(Above image from Bruce Dale, National Geographic)
Sorry I’ve been MIA lately – a killer cold kept me out of commission for days, and now we’re about to embark on a weeklong NYC/Boston trip with Little Miss, so the site will be post-lite for another week.
It feels like we’ve been attempting to pack for DAYS. Traveling with a kid is so drastically different from the pre-baby days when we just tossed clothes in the night before and called it a day. Now it feels like trying to solve a great big puzzle called “How Do We Cram All This Stuff Into One Check-In So As To Avoid More Luggage Fees” and “How Did This One Bag Become Entirely Filled With Snacks?” and “Why Are Cold-Weather Clothes So Damn Bulky?” There is just So. Much. Stuff. Distractions, snacks, baby gear, diapers, wipes, straw cups, chargers, it feels never-ending. It looks like a hurricane went through our apartment.
Then we stay up all night trying to download shows to distract Little Miss with on the plane, especially since we did not (gasp!) buy her her own seat (I’m milking that fly on lap for free before 2 ’til the very end) – which I may very well regret, but too late now. Here are some of my essentials when traveling with a baby, and now, toddler:
* Baby Carrier – when you’re lugging the million bags at the airport, it’s nice to be hands-free with a Beco or Ergo. They even let you wear your kid through security, so you don’t have to worry about taking them off. (Although taking your shoes off with a baby strapped to your chest is a bit of a hassle.)
* Kindle/iPad/iPhone anything really – We try our best to limit screentime before 2 like the AAP recommends, but all bets are off when it comes to entertaining a busy toddler on a small plane filled with people who may or may not like kids. Stock your device with kid-friendly apps and shows, and pray to the gods that your kid doesn’t lose attention too fast.
* Kid headphones – to watch or play aforementioned device. We got these. So far she wants nothing to do with these on her head when we try “practicing” at home, so we’ll see
* Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Nothing whines more than a hungry toddler, and airplane food blows (and is no longer free on most flights), so pack way more food then you think you’ll need.
* Stickers – it’s amazing how long kids can be amused by something as simple as stickers.
* Buy drinks for the people around you. Sure, they may be fuming in their heads that they’re stuck next to the couple with kids (to which I say ‘it’s way harder for us, then it is for you’), but nothing a few cocktails can’t fix, right?
We’ve been debating the bringing a car seat thing, since she won’t be able to sit in it on the plane anyways, and we plan on utilizing public transportation at our destination. It seems like a rather bulky item to have to tote around, and we’ve heard mixed feelings from parents who decided to take theirs. Thoughts?
Bon voyage, and see ya later!