Thursday, August 14, 2014

Have Baby, Will Travel

When my grandma and aunt offered to pay for Zach, Turner, and my flight to visit in Florida, I was instantly excited.  I saw nothing stopping me from saying, “YES!”  Zach was a little more hesitant.  He was understandably worried about traveling with a 9 month old.  I found that with a good amount of planning, we had a successful trip!  It’s exhausting to travel with a baby, but seeing her face when she sat on the beach for the first time made it so worth it.
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My number one fear was of Tu having a meltdown on the plane because of her ears popping.  I’m a very nervous flier, add my baby screaming, and I might have had a meltdown too.  Luckily, Tu’s very favorite activity is meeting new people.  That kept her more than occupied for the flights (we were also lucky to have direct flights each way).    If her ears were popping, she didn’t notice.  Trust me, I didn’t just hope for the best.  I made plans.  
  • We brought enough formula for 3 bottles.  She typically eats every 4 hours or so, and it was a 2 hour flight.  I think we were covered.  I planned on her having two small bottles during takeoff and landing to avoid the ear popping.  I gave her the first bottle on the way up, and she was asleep on the way down (and didn’t wake up until we were leaving the plane).  WIN!  I used the same plan on the way home, and I am happy to say she never acted like her ears were bothering her.
  • I downloaded some shows on my phone.  She’s obsessed with The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I had a couple of those ready to go.  
  • We had different toys/books in the diaper bag.  It turned out that her favorite toy was the key decoration on my purse.  
  • We made goodie bags for the passengers around us.  They included two fun sized candy bars, gum, and ear plugs.  Everyone around us really liked it, and one woman even said she should give hers back since Tu was so good.  
  • I made sure we had Ziploc baggies in the diaper bag in case of a stinky diaper (yeah, that happened).  
  • We packed plenty of snacks.  
Tutu watched all of about 3 minutes of Mickey Mouse, and spent the rest of the time smiling and talking to the people around us.  
Once we landed (huge relief), the car seat battle began.  I have never been so thankful for our car seat bases.  Every time we left the house, I had to buckle in that car seat.  I feel bad for the parents of the pre-base days.  I bet they built up some killer back muscles.  All-in-all, that was the worst part of traveling with a baby.  
Since we went from the Central to Eastern time zones, we opted to not change Tu’s schedule.  It was only an hour ahead, so that meant she went to bed later and slept later.  Okay by us!  She usually goes to bed around 8:30 or 9, and I get her up at 6 every morning.  She’s a pretty good sleeper, so the scenery change didn’t disrupt her much.  She would get restless in the early morning, so we’d just put her in bed with us.  She’d sleep a few more hours and wake up smiling.  I think the issue was the bed we got for her.  It was a tiny, pop-up tent.  There was a pad that snapped on the outside of the bottom (no suffocation hazard), but it wasn’t very thick.  She was basically sleeping on the floor.  I had to make it up to her with mama-snuggles.  (I know that’s not the best thing to do, and trust me, I’m a very nervous mother.  She’s a pretty big girl, so I wasn’t really worried about rolling over on her.  I was mostly awake, anyway.)
We stayed at my grandma’s  house, and that was a huge plus.  We were able to spread out, and I was able to execute my BEST TIP: Order supplies ahead of time, and have them shipped to the place you’re staying.  Wow, this saved so much luggage space!  We shipped diapers and wipes (The Honest Company, where we usually get that stuff), formula (Target), baby wash and lotion (Target), and sunscreen (Target).  Instead of rushing out to Target as soon as we got there, we were able to relax.  We also avoided forgetting anything, or risking the Sarasota Target not having something.  (No joke, we bought the very last canister of soy formula last Saturday at our Target, so, it’s possible.)  This is definitely my numero uno suggestion!
Do you have any baby-travel-tips you absolutely can’t live without?  

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