Bringing Bebe: Travel Tips

I’ve received a few request from Instagram to share my travel tips for the bebe!  We’ve just returned from 5 days in Hawaii so I’ve gathered my notes to give you a quick breakdown from packing to planning your days while on vacation! I’ve also noted one of my favorite new products…

I don’t want to overwhelm you with traveling tips so I decided to keep this short because there are so many little details I could share. Comment if you have any other questions and I can answer!

For first timers- once you’ve booked your flight just call to let them know that you have an infant traveling with you. A copy of the birth certificate is fine to have in your pocket or on your phone.  Seldom will they ask but if your child doesn’t look 2 years of age or under, then they will check.

bebe on board

From my experience, it helps tremendously if your bebe is on a schedule  and sleeping through the night because then you can plan your holiday activities around knowing when the baby will eat, nap, and sleep. Liv’s first trip was at 3 months old. I have some friends though that did perfectly fine without their bebe sleeping through the night (not sure how much of the vacation they enjoyed though because I didn’t ask). I hear bebe’s are actually better on the planes at a younger age.

If you’re wondering things to pack– just think about the things you use daily like the bebe’s swaddle and wash cloths. Consider doing laundry while you’re there but always pack enough onsies for blow outs. We have a travel crib we use that’s super compact and chic. Call ahead of time to check if your hotel provides cribs. At the Andaz Maui they did along with a tub so we didn’t have to pack either. By the way, for tubs, find a foldable one like the Puj. 

Do use a very large roller suitcase like this to pack all the bebe’s stuff plus you can fit your stuff in there too! I love the roller and the various compartments that make it more organized for me. Less luggage = FTW.

Don’t overpack your diaper bag for the flight. If anything, just pack more diapers and wipes for longer plane rides. Other than that, the baby will just need a paci or bottle or boob going up in the air or landing. I also like to choose my flight times so that I can feed in the air versus at the airport. It’s too hectic at the airport!

Don’t forget your baby carrier! You’ll have to break down your stroller at security. You get to gate check your stroller and carseat for free. I purchased these covers to help protect them. Your diaper bag is a free carry-on for the baby and your milk is allowed. Bring a ziplock bag and ask for fresh ice on the plane if you’re bringing milk.

This is random but if you need to do the bedtime routine on the plane (like I did) a couple of tips may help. The bathroom is small so you’re not going to bathe or sponge the bebe. Instead use wipes to wipe her down. If you have a nursing cover, that could help with keeping it dark for the baby. This one is my favorite nursing cover by Chou & Chou. They sent me a couple to test out and I actually love them. It’s super soft, comfortable, and versatile. I admit though, I do not ever use a nursing cover. I’ve tried and it doesn’t work for me. But this is a great piece that I would use in other ways like as a blanket or for me a cape instead of a bulky sweater for the plane. One side has buttons so for the days that I need a button up top for easy nursing, I would throw this over and pull my other top down to nurse that way. It’s perfect for traveling as it’s easy to fold, stuff, and care for. Wrinkles shake right out. I let my friend borrow it and she used it as a carseat canopy for her son while we were in the park.
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On planning your days, use bebe’s nap time for transit time. That way, the bebe most likely sleeps while in the car or stroller moving (their fav!) and awake when it’s time to feed or activity time. For example, I would time it so that I feed and order when we get to the restaurant. Food arrives as Liv is done!

One new thing I tried while on our mini vacation to LA  was dinner after the bebe’s bedtime. We were able to go out to dinner with her sleeping in her stroller and the stroller canopy down to keep it dark for her. I followed the usual schedule with the bebe’s bedtime ritual and then instead of placing her in the crib, I put her into the carseat. The car ride to the restaurant helps to extra settle the bebe into sleep. Then we click the carseat to the stroller to have dinner. We don’t usually ever do this carseat to dinner method unless we are on vacation. Once we get home, either she’s so sleepy it’s not hard to put her into her crib or it happens to be her dream feed.

Another thing that many people talk about are time zone changes. In LA we were lucky it was a short trip and we could test out everything with traveling, including airport and security. I highly recommend a test trip before a big trip if you’re nervous or OCD like me! In Hawaii, it was a 3 hour difference, behind SF. From reading and talking to friends, it really depends on you for shorter than a week trip if you want to keep your bebe on her “home time zone”.  I did for Hawaii since it was only 5 days and I had brought my parents on the trip for help. I sucked it up and woke up early at 4 am for her feeds daily and then she had 4:30 PM bedtimes. That’s when enlisting the parents came to play– they would do the night watch so that we could go to dinner. We would usually bring back my parents something or relieve them when we got home. We’re headed to the East coast for 10 days next month but I am thinking she may do better staying on the “home time zone” since NYC is 3 hours ahead and 10 am wake ups and 10:30 pm put downs may work better for our schedule anyway.

Hope some of this was helpful! From my desk to yours, safe travels!

Photos taken with iPhone 6, Chou & Chou product photos with Nikon D40.

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