Holiday Traveling

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Or we can title this one:

How not to be the embarrassed parents with the crying baby on the plane.  You know, the one that cries The. Entire. Flight. 

The holidays are here….which probably means that you’ll be packing up for a trip to see the family or having the family all crowd into your house.   If baby is tiny, it will probably be the latter, but if you’re going to be in the air with your little one this Christmas, here’s some tips to help make the journey easier.

  • Travel lightly.  This is where minimalism becomes really cool.  Other parents will admire you and ask “how do you do it?”  Easy.  Just don’t pack a lot of junk.  You will likely have a washing machine wherever you’re going or a hotel that will wash clothing for you.  You don’t need to take the bouncy seat, the jungle gym, and baby’s entire library.  Use the famous packing rule: lay out what you think you’ll need and then half it. 
  • Have pacifiers at the ready.  Lots of them.  Those things have a way of disappearing….falling under seats, out of diaper bags, etc.  Keep one in your pocket, a few in the diaper bag, and one in your purse.   Sucking on a pacifier will help calm baby, and keep sensitive ears clear during takeoff and landing.             

  • Bring toys and a book to keep your little one engaged.  A stuffed monkey with a teething ring, the giraffe, or a set of plastic keys.  The best is to pop in some toys that are unfamiliar to baby, novelty always helps.  Many babies resist sleeping on airplanes, so be prepared to entertain. 

  • Walk the aisles frequently. Confinement exacerbates crankiness, so get up and stroll.  All the way to the restroom.  Then back up the aisle again.  All while meandering around the somewhat annoyed flight attendant who wants to give you a grumpy look but can’t cause you have a baby and well, they’re supposed to be nice to parents traveling with infants.  Walking serves as a distraction for baby, and can also help put him or her to sleep.
  • Wrap your car seat and stroller in plastic before checking.  You’ve invested a lot in these, and if you don’t cover them, they will get mangled on the journey.  You  don’t want a lot of dirt, snow, ice, etc to get on the fabric.  Unless that car seat is nearing retirement, cover up.

  • Chucks pads.  Whoever thought to use these as diaper changing pads was brilliant~ it was probably a hospital nurse.  Blue chucks are the best travel pads~ can also be used on your diaper changing pad at home, which will save the cover from having to be washed all the time.  You can sneak in diaper changes on the airplane seats easily with these: just lay it out, change, then roll up and dispose.  Absorbent and waterproof.
  • Have baby wipes at the ready.  It doesn’t take long for new parents to realize the versatility of baby wipes.  Not just for changing diapers, but for cleaning hands, mouths, spills, etc.  Make sure to have a pack in your purse and diaper bag while traveling. 

  • Dress baby appropriately.  Is the snowsuit really necessary?  If so, at least pack it instead of wearing it during travel….getting onto a stuffy, crowded airplane dressed like an eskimo can be uncomfortable.  You don’t need to dress for winter until you’re actually at your destination.  And remember to always take off snowsuits, jackets, and blankets before buckling up baby in the carseat. The seats are not as safe with extra bulk, as the padding doesn’t allow baby to be buckled in tightly enough. 

  • Wear your baby.  Bring a carrier or wrap so you can wear baby through the airport, it will be easier and more comfortable.