5 Tips for Traveling With a Newborn

Before Luna’s first flight (our recent trip to Texas) I spent a lot of time planning what to pack for her. Husband and I have learned to be very light packers over our years of traveling. I even wrote a blog about it. We only bring carry-on’s, even if it’s a 3 week trip on the other side of the world. It’s just so easy and fast, but is it possible to keep this up with a baby?

In typical me fashion, I made a list. I wrote down everything I thought baby needed and then tried to narrow that down to things she actually needs. Of course, I still had to make my own list of things to pack for myself. Sadly, I had to narrow down my own list even more than normal in order to fit in baby items.

After all of this planning and list-making Husband and I managed to each pack one carry-on suitcase, a backpack for him, a diaper bag for me, a car seat and that is it! We did not have to check a single thing. I was a little worried we didn’t bring enough, but we were going to my parents house, not a third world country, so we could always run to Target if we needed something.

I chose not to bring our stroller because I thought it would be a pain in the airport and assumed we would have to check it. Turns out you do not have to check it. They will stow it for you as you board the plan. After towing around our chunky baby in a car seat through three airports I was DYING for a stroller, and I have one bicep that is much larger than the other. We also wanted to bring our “tote-a-tot”, but the night before we left we discovered that it doesn’t work for an infant car seat.

photo of someone else's tote-a-tot
photo of someone else’s tote-a-tot

 

Luna had to come out of her car seat to go through security, but that was it. We were very fortunate that none of our flights were full and she could stay in her car seat next to us on all four flights without us having to pay for an extra seat. However, if they had been full we would have held her and the flight crew would have stowed the car seat for us. (BTW the attendants and flight crew on American Airlines were super nice about the baby, but sadly they no longer offer wings for first flights.)

hehe, love this pic of her strapped in her car seat in the airplane seat
hehe, love this pic of her strapped in her car seat in the airplane seat

Also, did you know that you can fly with liquids if they’re for your baby!? I had 2 bottles of breast milk that weren’t even questioned. Any medicine or food for a baby is allowed. You just have to show it to them as you go through security.

We learned a few “do’s and don’t” on this first trip, and I think it’s worth sharing what I learned with you! Here’s my list of Top 5 Tips for Traveling with a Newborn.

  1. Only pack the necessities. I brought:

-one outfit for each day, but they were mostly onesies. If she was older I’d bring less.

-2 blankets. I love the Aden & Anais brand best because they are very lightweight and breathable. I use them for EVERYTHING.

-one new pack of wipes

-diaper rash cream

-diapers for the plane. We were going to order a box of diapers from Amazon and have them sent to my parents ahead of time so we wouldn’t have to pack a week’s worth of diapers, but my Mom ended up picking up a box for us because she is awesome like that.

-a toy

-travel-sized baby bath products

-2 pacifiers

-breast-pump and bottles

-one bottle of breastmilk

-nursing cover (scarf from Marie Nohr!)

-a couple of zip-loc bags for dirty clothes or stinky diapers

-car seat

And here’s what I wish I would have brought:

-my Moby wrap

-a stroller. However, if we end up traveling overseas this year (fingers crossed!) we still won’t bring a stroller. I’m hoping a Moby wrap or Ergo Carrier will suffice.

-one of those little clips that attaches the pacifier to your bag or baby’s clothes. I cannot tell you how many times we lost both pacifiers.

  1. Consider the final destination. If you are traveling to a place with a washer and dryer than you won’t have to worry about having lots of extra outfits or blankets. If you have the address you can ship or order some things from Amazon ahead of time. Amazon is awesome! You can order diapers, wipes, formula, snacks, whatever you need and have it waiting for you when you arrive. Also, we did not have to pack a bed for Luna because my parents have a pack-n-play at their house. However, hotels should all offer pack-n-plays or bassinets as well. Just call ahead of time.
  1. Be prepared for a crying baby on the plane. Luckily, Luna only cried for 2 minutes before take off on one out of 4 flights. It was great. However, those two minute were absolute hell, and I can’t even imagine having a screaming baby the whole flight, but it happens so the best you can do is be ready with a pacifier, a bottle or a boob! Also, do not look at the strangers sitting around you. Their glares will not make you feel any better or help in any way. (Best advice I’ve ever got!)
  1. Don’t sweat it. Spit-up on your clothes? Dirty Diapers in the airport? Missing your ridiculous amount of baby gear? No big deal. Everyone feels gross in an airport already, so a little spit up isn’t going to hurt your ensemble. Just throw a baby blanket over that mess. I actually had a stranger offer to hold Luna after I changed her so I could wash my hands. And, you know, you don’t really need all that baby crap. We survived the week by swinging the baby in our arms, bathing her in the sink or with us and just listening for her cries when she went to bed before us.
  1. Tag team it. Thank God for awesome partners, right? We took turns holding her, calming her, rocking her, changing her and everything but feeding her. Let Daddy keep baby company while you grab some Starbucks. Have him check the flights, carry more bags or pick up a snack while you do the feeding. Whatever works for you, just make sure you do it together. We all love our babies more than anything, but sometimes you need a break…especially if you’ve been up and traveling since 3:45am.

That’s it. Our first trip with Luna was smooth-sailing! Hope all future trips go this well!

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Cheers!

4 Comment

  1. Awesome thoughts! I just flew from VA to CA at the beginning of the month with our now 8 month old, and although we did pretty well, we could have used the tips! 🙂

    1. Glad you thought they were useful. I’d love to know how it was your 8 month old! I have a feeling that there’s a big difference between traveling with a 2 month old and and 8 month old! Unless they both just sleep the whole time. haha

      1. Oh no, she didn’t sleep the entire time. She is a really good and easy baby, so she stayed pretty happy, but she only slept for a bit less than half of the trip. We kept toys to play with her and let her look out of the window. She loved it most of the time, but man, she ate a lot of food on the way. I guess that babies eat out of boredom too. 🙂 Overall it was not bad and well worth the experience, but we did have a few rough spots.

        1. that’s good to know! I’m sure we will be traveling with her a lot so I need all the advice and tips I can get. I guess eating out of boredom is better than screaming out of boredom. I think if there were only a few rough spots than you’re doing great!

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