A-Tot in.
  • Dock-A-Tot, and extra cover in case of an accident. We're using the Dock-A-Tot Deluxe+
  • Swaddle for naps and bedtime- we use these
  • Sound machine, this one is my favorite because it runs on AA batteries and can be plugged in.
    • We also have "Sleep Baby White & Pink Noise- 'Pure Ocean Waves'" downloaded on both of our phones. If she's having a hard time sleeping or staying calm in the airport we put a phone in her carseat and play it. So far it has saved us during flights and in the car multiple times.
  • Extra pack of wipes (we usually have one opened in the diaper bag and I pack a new one in the check bag. We have been using these so it's not like we could just run to Target in the case we need more)
  • Diapers- We use Honest brand diapers and it has honestly been hard to come across them in the stores, so when we travel I have packed our own pack of diapers for convenience. Obviously if you use Pampers, Huggies, etc you could go to the store once you get to your location and grab some!
  • 2 outfits for each day- 'cause you know, blowouts happen
  • Socks- I always keep an extra pair in the diaper bag
  • A burp cloth and a bandana bib for each day, plus two extras of each in case they're needed... I'd always rather have too many than not enough/use dirty ones. We breastfeed and bottle feed so we use the bandanas when we bottle feed. I fold the burp cloth I half, place the bandana on top, then roll it up. That way when you're getting dressed for the day you can just grab it out of the suitcase and go!
  • Owlett and charging station
  • Baby Monitor- We packed this for the first trip and didn't use it so we didn't bring it on the second. The only reason you would need it is if you were staying in an apartment/house.
  • Accessories- hats for being out in the sun, sunscreen, bows, etc
  • Lotion for after baths
  • Blanket
  • Tummy time toys
  • 2 Gallon size Ziplock bags- these are a lifesaver when you have baby clothes that are pooped on/spit up on and you need to bring them home. 

Inside my diaper bag for flight

  • Swaddle Blanket- I don't usually have to cover up for nursing because of my clothing selection but I always keep a swaddle the diaper bag in case I want it.
  • Solly Wrap- I love this thing for when she's having a hard time napping. You technically cannot take off or land with baby wrapped on you but it is so nice to have during a long flight
  • Her favorite blanket- I want her to always have something she can be find comfort in while we're traveling. Since scent is such an important sense for babies I want her to have something that has a scent of familiarity of home for her. This could 100% be a mental thing for me but hey, whatever works. Usually I bring her blanket out only if she's having a rough day/time traveling.
  • Two burp cloths
  • One bib
  • 8 diapers, y'all you can never have enough diapers, especially when you're on a plane and there's no reserve... I also have 2 backups in my duffle bag with my pump
  • 2 outfits- one onesie with pants and one button up, footed onesie
  • 3 pacifiers- at least one Wubanub and one on a clip. I've found that if she's in the Solly/Ergo that it's easier to have the clip pacifiers rather than the Wubanubs because they stay in place better, BUT, homegirl loves her reindeer Wubanub so I cannot imagine leaving the house without it.
    • On one of our flights home I was holding her with her pacifier about to walk through the x-ray machine and they made me put her pacifier through the scanner- all of our bags had gone through so I had to put her pacifier in those dirty bins and send it through- I cannot tell you how thankful I was to have packed an extra Wubanub. I know sometimes I overpack but in these situations I am always glad that I air on the side of caution.
  • WetWipes- These are my go-to for when we need to wipe our hands or anything we feel needs to be cleaned. I prefer them over sanitizer but you could definitely pack that as well! WetWipes are so good for wiping down the armrests/trays on the planes.
  • Water Bottle- We have a Swell and this thing is the As soon as we go through security we always find a coffee shop to fill it up with hot water. We also ask for an empty cup, that way when it's time for a feeding we can pour the water into the cup and insert the bag of breastmilk in to warm it up! 
  • Other things I keep in my diaper bags at all times in case we need them: Q-tips, Gripe water, a small stuffed animal that has a bell in it, 1-1 gallon ziplock bags (for the clothes babe blows out), nipple pads in case of leakage, a travel size pack of tissues, chapstick, a travel size bottle of lotion, and lastly, a thermometer and nail clippers <-- these are huge while traveling because you never know when you'll need them ASAP

Hotel Staying with Baby

If you're staying in a house with another baby you wouldn't need to pack/get this stuff but it is important to think about if you're staying in a place without a baby currently there.

