Now that I’m
an expert a survivor of traveling with a baby, I thought I’d pass on my insight to the blogosphere for when others find themselves in a similar situation.
- Wear your maternity jeans. Yes, sometimes I still wear mat jeans and I’m proud of it. Comfort is key while traveling and you don’t want pants that will cut into your gut every time you bend down to pick up a burp cloth or a pacifier. I figure this is acceptable if you are three months postpartum. Or forever. Your choice.
- The nursing mother should sit near the window, and the travel partner should take the middle seat. Yes, getting out to change diapers might be a pain (because you have to keep asking the aisle person to move), but sitting in the middle seat means being half-naked and up close and personal with a stranger and sitting in the aisle spot means constantly folding in your elbows each time the flight attendants walk by, which is a billion and one on an international flight. Neither is fun.
(No, I’m not nursing in the photo below but even if I was, its not something I’d be embarrassed to share.)
- Purchase new toys before your flights and wait to introduce them until you are on the plane. We were lucky because The Wee One just started engaging with toys and books about a week before we left for Scotland. Buy the kind that light up and make noise to ensure your place as the worst seat mates ever.
- Pack one extra shirt for all adults and multiple onesies for the baby. But don’t be an idiot like me and wear both nursing tank tops layered to save space in your carry-on. Poo can soak through.
- Request the bassinet row (economy plus behind the bulkhead) and be persistent about it. No one is going to advocate for you and you’re not the first person to travel with an infant.
- Skip the heavy books, Kindles, and magazines in favor of extra space. During the red-eye flight on the way there we watched movies while he slept. Our flight on the way home was during the day and we didn’t have time to do anything but care for him. When he was napping we would eat or attempt to sleep.
- Give out goodie bags to your fellow travelers. We handed out ear plugs, gum, and a short note explaining that we were traveling to see family and to attend a wedding. Most people were very understanding!
- Locate the nicest/most welcoming fight attendant when you board and remember them for when you need help. One attendant enjoyed watching The Scottish console The Wee One. She even came up to me to say, “I just love watching Dad!” It was a compliment and you could tell she was impressed with his effort.
- Start your child on the “travel ugly” philosophy at a young age. In my family, it’s a well-known fact that I travel ugly. And it’s never been more true than when traveling with a kiddo. Why bother with makeup, blow drying, and cute clothing when you’re going to be awake for 24 hours and covered in you child’s bodily fluids? Same goes for your kids. This red fleece outfit did NOT last long on The Wee One. He ended up in a plain white onesie for most of the flight.
What travel tips would you add?