Remember at the beginning of the summer when I said exciting things are coming? Well it is officially the month they are happening! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for changes, upgrades, and of course more posts on my site 😁
We are home from our first trip and we made it back in one sleepy piece – barely! Traveling with an ~18 lb infant for the first time alone…let’s just mark it as a challenge I’ve now overcome. And now I have stronger arm muscles to show for it! When we got home, Calvin and I both slept for hours because we were so freakin’ exhausted from the whole week.
^^us @ home in Mason, OH
I don’t have a ton of great advice and I am certainly NO expert on traveling with an infant, but I can share my experience and offer some suggestions – what worked, what didn’t, and necessities I believe you need. Traveling is pretty difficult and strenuous with no baby, so adding a little human, just makes it a bit more complicated. It’s certainly do-able and no reason to shy away from traveling, but with some advice and great products, it can be a much more smooth ride.
^I held Calvin on the flight but decided to pose him for a pic in my seat before take-off
Key Notes & Travel Necessities
*you can click on images to shop the item*
If you don’t have someone going with you, you’ll need help getting all of your stuff from the car to the check-in. Some airports have helpers with carts, other’s don’t. Cincinnati had no one to help, so my Mom took a chance at leaving her car at the departure drop off. Once you are at the desk, you can check bags and car seat for free so all you will have left is baby and carry-on bag.
Car Seat Check
You can check your infant seat + base for free. I suggest buying a travel tote for protection. The BRICA is technically for a “real” size car seat that you don’t usually take in and out of the car, but the infant seat and base fit right in there. Now we don’t have to buy another tote when we move up to the toddler car seat.
BRICA Cover Guard Car Seat Travel Tote
You can take pre-made bottles through security with no issues. They will pull the milk off to the side to check the liquids. Don’t worry, they don’t open the bottles, they just place them in some special machine. If the milk is frozen, it won’t need checked. I was super nervous about this step but we made it through with no problems and then did a happy dance with Calvin (literally) when there were no issues! I highly suggest bringing a few bottles with you, as the airport and airplane are not nursing friendly at all. Plus, there are people everywhere. Calvin didn’t seem to have an issue with the pressure, but they do say to feed your baby on take-off and landing if you are worried about their little ears. I tried nursing Calvin on the way and he was kicking the large man to my left and hitting his head on the plastic wall to the right – not exactly comfortable for baby or airplane neighbor, lol! Good times.
JJ Cole Insulated Bottle Bag
(we use this insulated bag every day for day care as well)
Baby Wearing vs. Stroller
I keep going back and forth on this, and which one is better. I wore Calvin in his BABYBJORN carrier because I didn’t want to worry about a stroller. I think this would be just fine, and the best option, if you have someone else with you. Since I had no one with me, I felt like I needed more hands. Without a stroller, you literally have nowhere else to set baby while you are taking carrier off for the plane, restroom, etc. I wasn’t about to hand him to a stranger to hold, or lay him on a seat that he’d easily roll off of, so it was extremely difficult. Basically, you better be ready to hold your pee if you don’t bring a stroller. If you are with someone, you can just hand the baby to them and it would be much easier. So, if you are traveling alone, I would highly suggest a stroller, as you can check it at the gate for free.
Don’t try to bring a purse and a diaper bag, just combine the two – you already do it every other day, anyways! Invest in a great back-pack diaper bag, especially for traveling. Never thought I’d say this, but it really is NOT about being cute at this point – it’s about successfully getting you and your baby where you need to go! Craig got a Columbia Backpack at our baby shower and it was great for the purpose of traveling – sturdy, comfy straps, and coming with a changing pad and insulated side pocket.
Columbia Summit Rush Backpack Diaper Bag
Make sure to bring toys and a pacifier (if you use one) for the plane. If you are holding your infant, they are going to need a distraction, as there is no where else for them to go. Calvin is obsessed with crinkle books, or anything that has that feel. Not only do you need distractions, but everything you bring should be attachable. You will drop things a million times, but if you have toys that can attach to your bag and a paci that can attach to their outfit, it might save you a few times of bending down to pick things up, burning leg muscles and minimize sweating. 😅
^^Calvin in his crib @Grandma’s^^Calvin learning about selfies with Grandpa
The hardest part about traveling alone was that we were away from Craig for a full week which was super weird for all of us! Thankfully our trips for the rest of the year are all together. We are traveling again with the bebe in just 4 short weeks. We are going back to Cincinnati but for my best friend’s wedding – not for work – which will also be a bit more exciting. Not that going on a work trip isn’t exhilarating 🙂 I’ll let you guys know how much different traveling is with help!
Any more tips/tricks I should know? I’ve already had a few friends with babies ask me questions, so let me know what you want to know!