Well, we finally got our plane tickets to visit my brother and his wife in PA. Now to begin preparations for our first flight and week long trip with the little one. (I took her to a cousin's wedding when she was 6 months old, but it was only a couple days and we drove - 13 hour drive- with my parents and 3 dogs. That was crazy, so maybe this will be a little easier.) Little Miss is no longer nursing, so we will have extra things to take with us that I did not have to consider for that last big trip. Especially since I am making my baby food.
So now that our first airplane trip with a child is over, how did it go? What went well? What would I do differently next time?
First thing first, our daughter is 14 months old, and she did great (as far as I am concerned) with her first flight. She slept through take off and just watched the landing on the way there. She struggled some on the way back, but we circled the airport for about 20 minutes, gaining and losing altitude as we waited out a tornado warning. This was hard on Little Miss's ears, and I could not have done anything else for her that I wasn't already doing. I was brokenhearted that her ears hurt her and I couldn't help, and also just didn't care if it was bothering others because she is so young I just figured others could deal with it. I didn't bother fretting about if others were upset or anything because all I wanted to do was try to console her as best I could until we landed and her ears could stop hurting.
As for the packing, and what I took with me, here goes:
We now have to take our car seat (last trip she was in an infant seat and that was a little easier to carry around than the bigger one will be), and we are trying to figure out the best way to transport the car seat through the air port. She has her own seat so she can travel in it, but we have to carry it through the airport and sadly it does not go in a stroller like the infant seat did.
We decided to purchase the travel cart for our car seat to make it easier to transport it through the airport.
This purchase was one we would definitely recommend! It made it so much easier to take the car seat with us through the airport. We placed Little Miss in the car seat and wheeled her around in it. This made it much easier for us to transport everything we had with us. VERY glad we had this with us!
I will take a head rest for when she falls asleep, so her head does not fall. This works wonders on car trips for us already.
This worked great on the trip as well. I knew I liked it for the car trips I have already used it for, and it worked great on the plane as well.
Carry-on bag & contents:
I purchased this Vera Bradley bag for my carry-on so I can take what I need for Little Miss on top of what will fit in her diaper bag. This will give me more space for diapers so I definitely do not run out. I was lucky and got it for about half price after finding it on one of my coupon apps on a special sale.
This bag was WONDERFUL! It held everything I needed on the plane for Little Miss, plus my iPad and a few things for me. I will use this bag for future trips (car or plane) and whenever it wears out, I will purchase another one. I loved it!! (This picture only shows some of what I had packed in the bag, but it actually held more than just this.)
This will hold snacks, drinks, diapers, food, toys, books, and much more to keep little one occupied, though I expect she will sleep most of the trip. I will take the snacks, drinks, and food in her Tommee Tippee cups, food gear, and bib as this is our favorite. We also love the teethers from Tommee Tippee and will take them with us.
I LOVE my Tommee Tippee products. They were amazing for this trip as well.
I take tethers for toys so they do not fall on the ground. These are wonderful! I also use a strap for her cups when in the stroller or in a highchair at a restaurant.
Yep, still love these tethers for the toys and drink cups. They were amazing at keeping things off the ground when Little Miss would get tired and drop something as she nodded off, or when she would get excited and drop something while reaching out for something else.
I found this brilliant idea on Pinterest and will definitely have a bracelet like it on my daughter for the trip. I have made one with her name on it and another with my phone number. She will wear both while we are traveling, just in case (though I don't even let her out of my sight at home -and hate even leaving her with family members for just an hour on rare occasions-, so I won't while traveling, but unplanned events do happen).
These were great on the way there as well as while we were in Hershey Park. The only problem I had was Little Miss is in the stage of taking things off her wrists and head when she gets hot, and the humidity made her miserable. She ended up taking the bracelets off and dropped them, but I didn't realize it till later that day and they are lost now. I guess I will be making new ones before our next trip.
I plan to take a couple wet bags for wet clothing if that happens, or small ones for spoons, etc. I have made a few large and one small, as well as an open wide bag which sits well to use for medications for little Miss.
These were great, as expected. The bag I used for medications worked perfectly at containing the small mess that occurred when the small bottle with baby wash in it leaked on the plane on the way there. I had placed plastic under the cap on all the bottles except that one, and that one is the only one that leaked. It stayed in the bag and did not get all over everything, so I would say the bag worked perfectly.
I made a small travel changing pad and a small wet bag to put it in with diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and hand sanitizer. This is now a part of my regular diaper bag and will be going with us on the trip.
