Tips for Traveling with a ToddlerJan 27, 2022
Ready for it? This is my experience with traveling with my toddler across the U.S. from Georgia to California and back, by airplane and taking multiple mini trips while away.
First things first, it was a fucking blast! Best trip to date and my husband agrees. We had such a great time and my Large family got to meet my sweet baby girl and husband for the first time in person. It really was wonderful. Also, we made every moment count. With hikes, revisiting old places I went when I was a child, finding new restaurants, meeting up with my friends, visiting different museums. It truly was a great trip. I'll save those details for another time.
Alright, so what I can't forget to say is, you know those toys you have that you save for a moment you really need to entertain your baby? Okay... Do NOT hesitate or forget to pack those in an Easily Accessible part of your diaper bag.
(Need ideas? I packed a texture book full of pictures, words, numbers and bright colors, A sticker book I'll tell you about later and a new toy we got on the trip to keep it fresh and interesting)
Okay now I'll get straight to the part where I talk about the baby products that I just could not do without on this trip. After some hard thought, we decided to bring our stroller and I'll explain why below. Couldn't go without a travel crib, white noise machine, babies drinking cup, bibs, baby utensils, baby safe sanitizer wipes, changing pad in case you don't trust the environment and a few of her favorite toys including her favorite bath time toys, a warm blanket for climate change, baby detergent so you don't bring babies whole wardrobe, baby body wash, baby lotion, comb, her toothbrush, a thermometer and thermometer sleeves Incase baby starts to feel ill… Small list?
Ya, we've done many weekend trips, that I know when I'm over packing at this point. And I won't lie, I did pack a few other things like her soft baby towel, baby monitor screen/camera, head bows (which she hates) an extra blanket that I should've left home but wanted to have in case my baby needed extra padding under her crib, etc. but hey, I also like being prepared. And let me add, I didn't use any of the things I just wrote about. What a waste of space all the way to California. Expensive life lessons.
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. All products shown are recommendations based off my personal opinion after purchase and personal use.
Alright, I'll get to the important stuff. Brands. Brands to some of the most important items because I swear by all the products I use. If I purchased a product, you know I did my research and that they are bound to be unique. I like functionality and quality.
-Our stroller is a Joolz Hub stroller that I made sure was perfect size for a carry on and lightweight enough to be carried through the tight isles of an airplane. Sidenote, it's the perfect size for a petite woman. The tires are also great for all terrain in case your hikers like we are.
-Our travel crib is by a brand called Guava family. It packs up into a lightweight black zip bag that was an easy transport through the airport.
Helpful tip. If you check-in at the airport this item is free because it's a baby item. Baby items are free baggage, as per the Delta employee.
Back to my review, the Guava lotus everyday essential set is easy to assemble and fold down. I watched a YouTube video to learn assembly and disassembly and it's super simple. My baby loves sleeping in her crib. I personally never zip it up while she sleeps because I baby proof the environment (hotel room, guest room etc.) so it's a safe space if she wants to independently come to my bedside and let me know she is awake. (This always happens when we're away from home)
-The white noise machine I love is by a brand called Homedics. The device has a variety of sounds to choose from. My aunt actually shared this item with me and I'm so happy with it. My daughter's absolute favorite sound to sleep to is the white noise and ocean setting.
-Lastly, I want to share the brand of baby safe sanitizer wipes because I loved having these in my diaper bag especially while traveling during a pandemic. We use babyganics alcohol free toy, table and highchair wipes, so they are gentle enough for baby.
Now that I've shared the nitty gritty, I just want to tell you a little about how the trip inside the airplane was because I'm sure you're dying to know if we were that family traveling with the crying baby that everybody hated. And to answer you with no suspense, No we were not. My baby did so well, and I will take full credit for this one. Yes, I am that mama that kept it cool, covered my bases and did the job! (Just imagine a badass emogi here) So my entertainment skills were top notch and remember that sticker book I mentioned earlier? Well, a good Samaritan of a lady handed over this piece of gold while we were waiting to board on our way to California and pretty much told me that it was mostly for her sanity. She had a few of these on hand to hand out so that it would keep babies entertained during a trip she would also be on. Isn't that wonderful? So luckily, I had no use for it while heading into California because my little curious girl was entertained by the airplane and the screens. Might I add, we booked a night flight, so she'd sleep through the whole trip which didn't pan out. She was up for 2 of the 4 hrs. just shouting for joy at the screens and sounds and new faces. It was pretty freaking cute. And the last 2 hrs she was out. She breastfed and went right to sleep. And luckily the flight wasn't fully booked, and we ended up with a row to ourselves.
Now, before we end this post, I have to share about our trip home. My husband was on high alert with anxiety over our baby and the flight home, but I knew I had my secret weapons. A sticker book she hadn't seen since given to her, the texture book I brought along, and a toy grandpa got for her that she was really into. I was already thinking how we'd have the screens that kept her entertained on the way to Cali and can't forget about nap time.
Alright I'll just say it, she also did really well on this flight back. And actually, it was a very quick flight. It was only a 3 hour and 38-minute flight due to good weather. On this flight we chose to do an early morning flight to be home before dark to try and get settled before bedtime. We used screentime, the texture book, water, the stuffed animal that flew into the row behind us unnoticed, nap time and lastly the gifted sticker book. It was eventful. I had fun and got creative this time around because I refused to be that family. I even made finger puppets with the stickers which she absolutely loved. And soon enough we landed and were on our way home.
I won't lie and say it was easy but all in all she really did so well. When she did get fussy, I had 2 women to my right who were so happy to help play and entertain from afar. Babies just get bored and if you put it into perspective what they go through during travel, it's a lot for them. To be held in one place for a long period of time is really hard and I'm sure you get bored if you're in one place to long also. So, be patient, pack your best toys bound to entertain for hours and be grateful for people who are happy to help entertain your baby from afar. They are helping you out. Don't forget to say thank you. Even if they think it's weird.
- That Edgy Momma
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