So I think I can finally say I’ve “recovered” from our vacation because yes, unfortunately, traveling overseas with a 6 month-old, while very fun, was in no way relaxing. Here’s what flying looked like:
St. Louis – Chicago (45 minutes, early evening)
Chicago – Zurich (8.5 hours, overnight)
Zurich – hotel (2 hours by bus, early morning)
And coming home . . .
Hotel – Zurich (2 hours by bus, early morning)
Zurich – Chicago (9 VERY LONG hours, afternoon)
Chicago – St. Louis ( 45 minutes, early evening)
Are we crazy? Yes. Did it work and everyone survive? Yes. Would I do it again? Maybe.
As logic would tell you, being on an airplane for that long with a baby is hard. Confined areas for extended periods of time for children, and let’s be honest adults as well, aren’t the best situation. Here are some super helpful things I either read, experienced or were suggested to me about traveling overseas with an infant:
1. Request a bassinet from the airlines. Long flights have bassinets available that latch on in the bulkhead rows. Unfortunately for us, they were already reserved and taken on both of our flights. This would of made flying a much more pleasant experience, but you live and learn.
2. If you are nursing bring blankets and clothespins to create a barrier while feeding. At 6 months, baby snob is easily distracted and often flailing her arms about when I’m trying to feed her. In an effort to avoid a nip slip with the nursing cover, these provide extra protection. Just use the clothes pins to pin the blankets on each side of you to the seats.
3. Bring disposables of everything. I know it is very bad for the environment, but you don’t want to be carrying around dirty bibs and poppy changing pads for a week! We got disposable bibs, changing pads and diapers. Disposable burp cloths would of been nice too!
4. Get a baby carrier and use it frequently in the weeks leading up to the trip. We have an Ergo, which I cannot recommend enough! This thing was a lifesaver. Prior to the trip, she had never napped in it for me, but practicing before we left made her more comfortable in it and used to sleeping in it. We took her EVERYWHERE in the Ergo.
5. Book a seat for the baby. The car seat is the safest place for baby on the plane. Make sure your carseat/carrier/pumpkin seat (whatever you call it) is airline approved – it should say so on the seat – and that you know how to buckle it in without the base.
6. Is your baby teething or maybe starting to? Pack pain meds and Hyland’s teething tablets in your carry on. You don’t want to be caught over the ocean with a teething baby.
7. Request a hotel room that is “accommodating” for babies. For us, this meant we got a room with a huge closet that the crib could easily fit in. While we could get to our clothes when she was sleeping, at least we didn’t have to tip toe around her in the room at night or during naps.
8. Throw the schedule out the window. Don’t even try. Everything will be thrown off, just roll with it. You can get back on track with you get home.
Have you ever traveled overseas with a baby? What are your tips?