If anyone’s traveled with a baby, you know it has the potential to be quite the experience! Depending on how many hours you’re spending in the sky, that sweet little bundle of joy can make your life one living hell! Add a toddler into the mix and you’ll soon discover you’ve got no time to eat, use the bathroom, watch your favorite movies or shows, or anything for yourself basically! Well, my husband and I have spent the past 8 years traveling back & forth from both Singapore (27 hour flight) and Dubai (18 hour flight) to the States, with a toddler and an infant, and I’m here to tell you it was no cake walk! Hopefully my advice and recommendations will help all you mama’s out there!
First things first…invest in a FLY TOT! (Thanks Dana ;-)) For yourself and your toddler! If you haven’t heard of a fly tot, it looks like this & they’re available on Amazon of course!
If you’re like me, I can’t fall asleep on a plane to save my life. I’ve tried wine, sleeping pills, oils, you name it…I end up staying up so long my head starts bobbing and I finally just pass out. My husband on the other hand is asleep before takeoff! On a flight from Singapore, Dubai, or any flight lasting over 18 -27 hours w/ layovers, I would do anything to make myself more comfortable. I’m short and I can’t fall asleep sitting straight up, so most of the time I end up contorting myself in some weird position to fit my whole body in the seat. With the fly tot (we’ve invested in 2 b/c Bennett will soon be big enough to use the other), but for now it’s mine :-), I can prop my feet up on it to sleep, use it to trap Charlie, or to put snacks and drinks on. Charlie thinks everyone wants to talk to him, feed him, chase him, he’s ALL OVER THE PLACE ALL THE TIME. An airplane full of people for him to bother is his Utopia. Couple that with trying to pump, breastfeed Bennett, and much less do anything for myself, it can be a very frustrating and stressful experience.
These are my top product recommendations:
First off…Strollers & Car Seats & the Airport. Airlines have become SO much more strict with what you can check and what you cannot. I am the opposite of a minimalist in all circumstances and I’ve learned the hard way with traveling! I don’t even want to think about how much we’ve spent on luggage! I think I need everything under the sun and most times I don’t need half of what I pack. Anyone else have that problem?! After trial and error, these items are what I’d recommend:
1 – BabyZen ‘YoYo’ – It is THE MOST compact stroller you will find; it fits in the overhead bin and is so easy to break down! I literally can hold Charlie and break this baby down. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Charlie is 20 months old and weighs close to 35 pounds. He is a BIG BOY. He’s heavy and scoots around faster than you can blink, which means he must be strapped at all times, unless Tony or I can walk around with him. It also has a compartment below that I use for his snacks/meals & toys when in the airport. There is an attachable cup holder as well if you’re like me and associate every airport with a Starbucks Coffee!
2 – Great Accessory for the BOB!
3 & 7 – The BOB!!! We have both the Single Bob and the Double Bob, but if you decide to lug this bad boy wherever you’re traveling, it WILL cost you a bag. However, if you’re planning an outdoorsy type trip that involves hiking, or walking A TON, I would say this is totally worth it. I run and walk a lot and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without my best friend Bob.
4 & 6 – The Britax Travel Cart…It is EXTREMELY convenient b/c 1. It holds the car seat, which not only comes in handy while in the airport, but also while the babe is sleeping on the plane and 2. You have a car seat to use wherever you’re going. We’ve had to rent a couple of times, and trust me it’s not pretty! Unless of course you’re going to Asia (they don’t require a car seat & also allow infants to ride on the back of scooters, motorcycles, or whatever means of transportation 🙂
5 – A Wrap (Solly Baby or the Moby) Bennett couldn’t be more different than Charlie. Bennett wanted his mommy 24/7 and didn’t care how he was attached, as long as he was touching me in some capacity! This lasted up until he was about 3 months old. Those International flights were THE WORST! He was a hefty 12-14 pounds that I was lugging around in a wrap; he was too big for the airplane bassinet and would only sleep on his stomach, which meant on my stomach!