  • This is definitely my clean freak showing but, I'm going to be upfront with you- I always keep a pack of the on the go Clorox wipes in our bags. It might just be me but I know hotels aren't the cleanest places to stay-- and especially when we have bottles, pacifiers, and baby stuff we're placing on things- SO, I always give our room and counters a nice wipe down when we first get to our hotel room. I've gotten even more so particular about this ever since having the bottles and baby stuff. When you're washing bottles and pump stuff in a bathroom, hotel, sink and then placing them on the counters you want to make sure it's as clean as possible!
  • Cleaning Bottles & Pump Parts: This is a quick, cheap, and efficient way to dry bottles and pump equipment. We bought it when we got to Arizona on our first trip and have kept it in our travel bag ever since! It folds up nicely and we just slip it in our suitcase when traveling home!
    • I love this bottle brush because you don't have to lie it on the countertops where it can get germy. This is another thing we dry out and place in a gallon size ziplock to keep in our bags for future travels. 
    • One thing I buy and just had to give up while we travel is the soap. I'm 100% okay with losing $3 on soap if it means we get to wash our stuff. You could always pack the soap up in a ziplock for traveling but the risk of it combusting is not worth it for me.
  • I started taking showers with Av when we were traveling because the thought of putting her in a hotel tub freaked me out. BUT, they do have these which would be an easy solution if you don't want to take your babe in the shower just yet! We used the hotel towel to dry her off so there's no need to bring one!
  • Like I mentioned before we have this amazing, lightweight pack and play that we use while traveling. We check it with our bags at the airport, and as soon as we get to the hotel we set it up. Currently it has the bassinet insert on it which is perfect for putting her Dock-A-Tot in. We have it set up with the Dock-A-Tot in it and her sound machine fits next to her Dock-A-Tot as well!

Tips & Tricks

  • Since Aveline is under 2 she is considered a lap child and can fly for free. With this, though, you need to arrive at the airport early enough for you to check in at the front desk (this may be specific to Southwest, but check with your airlines!). The couple times we have traveled the lines have been SO long, so make sure to get to the airport earlier than normal, around 2 hours before your flight.
    • For our convenience we always brought our stroller and carseat through the airport. I love the Uppa stroller because it has such a large compartment underneath the carseat. I use this area for my duffle bag and her cooler with her breastmilk in it, and we clip her diaper bag to the stroller! I love that this allows me to be hands free so I can help Av with anything she might need!
  • Because we bring our stroller and carseat through the airport they need to be checked at the gate. We have these carseat & stroller bags to check them and have been really happy with them. The only thing I would tell you if you have the Uppa stroller is that it is easier to get the stroller in and out of the bag if you take one of the back wheels off. This sounds like a pain in the ass but I promise you it's quick, easy, and worth it in the long run.
    • Before you board the plane, place your carseat and stroller in the bags and have someone carry them down to the drop off spot for you. Pat and I waited until we were boarding to place the stuff in the bags our first time flying and it was nothing less than a cluster. After we figured out this method things went smoother.
      • Usually I tie Av to me with the Solly wrap or her Ergo so we both have hands free while we're doing this. This not only makes it less stressful but easier because we have one person to hold the bags open and one person can jam the stroller/carseat in ;)
  • I love love love the white noise we have downloaded on our phones (mentioned above) and truly thing it's how we've kept her calm through all of the airports we've been in. It's such an easy way to keep the babies comfortable
  • Have a water bottle that can hold heat for a long time. This has saved us multiple times when she's hungry and we need to heat up a bottle on the go. If you don't find a coffee shop, or you're short on time, the flight attendants can fill up you water bottle for you!
  • Feed the babe while you're taking off and on your descent, this helps pop their ears for them, making the experience a little easier. We've also had her pacifier do the job.
  • Always have a snack bar for you, mom. You need to keep your calorie intake up and consistent on travel days.

We had so much fun traveling with our Tiny girl throughout the past two weeks. I cannot believe this is real life- that we have our little human to show the world to and adventure with! We are so exited that this is just the beginning of her traveling and cannot share more with you as it comes. If you have any questions please feel free to ask, and if you have anything you recommend to make traveling easier with an infant please let me know!