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More Travel Tips with a Baby

by Amanda on March 30, 2008
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),Travel

airplane.jpg I am currently in Oceanside, CA traveling again with my baby. I have written before about traveling to the Philippines with my baby when she was seven months old. Now she is ten months old and mobile. Here are some tips that I have learned and done this trip that has helped our family. Hopefully this information will help you the next time you travel with your little one.

Bringing the Big Stuff

We did not buy an airline seat for the baby this trip, because the flights were short enough that we could hold her the entire time. We checked in her car seat and base. I was worried about losing them, but my friend said that they did not have any problems when they checked in their car seat. Continental Airlines made us put the car seat and base in a large plastic bag.

We used the stroller around the airport to hold our stuff and occasionally our baby. We checked in the stroller at the gate and it was ready for us right when we got off the plane.

Borrow or use the hotel’s pack-n-play if you can. We are in a nice Motel 6, so they don’t have offer a crib. We are able to borrow one from our friend to use while we are here. My friend also borrowed her neighbor’s pack-n-play to keep at her house to use for naps.

Buy Food and Diapers When You Get There

I packed enough jars of food, snacks, and diapers to last us two days to save space. Then we got here and I made a run to the local grocery store to buy all the food and diapers we needed. I like to buy Beechnut when I buy jars of food and they have them here too. Bananas and unsweetened apple sauce cups travel well. We also keep a package of diapers here with us in the hotel and take as many we need for the day.

Snacks, Snacks, and more Snacks!

Yes, every mother carries snacks for their little one. This is an age-old trick, but it is completely true! I am not sure how I feel about Gerber’s wagon wheel snacks, because they seem so unnatural and chemically created, but they don’t make a mess. During the trip I am being a little more lenient about her snack consumption. I give snacks to Ace when she gets fussy towards the end of the flight and while we are trying to eat at a restaurant. Mostly in public places!

Transferring From One House to Another in the Middle of the Night

Ace’s normal bedtime is at 6:30 p.m. We certainly did not want to be back in the hotel for the night at 6:30 p.m.! We opted to put Ace down at her normal time in a pack-n-play at our friend’s house and then transfer her when we were ready to go back to the hotel. Transferring did not go well the first time we moved her. The second night we got a routine that worked. We bring the car seat to the pack-n-play and move her as quickly and smoothly has possible. Then we get her to the car as fast possible. When we get the hotel room one spouse holds the baby while the other gets ready for bed. She doesn’t sleep if we lay her down with all the commotion going on. Then I nurse her and it is lights out and quiet time. We lay her down and everyone goes to bed. This process works well for us. It is nice to be able to go out with a baby and not feel tied down to the hotel room.

Traveling to a Different Time Zone

California is two hours behind our Central time zone. There are two schools of thought on moving time zones. One method is to pretend that you never left your time zone and stay on the same schedule that you always use. I think this would work well for babies who are very scheduled oriented. The other method is to try and adjust your baby to the new schedule by keeping them up later or putting them to bed earlier. Ace is a flexible baby so we chose to keep her up and get her on Pacific Time. It only took her about two nights to get adjusted. It will be a challenge to get her back on Central Time, but we are prepared and know that it is coming.

Staying calm and keeping an easy-going attitude has kept this trip a success. It also helps not to be in a hurry everywhere. We know everything is not going to go smoothly, but everything can be dealt with. Knowing that there is a grocery store around the corner has also been a big relief. Sometimes it is nice staying the States!

How about you? Do you have any travel plans coming up? How do you handle moving between time zones with your little one?

6 Responses to More Travel Tips with a Baby

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Kathy
    March 31, 2008 @ 12:31 am

    Hello Amanda
    Thanks for the valuable information.
    I believe, the tips you share from your personal experiences are more valuable than the information from books.
    I really appreciate you for using the blog in a right direction of sharing knowledge.

    Keep it up, Amanda!

    Best regards


  • Comment by Sharon M
    March 31, 2008 @ 1:50 am

    Seems like we’re always changing time zones! :)
    Those are all great tips Amanda! With the “moving time zones,” I think a lot depends on how long you’ll be there. Two, three days? Don’t worry about it; stick to the regular routine. Two, three weeks? It’s worth changing your schedule a little! Also, are you going to be meeting with people a lot at night, or more during the day? In the Arab world, people are real night-owls, so I’ve had to adjust by keeping my kids up a little later (they go to bed by ten, which is early by Arab standards, believe me! We have a neighbor whose 3 y.o. stays up til midnight or even one — I don’t even stay up that late).
    I have these little stackable cups that twist one on top of the other, and I’ve always used that to carry snacks. I’ve never been that thrilled with Gerber snacks either, so I pack Cheerios or goldfish, usually some cut-up fruit (or dried fruit, like apricots), and use the cups. They’re great b/c they’re re-usable, easy to wash, and don’t take up too much space.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Heidi
    March 31, 2008 @ 9:09 am

    Great advice Amanda. Whenever we go back home, the kids have to deal with the 2 hour time change as well. Our trips are at least a week, so we always adjust the naps and bedtime as well. They’re usually adjusted by the 2nd day.

    I love visiting San Diego! Have you visited Balboa Park, Hotel Del Coronado, and the infamous San Diego Zoo? Isn’t that zoo awesome (but overwhelming)?

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Trina
    March 31, 2008 @ 9:56 am

    LOL…I had all the wagon wheels left from the trip I took, it is the only time I have used them. And for the same reason, no mess!! It is the only big bonus to them. Other than that I would never buy them again.

  • Comment by Amanda
    March 31, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

    @Sharon – Those are great suggestions. I agree it is about how long you will be there. We have been here six days. Those are also great snack suggestions too. Ace can’t completely feed herself yet. So I like things she can hold and bit off of. But we do feed her small snacks with just a few at a time.

    @Heidi – Yes! We went to the zoo. It was great. Ace had a great time. EEEee! I love the pandas. :)

    @Trina – Thanks for snacks! hee hee. Yeah, we probably won’t use them after this trip.

    Okay. Gotta run. I am about to go meet SanDiegoMomma.com.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Mom On The Run
    March 31, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

    Great tips! We’re heading off to Disney with our 9 month old and our 34 month old on Sunday. It couldn’ve come at a better time!

    Visit me @ http://www.momontherun.net

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