8 – Snack Tray that stays put! This keeps Charlie entertained strapped in the stroller 🙂
9 – The Ergobaby (sighhhh) A lifesaver when you’ve got to walk long distances, finish tasks around the house, or put your baby to sleep! It supports your back and takes all the pressure off all the right places. Shop These Products:
There are a million ++ options for strollers and wraps etc. We invested a little more on these pieces b/c we knew we’d be using them A TON b/c of how much we travel back to the US to see family…let me tell you how much it’s paid off. I have friends that’ve spent over what we have on lesser quality products b/c of how often they’ve had to replace them. Not to mention, when you’re in the airport the last thing you want is a malfunctioning piece of baby equipment! Now…on to accessories that just make your life easier! Accessories can make all the difference in the world. Convenience & functionality is the name of the game! The right diaper bag, the right sippy & snack cup, utensils etc. There are some things you can standardize on no matter how many kids you have. Now, every baby is different when it comes to toy preferences, dummies, wubbies, and blankets. I will list what we’ve gotten by with, but again there are a million ++ options out there.
1 – This bib by OXO is great! It wraps up, so it’s super compact and I usually put my spoon in there as well. Easy to clean as well.
2 – Snack cup is a must that holds whatever snack you choose IN THE CUP & keeps any toddler entertained for a while…bonus!
3 – I love this changing mat b/c it folds any which way, it’s flat, and it’s large enough to cover any disgusting changing table in airports or space on the floor if there is no changing table!
4 – Pacifier Clips are a MUST HAVE on an airplane. I don’t even need to explain this one.
5 – These spoons are the best. They’re the perfect bite size for little mouths and they turn white if their food is too hot 🙂
6 – Mam is the only brand we use for both Charlie and Bennett. These are perfect for airplanes and dark rooms b/c they glow in the dark!
7 – Just a great accessory
8 – I ALWAYS bring a bottle cleaner and a small travel size soap to clean the spoon/bib/bottles/pumping accessories. I am still breastfeeding and pumping & let me tell you that in itself is a task, but when you add 2 international moves in the mix with all of that travel, it is ESSENTIAL that keep everything clean & organized…you NEED a bottle cleaner and soap.
9 – Babies and Toddlers have the WORSSTTTTT smelling diapers. I keep these little smelly bags in my diaper bag to keep everyone happy on the plane. Charlie doesn’t fit on those tiny changing tables in the bathrooms, so I usually have to change him on the floor in front of my seat. HE STINKS and smells up the entire area where we sit…these help contain the smell! Shop These Accessories:
I am a minimalist, I hate clutter, and I have no problem throwing things away. BUT for some reason when it comes to packing, I can find a reason to bring anything! I’m not sure how many of you have the same problem, but regardless of how many things I read about how to condense, it just doesn’t happen for me. The less I have to carry w/ my hands the better…a diaper bag I can wear is a must. I also have to bring AT LEAST 2 blankets and Charlie’s wubby when we travel. He has the most sensitive skin and cannot touch the airplane seats or blankets, or really anything they try to give him. The first time we flew w/ him, he broke out in this God Awful rash and we had no idea what was going on! His face was swollen, he was bright red, and had welts all over his body… we were freaking out mid air and couldn’t do a thing! Let me tell you that’s not a good feeling!
Shop My Kiddies Favorites:
This may a little TMI, but let’s get real, your breastfeeding kit takes up a ton of space! I am a breastfeeding & a pumping type of gal; I’ve just never been able to get Charlie or Bennett to drink enough out of my boob without nodding off to keep them asleep a decent number of hours! I feel like I’m up all night if I don’t know exactly how many ounces they’re getting. Soooo, I pump for night & breastfeed during the day…PLUS daddy can help at night! I have a separate bag/drawer I keep everything in at home, but when traveling I usually put what I need in the diaper bag. I usually bring 2 bottles to pump into and breastfeeding bags to store the milk in until I get where I’m going. I ALWAYS bring an extra pumping valve membrane b/c I’ve had 1 break on me flying, and I literally had to spend 40 minutes in the bathroom (20 min on each boob), using the 1 membrane that was working! I have this breast pump listed below and it is the BEST, the FASTEST, and has lasted me through 2 pregnancies. It charges quickly & comes w/ a car adapter and an extra battery.
Shop My Top Breastfeeding Recs!
I know this is already a super long post, so if anyone would like me to do a post on my staple outfits for traveling and/or what I usually pack for myself, then please leave a comment or DM me! If you have any questions about the products above give me a shout!