Coffee in hand, sleeping baby! This sweatshirt is my go to and I just ordered another print—they are currently on sale for $15 and I’m wearing a small!
I hope you are all having a good week! I feel like we got super lucky making our way back from Mexico in time for this ‘heat wave’ in Chicago! It’s made adjusting back to normal life much easier.
I wanted to try and get this post written and up as soon as possible because I can’t tell you how many messages I received on Instagram about us traveling with Zain and how we did it. Now, let me say we are no expert travelers. This was our first time flying with him and taking him on vacation (not to our parents house) and we learned a lot. We really want to have the mindset that life can still go on once you have a family and although I don’t want to torture my child, I do want to be able to travel, adapt and enjoy life with him. So even though we may get off the plane and say we’re never doing that again, we will.
I think it also depends a lot on how old your child is and like everything, you know your child best so take everything I say with a grain of salt. When Zain was younger and I took him on long car rides to Kentucky he would sleep through the entire thing, wake up to eat and go back to sleep. Now that Zain is older, he takes two naps a day at 9am and 1pm and goes to bed at the same time every night. It becomes a lot less flexible as they get older but also nice in a way that you know he’s predictable (at least we like to think that…)
I thought I would share a few things that worked well for us on this trip and a few things I will try to change for next time!
He’s mildly amused…
Look who’s up!
Plan Flights At Nap Time and Bedtime
This isn’t always possible, especially when flying internationally but I was able to book our outgoing flight at 9:10am which is almost his exact nap time. When we boarded the flight I was able to give him his bottle as we took off and he fell right to sleep. Zain has been sleep trained for so long and sleeps well on his own that it kind of works against us now. I don’t think he sleeps as well on me and definitely not as long. So although that nap at home is always 1 1/2 – 2 hours it was barely an hour on the plane. Coming back we didn’t have much flexibility with time and it was not optimal. We weren’t scheduled to land till an hour after his bedtime and then were stuck on the plane at O’hare for an hour waiting for them to de-ice it! We definitely had our fair share of crying but he eventually fell asleep and was great through landing and customs!
Check Everything and Protect Your Stroller
Even though our bags were not covered and we were allowed carry on’s the thought of lugging Zain, his diaper bag and our suitcases through security and boarding seemed like a terrible idea. It worked well to check everything we had except our diaper bag and made security and navigating the airport and customs SO much easier. We didn’t check our stroller until the gate (totally reccomend) and we borrowed this stroller cover from Kelly and Mitch which was a lifesaver!
They really toss your stuff around whether you gate check or not and I saw lots of damaged strollers coming out from the plane. We are so dependent on our stroller and it’s amount of storage underneath so protecting it means a lot to us. A lot of people told me to invest in a good umbrella stroller but honestly the cover has rolling wheels and was no problem to travel with so I will take the storage over anything! I also found out that if you buy a bag and register it, your stroller is covered from damage which is amazing.
I think if your baby is smaller, you may be able to get away with checking the stroller at the counter but Zain is way to big for that. We packed the Ergobaby for short spurts but it’s much easier to keep him in his stroller till we board the plane than carry him around!
Pack Your Diaper Bag Well
I really didn’t want to overpack my diaper bag but was also nervous to miss something. I definitely packed WAY too much stuff on the way down and thought I was going to break my back. We also didn’t use half of it so on the way home I made sure to correct that. Here’s what I had on hand that I would recommend:
- Lots of bottles (he ate way more than normal on the plane)
- Sippy Cup
- Anti Bacterial Wipes – I wiped down everything he came in contact with
- Hand sanitizer
- Lots of Diapers
- Pacifier – a few
- Diaper Changing Mat – pack wipes and diapers in this as well
- Favorite book
- Just a few small toys
- A change of clothes for you and them – SO important!
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Phone
I won’t lie, I was that person that would see families out at dinner or kids on planes playing on phones or tablets and think ‘why are they doing that?’ Now I know.
Guys, you gotta do what you gotta do. Trevor and I talked about it a lot over vacation and when you go out to eat you want a break. You have been interacting and playing with your baby all day and just want to eat in peace. Use whatever you need!
I downloaded 20 episodes of Sesame Street and paid for Wifi on the plane for backup and unfortunately must have the only child in the universe that doesn’t like TV or want to watch it…
Know It’s Not Going To Be Perfect
I think I had an idea that because Zain is so good at home he would be on the plane. That doesn’t mean anything! He had his bouts of screaming, Trevor and I were both sweating and ready to pull our hair out. It seems much worse when it’s happening to you and although you think the people around you want to kill you, they don’t. We apoligized to people getting off the plane and every single person told us how cute Zain was and that they had kids, grandkids, etc and it was totally fine!
As much as I want to look cute on a plane, I dressed for Zain. This sweatshirt is one of my favorites and so comfortable so I decided to wear it with my favorite black jeans and these sneakers! Don’t forget to throw a change of clothes for you and your baby in the diaper bag! Before we landed, I changed Zain’s outfit and my shirt and it was life changing since we still had to go through customs and get to our resort.
I think these are my top tips and again thank you so much to all the mommies out there that sent me advice and guidance, it helped more than you know!