Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Honest Momma's Top 10 Tricks to Traveling With Your Baby

Hello lovies!

So happy to be back and with Blogger now! Hopefully this site will be more cooperative. 

I wanted to start back with a positive and fun post, nothing terribly serious and because my little family unit just got back from sunny Florida, I thought what better to write about than vacationing with a baby! I have ALWAYS loved to travel. Our world is so vast, with so many beautiful places to be seen and people to meet. Experiencing these things shouldn't change once you have a child.

Sawyer has been traveling with me since she was 3 months old. As much as I want to tell everyone that it is easy breezy, traveling with a baby is honestly, always going to be a little bit of a pain. It is how you prepare yourself for this pain that makes all the difference in the world!

After being on more flights with Sawyer than I have fingers to count on, here is MY list of the top 10 things to do when traveling with a lap child. Hopefully it helps take a little bit of the edge off the next time you and your family decide to travel :)

1) PACK AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. Seriously, I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this but if you can find a way to get your clothes AND your child's clothes into the same suitcase then you will save yourself stress and a sore back. This is especially true when traveling alone with your kiddo. On this last trip to Florida, I would have never made it to my destination with my mind in tact if it weren't for my boyfriend helping with the luggage. Like I said, I am bad at taking my own advice and decided to pack my little 9 month old her own suitcase on top of my huge suitcase, her stroller, car seat, diaper bag and my purse... To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement and I am surprised Phil didn't run in the other direction from monster mom.

2) Take one larger carry on bag and use it for your usual purse items along with enough diapers for travel, wipes, snacks (for parents and baby), something to chew (especially important for teethers like Sawyer) and a few toys and/or whatever electronic device helps entertain your babe. NOTE: It is always safe to bring a change of outfit for baby and at least a change in top for mommy. Trust, you don't want to walk around for the rest of the day covered in puke.

3) Arrive at the airport at least two hours early. You may laugh at me or call me paranoid but this saved us from missing our flight to Florida out of St. Louis. Babies are unpredictable. You never know when there is going to be a blow out or a random pat down in security because your stroller keeps setting off the alarms.

4) Do your airline research. To Florida, we flew Frontier. I didn't do my research because I assumed that carry on's were free like usual, as well as our car seat and stroller. Thankfully, the car seat and stroller were indeed free to us, but we had to shell out $40 for any carry on and $30 for each checked bag!!! If we would have done research beforehand, we may have chosen another airline to save our money.

5) Buy diapers when you get to your destination. Think about how many diapers your baby goes through in a day! That is soooo much bag space that could be used for better things! Or better yet, room to fit all the fun souvenirs you will want to buy once you get there.  Just pack enough diapers for the flight to your destination and then stock up once you get there.

6) Use your stroller in the airport. We decided to not check the stroller with our bags and it definitely saved us in the end. Sawyer is getting to be at the age where she loves her mom an awful lot but she doesn't necessarily want me to hold her every second. Having her stroller with us allowed for me to plop her down with her juice bottle and some toys while I could give my back and arms a rest. When Sawyer wasn't in her stroller then we could use it to cart around our extra baggage too which was a life saver.

7) Ask for help. This is especially important if you are traveling alone with your child. I've had gate attendants help carry car seats to the plane for me and even random strangers offer to get my bags off of the luggage belt. People are inherently good and I would wager that 9 times out of 10, willing to lend a helping hand to a struggling mother.

8) Buy a bottle of water once you are through security! Since you can't take a whole lot of liquid through security, my suggestion is to always buy a bottle once you get through. Some planes will still give you complimentary water during the flight but on this last flight of ours, Frontier gave away absolutely nothing for free and if Sawyer would have wanted a bottle mid flight, I would have had to shell out the big bucks for one of their overpriced bottles. One of my many life motto's, it is better to be safe than sorry, so buy that water! Better yet, if you have one of those water bottles with a filter in it, I would just use that and get free water from a fountain. You could of course get fountain water without a filtered bottle but I personally don't trust the source.

9) Ask whoever is checking you into the flight for a window or isle seat. If you have ever been stuck in a middle seat with a baby on your lap, well this doesn't need a whole lot of explanation, but let me just tell you... it is hell. This has happened to me once while traveling with Sawyer and I kept bumping the poor people next to me anytime Sawyer wanted to feed or if we had to change positions. It was a long and miserable flight, full of "I'm sorry's" and "Whoopsie!". Just trust me here, whatever you do, work to not sit in the middle.

10) Deep breathing is best. If you go into your traveling experience a stressed out mess, then you will set the tone for the trip and it will just continue to go downhill. The trick is to psyche yourself up. Think about your destination and all of the memories you are about to make with your family. Don't focus on the fact that your little one just ate a crumb from who knows what, off the the dirty airport carpet. Control your mindset and it will dictate the way your traveling goes. I swear by this. Plus! When you are acting like a stress case, your child will feed off of you energy, making them fussy.

So that's it! I am sure everyone has their own hacks and tricks for traveling with a little one but these are the tricks that have saved me the most stress while traveling with Sawyer. I hope that you can use some, if not all of these to your advantage and if all else fails, have a cocktail at the nearest airport bar and just except whatever comes! Onward and upward to more pleasant times ahead ;)

--Honest Momma

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