Oh how fun it was!
This photo was taken in an airport bathroom as we were on our way to go visit our family in California. It was Gia’s second time on a plane and she did just as well as she did the first time. What’s the trick? Benadryl? NOPE!!! (I don’t recommend giving your child over the counter meds just to knock them out.) But strategic planning! From the time our flight took off down to when she was going to eat and what she was going to eat. I had to plan everything!
I believe Gia might have been 6, maybe 7 months old in the photo and was still taking several naps a day. I planned for us to leave on an early morning flight so that she would catch her afternoon nap on the plane. I made sure she had a big breakfast before we left to the airport and held out on giving her a full serving of milk while we waited to board the plane. Once on the plane and just before take off, I gave her a full bottle. This was so that as the plane climbed in altitude, her ears would pop as she swallowed and so that she would be full and fall asleep. It worked like a charm! Gia was sleep within minutes from take off and always woke up for a little water upon landing.
The most challenging part about traveling solo with a baby is carrying the luggage and the car seat. In the last almost 2 years of Gia’s life she has been on the plane 3 times, each time it was just her and I. Each time that we’ve traveled I’ve carried one suitcase.. no wait.. once, I carried 2 suitcases, but one was empty so it was light, and a diaper bag.
Here’s some tips for traveling with your little one:
- Have a 2 suitcase maximum.
- Make sure the suitcases are on wheels. Just recently I had a suitcase that was not on wheels and it was terrible!!! Trying to carry everything and hold on to a toddler was a WORKOUT! Not mention that NOT ONE person offered to help me… but that’s a different story for a different day.
- Pack light. By that I mean, consider buying things like diapers and milk or formula ( if you don’t breastfeed) once you get to your destination.
- If your suitcases don’t have some type of strap consider getting one. Take the strap and connect them like a pully-system, that way you only have to really pull one.
- Wear your child or put them in their stroller. I wore Gia the first two times we take a plane a to travel. My only issue was that my back hurt so bad after getting through TSA and to our gate. It could’ve been a couple reasons as to why, but I think she was just heavy! Lol 😉 This last time, I opted for a stroller and that wasn’t bad. Instead of carrying her diaper bag I attached it to her stroller. The downside about the stroller is that you have to take them out of it to get through security. If they are sleeping this can be hectic. Also strollers just like car seats can be checked in for free.
- Make sure the essentials for you and your baby are in their diaper bag. I had enough bottles for 3 meals for her, and enough trail mix and dried fruit as snacks for myself. I also had a change of clothes for her and I just in case she had accident, and just in case she had an accident that got all over me. (It happens.. *shrugs*)
- Utilize the curbside check in. That way you don’t have to carry all of your stuff a couple of extra feet, when they do the same thing and closer to where you’re coming from, most times.
- Get a cover , or use a trash bag, to cover the car seat. Just like your lugage will get tossed and thrown around, the same thing will happen to your car seat. It also might get wet, for whatever reason. The cover is simply to protect the car seat so that it can be utilized when you get to your destination.
- If you are renting a car, consider going to customer service desk and asking for help with your luggage. I can not remember the name for the life of me, but this last time I traveled I desperately needed help! I was renting a car so I didn’t need my dad to come up to the airport. It took me a while to figure out, but almost every airport, has these guys with big dolly like things that they use to load your luggage and things on and take them to wherever you need to go for a tip.
- Travel while they are young. Age 2 and up require their own plane ticket which can get expensive!
Can you think of anything else to consider when traveling solo with your little one?
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