Traveling with a baby is much more manageable than it appears. We are no longer sporting a toddler around, but we did a bit of traveling with Perry when he was under one year (including a trip to Italy and Ireland!). I found traveling with a baby much easier than anticipated. I think a lot of it has to do with 1) preparing in advance and 2) adjusting expectations.
Below are a few things or items we purchased that helped make our trips smooth.
1) Travel bed/tent
I debated back and forth for so long about whether to invest in a Dock-a-Tot or bring the Pack-n-Play. I ended up purchasing a tent like this KidCo one based on a friend’s recommendation. We loved the tent as opposed to the Dock-a-Tot or Pack-n-Play. 1) It can be folded into a compact bag that we could easily throw in luggage. 2) It was well vented, making it a safer sleep option that the Dock-a-Tot. 3) A baby will get used to going to sleep and waking up seeing the same “ceiling” 4) It was super light.
The only downside was that I had to get on the floor in the middle of the night to pick Perry up or put him back if he got up. The tent was a complete win other than that! We started training him with naps a couple of weeks before our first big trip so he got used to it.
2) Carrier and travel stroller
Our schedule gets thrown way off when we travel. This is even more the case if we are going to a very different time zone. We knew that we would have down time here and there. However, we wanted to have a place for Perry to sleep when we were on the go.
We love our carrier because it is extremely ergonomic and provides great support for baby and Mama (or Daddy!). The MiaMily also had a lot of pockets for storing things like keys, wallet, and cell phone. It is also also visually appealing! A carrier is convenient for very crowded areas so you’re not trying to push a stroller through hoards of people. We have always used it at airports when we are carting luggage around!
We wanted to invest in an inexpensive travel stroller for our Italy trip because we knew we would be walking on a lot of cobblestone streets. I didn’t want to tear up our everyday stroller, so I got one that was light and could fold up easily. The stroller was especially great for evening walks to dinner! A travel stroller is also convenient if you choose to bring your car seat. Travel strollers tend to be a lot more compact than normal ones – one less heavy thing to carry around!
3) Download life-saving Netflix options
I give myself a little grace when we travel in the sense that I anticipate that some things will not go perfectly, no matter how well I plan. Perry gets little to no screen time most days. We decided to download a couple kid shows on the Netflix app on my phone to use in dire situations. This was so helpful for a couple situations we were in. Italy is known for its train strikes and we ended up having to hop on a different train last minute with all of our luggage, and I was able to pull out the show really quickly when Perry was throwing a huge fit in this crowded, time sensitive situation. We did not need Wifi to access it once shows were downloaded – really convenient if you are out of the country.
There you have it! Traveling with a baby will never be perfect, but I found that preparation and mindset truly allowed me to enjoy our travels, despite curve balls thrown our way. Stay tuned for traveling with a toddler because I am about to figure that out as we travel across country this week!
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