on her first trip to TEXAS! grandma & grandpa were super excited to see her & super sad to see her go. the trip was of course too short as it always is, but i’m so grateful we had the opportunity to do it. sometimes you take things for granted like simply being able to hop on a plane & go see your family whenever you want. not everybody can do that. so even though it was a quick trip it was still so nice to see them. she is in such a wonderful phase right now discovering new things everyday. i am glad they got to see her first time in the pool & watch her roley poley across their floor. she is quite the water baby! she loved the pool & didn’t have an ounce of fear. she had a few floatys but she preferred to be held & float around on her back – then splishy splash. although she did splash herself one time in the face – she seemed very confused & not super happy by this but continued to keep splashing, so she clearly didn’t really mind, or is a slow learner. i think this was the only time all trip grandma put her down 🙂 for most of the trip so she was quite spoiled for a few days, but that’s okay. & also… madison is a terrific flyer!!!!! who knew? she was as good as you could possibly expect a 6 month old to be in a confined space & i have realized she is quite the little flirt – smiling at all her fellow travelers & putting on a show. she even received some compliments on how good she was!! mommy’s little traveler, i just love her.
i did read a few blogs & plan our packing weeks in advance like a crazy lady – but i did pick up some tips after our first attempt i felt i’d share with other new parents traveling with babes.
1.) make sure you pack extra diapers in case of delays — we packed what we thought was enough to get us through the 4 hour flight, HOWEVER due to delays & one airport blowout requiring an outfit change… we were left with 1 diaper 15 minutes before boarding time. & side note to everyone, they do not sell diapers in the airport. i would also like to point out as soon as we started to take off madison also, had another blowout. this caused brian & i to glance at each other with a look of pure terror & think OMG WE HAVE TO USE THE LAST DIAPER. i was prepared to strip him of his clothes & use his polo as a homemade diaper if needed
2.) buy a new toy! something she hasn’t seen or played with to avoid a meltdown. this should buy you a good 20-30 minutes. we bought one that made sound & had a light (for when it’s dark on the plane) she was very intrigued by this. we also brought her sophie OF COURSE! why are babies so obsessed with this thing?
3.) bring your ipad/iphone – for us we were able to play the mickey mouse club house hot dog song on repeat for her which she LOVED & now mickey mouse is haunting my dreams. there is only so many times you can hear “hot dog hot dog hot diggity dog” without wanting to rip your hair out – BUT happy madison = happy mommy & daddy
4.) pay for the extra leg room! it’s worth it. especially when you’re constantly getting into your bag for new things & changing positions. it’s worth the extra dollars
5.) check your bags! this is also worth the dollars! only carry on what you need for her & a few necessary items for yourself because you want to have free hands for entertainment. we wore madison in the bjorn & carried her baby bag & brian carried a backpack with our stuff. i am so glad we didn’t have to lug bags around the airport, especially when we hit the big delay on our way back home. i needed my two hands for holding stuffed curious george & teething toys (in between cups of coffee…)
6.) keep your schedule. even though your traveling & it’s difficult with time changes, try to keep your babe on the same schedule as much as you can. make sure she gets in her naps! or you will have a cranky pants babe
7.) suck suck suck during takeoff! make sure you have something for her to suck on during take off so her ears pop! we tried to time it so that madison was ready to eat during take off – i am not saying this was easy, but we entertained her as much as possibly to distract her enough from her hunger that she was ready to go to town when the engines revved up. so be sure to have boobs/bottles/pacis ready – whatever you can get her to take.
8.) bring a solid – if the baby is on solids. we did this because madison isn’t too messy of an eater right now when we feed her & we used the OXO tots baby block containers because they are literally spill proof! we filled them up with sweet potatoes (her favorite) & she was happy as a clam. this will also buy you a good 20-30 minutes of flight time happiness
9.) bring a changing station. we purchased the jonathan adler diaper changing station for travel. this little guy is a life saver!! you can tuck diapers & wipes into it & carry it (instead of the entire diaper bag) into the teeny tiny airplane bathrooms. changing a baby on the plane is an adventure in itself. we hit some turbulence when i was in there i felt like i was trying to lasso a bronco putting the diaper on madison. she thought it was a roller coaster ride & was dying laughing the whole time as i held myself steady, her steady, dirty diaper in one hand, clean diaper in reach so she didn’t pee all over everything… if video footage would have been possible, it would have been a real gem.
10.) bring zip lock bags! in case you have blowouts (to put dirty clothes in) – dirty diapers – dirty spoons – slobbery stuff – etc. they’re also great to store small clothing items in like socks so you aren’t digging through your BIG bag looking for them
11.) dress your babe in layers! sometimes the flights are freezing & sometimes they are sweltering. in our case – we had such a bizarre flight home – it was freezing one minute & blazing saddles the next. be ready for both
12.) travel bibs are great– they need to be small to be tucked away. the skip hop tuck-away bib is IDEAL. it has a catch all pocket & it folds into it’s own pouch after use.
13.) sophie the giraffe (& other toys) toy strap – since madison is at the age now where she wants to throw EVERYTHING. it is a game to her. i throw & you pick up… over & over & over. this is helpful on the plane so that she does not rocket sophie a nearby passengers head.