After just 8 months of being a mother, I humbly considered myself a pro at traveling with a baby. Lorenzo received his passport when he was merely two months of age and since then, he has traveled a total of 32 flights (and counting). What's the catch, you ask? I've done ninety-five percent of those flights alone.
Together we've faced numerous local and intercontinental flights, insanely brief as well as endlessly long layovers, infinite immigration lines, loss of luggage and as if all that wasn't enough, delays (believe me, every minute is accounted for).
All this has taught me that I am capable of overcoming even the most horrible of journeys with my little traveling companion. So here are my tips & tricks:
- Gear up: Make sure you bring your stroller (most companies let you check it in right when you're about to enter the airplane), baby carrier (makes it easier to go through security & leaves you "hands free" to fold over the stroller, scan documents, and carry the bags on to the plane - I use the Ergobaby), a diaper bag and last but not least, a purse (your baby gear doesn't count as your carry-on meaning you can actually pack something for yourself). I recommend a backpack purse, not only are they making a major comeback but it'll be just one less thing to carry. Some of my favorites are HERE, HERE & HERE.
- Pack smart: preparation is key. It will make everything a little easier. In the diaper bag remember to pack more diapers than you think you'll need, wipes, two outfits for the little one and a sweater in case it gets cold inside the plane. Bring A LOT of snacks as well as some toys, books and a blanket. As for yourself, bring a change of clothes and toiletries.
- Wear comfortable clothes and slip on shoes.
- Ask to be seated in a spacious seat. If you're not already seated in a rather vacant aisle then ask the stewardesses if there's any other available seats so that you can be as comfortable as possible.
- Protect their eardrums: When Lorenzo was a newborn I made sure to breastfeed him during take off and landing, now I make sure he drinks or eats a little snack.
- Last but not least, ask for help. It's not till recently that I've finally started accepting the fact that I am not almighty. But the thing is that although it's hard to believe, most people don't know what you're really going through so they may not know how to lend you a hand. So spare yourself the unnecessary trouble and ask for help.
People often ask me, how do you do it? And the fact of the matter is that you just do. Take it one hour at a time and try to cherish every minute of it.