We love to travel.
Once we had Dragon Egg, we committed to each other that we wanted to continue traveling, no matter how many kids we had in tow.
Dragon Egg (DE) has already been on four round trip (eight separate) flights and on a myriad of long car rides by his six month birthday.
I believe the sooner you travel with your baby (we waited till he received his first round of vaccinations – 2 months), the easier it is for both parents and baby.
Here’s what helps us.
1) Keep an editable packing list. We keep our packing list as a Word document on our computer. It is basically comprised of four smaller lists (Matthew and Caroline items, toiletries, Dragon Egg’s items, and items that specifically need to be packed in the diaper bag)
Here’s a small example of what our list looks like:
___baby bowl/ spoon
We put the number sign next to certain items, so we can write down how many of that particular item we’ll need for that trip. The line in front of the word helps us check off items once they’re packed.
Keeping a list gives us comfort to know that we’re not forgetting basic items. It also makes packing fast and less stressful.
Once everything from the list is crossed off, the bags are weighed (if traveling by plane), and the car is loaded, we look at each other and make sure we have our wallets and cell phones.
If you have those two items, you can most likely purchase anything you forgot to pack, so sit back and relax. You’re ready to go!
2) If you travel a lot, consider a travel crib.
One of our first trips took us to a fancy hotel in Chicago. The front desk asked us if we wanted a crib for the baby. Not knowing what to expect, we agreed. I was horrified when the crib arrived at our room. It was poorly constructed and had me seeing images of babies with SIDS. (I’m dramatic, I know)
I was relieved that we spent the extra money to purchase a portable crib. We take it everywhere, including friend’s houses. If DE needs to sleep, down he goes, and we continue doing what we want to do. It keeps this mom from worrying over what will be available at our different locations and it only weighs seven pounds. Did I mention it fits in our luggage?!
Here’s the one we use: Travel Crib.
3) We always roll up DE’s Activity Gym and take it with us. It also fits easily into our luggage and keeps him busy when we’re trying to get ready in the morning. Here’s the one we use: Activity Gym.
4) Airplanes are very used to dealing with infants and small children. Most allow you to take a stroller and car seat to the door of the airplane and check it there. Make sure though to check the airline’s policy with infants before booking. Kids under two years old can usually fly free on someone’s lap. Also remember to pack a copy of your child’s birth certificate.
Our favorite airline is Frontier Airlines, because you can check two 50 lb bags for free.
5) Pack a sound machine.
We use a sound machine in DE’s room at home, so I can move freely in our house while he’s napping. We pack the sound machine, so no matter how new the environment, he feels comfortable and can sleep soundly. When we travel, DE ends up being surrounded by his own smells in the portable crib and hears only the comforting sound of the sound machine, instead of all the miscellaneous sounds that can occur in a hotel. Not to mention that Matthew and I can speak softly in the room once he goes to sleep. For parents who don’t normally share a room with their child, this is a lifesaver.
Remember, travel is not only possible with infants, it can be fun. We don’t move at the same pace that we did before kids, but with a little planning, we can still enjoy seeing the world with our kid(s).