More Travel Tips with a Baby
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?