I have seen the diaper changer stations that are all in one type changing pads. They look great, but didn't fit the diaper cream well for me. This bag holds the cream, wipes, diapers, hand sanitizer, changing pad, etc and does great for me. I am so glad I made this. It actually stays in the diaper bag full time, and I can just pull this small bag out and take it to the restroom for a change rather than taking the whole diaper bag. LOVE it!!
Pinterest also had great travel game ideas. Some of the ones I pinned are for older children and will be used on future trips, but some can be made for my daughter's age and I will have these in the carry-on bag as well. Here is one I will make adjustments to for her age by using pictures and such rather than letters.
I want a stroller, but don't want to take our good stroller as I don't want to risk it getting mangled in transport. Nothing against airlines, but they are moving so much stuff and are in such a hurry, sometimes things get mishandled in the rush and I don't want our good one ruined. So I am planning to get a stroller like this one. I like how the back can either be padded (and warmer) or have the mesh showing (thus keeping the baby cooler).
This stroller was wonderful. I liked having the mesh back for the hot, humid weather as it allowed more breathability for Little Miss. This helped her, since she was miserable in the humidity. We stepped outside and her head was covered in sweat in 1 minute. Poor girl! The only issue I had was it didn't lean back so when she fell asleep in this stroller her head fell forward. I had to tip the stroller onto only the back two wheels. But, that is why this is just the travel stroller, not our regular, every day use stroller.
I saw this stroller organizer for umbrella strollers since they do not have the fancy storage our regular stroller has. I made my own version of this for much cheaper and am pleased with how it turned out.
Here is my stroller organizer (made with special material I found at Hobby Lobby).
This stroller organizer helped us our and made it convenient for water cups, phone, etc. This worked exactly as I wanted it to. LOVED it!!
I love my Boba wrap and so does my daughter. This has been one of our best purchases and can hold a child up to 35 pounds. We also just found the Boba Air and ordered it so we can take that with us. I have not decided if I will take both or only one. We absolutely love the wrap but the air folds smaller and is lighter for travel.
We ended up taking the Boba Air because it was lighter and took up less space than the wrap. I still much prefer the wrap, but for travel, the air worked like we wanted it to. Little Miss seems to prefer the wrap as well, so we probably won't use the air very often, but it was nice to have in case.
My brother and his wife do not have children, so they do not have a high chair at their house. I made two different types, and plan to take at least one of them with us. I have a simple one I use at my parents' house in the high chair they have in which my little one slides out without this. The other one (most likely the one I will take) fits on pretty much any chair. I somewhat followed a pattern for the pink version, but the blue version is one I created myself after seeing something like it on the internet. I didn't want to pay the full price, so I made my own pattern and created the blue version for myself.
I took the blue travel high chair for this trip. It was nice to have at my brother's house so we had a high chair there. It worked perfectly and I am so excited I figured out how to make it. It folds small and was exactly what we needed.
Lets be honest. Taking a Pack & Play on a trip where we fly is not realistic or cost effective. Problem- Little Miss will be 14 months old on this trip and will need a place to sleep on the trip. Solution- this portable sleep tent. There are several different versions, but this is the one we purchased.
This sleep tent made me a little nervous at first. We used it for a couple weeks prior to the trip (placing it inside the actual crib) to get Little Miss used to it. She would take 2 hours to actually fall asleep, so I was worried how it would do on the trip. She ended up getting used to it, and it worked out well. The only issue I had is it does not seem like it will last very long. I wish I could have gotten the PeaPod version instead. I will keep watching for it and when it becomes available again, I will get one for future trips and future children.
I made cord keepers for phone, kindle, etc. to keep the chargers from getting tangled. (I made some for my husband as well - in blue - so we will see if he uses them or just gets frustrated with tangled cords.)
These were nice to have. I made 2 for my husband as well, and they were great.
I used mesh bags to pack outfits for Little Miss:
The mesh bags I used (lingerie bags from Walmart) to separate Little Miss' clothes worked great! I loved having outfits already together and having a bag for laundry when it was dirty. This will be used again.
The dehydrated food from NurturMe did not go over so well. Little Miss did not like the texture or something about it and had a hard time eating when she had that food. I had to really coax her to eat it and even bribe her with every other bite as something else (bread, yogurt, something). I ended up making some baby food at my brother's house just so she would eat something. Maybe this is due to her just being used to the food I make rather than the NurturMe food, but she didn't really like it. It was a great idea, and may have been fine if she was used to it.