Traveling with children can be a fairly daunting task, a friend once told me it could be compared to swimming in a pool of sand. You just don’t get very far, very quickly. Just like so many other things in life change when you become a mom, so does the way you travel. Gone were the days of one carry on, you now have to pack spare outfits, bottles, toys and so much more. My son Atticus and I make a pretty nice travel duo. We have flown around the country together, and in under 2 years racked up 87,000 miles together. Not too shabby for a tot that up until recently did not know how to zip his sweater. I’d love to say we have traveled to foreign lands, but MommyCon keeps us pretty busy domestically, and we have kept our travel to seventeen contiguous US states. When we travel I try to keep things concise and efficient. I learned long ago that some comforts of home should just be left behind, and in hopes of inspiring my fellow mothers to take flight and travel, here are five things I try to always remember when traveling.
Never travel with full-size anything
If it is not confiscated by the TSA for being suspicious, you still run the risk of a mid-air shampoo explosion deeming the product a mess and somewhat unusable.
Wear the baby
Most of us know the benefits of babywearing such as the ability to gallivant hands-free, but one of the most imperative reasons we use a baby carrier while traveling is to provide a familiar level of comfort. Despite Atticus’ mellow-ways, travel can be exhaustive and frantic, wearing provides him comfort and acknowledgment that even though mama is busy dodging high speed luggage flying off the baggage carousel, all will be fine when he is snuggled into his mother.
The aforementioned hands-free element of using a baby carrier allows me to push our stroller (with the car seat for the plane–the car seat is the safest place for baby when on the plane), hoist luggage, navigate the tight airplane aisles, and even procure coffee from the nearest Starbucks.
Easy on-off shoes
I have made this mistake more times than I care to admit. Despite thinking I have this travel thing down, I have worn strappy sandals, skin tight thigh high boots and a plethora of other shoes that do not slide off easily while trying to place my laptop in a bin while simultaneously nursing Atticus in our Ergo.
Limit the luggage
Attempting to haul around baby plus a trio of suitcases is just a recipe for disaster. If you can check your luggage curbside this will make navigating the airport even easier, just remember to double check that if you have purchased a ticket for your little one that she has her own boarding pass. Trust me, there is nothing worse than waiting in the hot security line to then find out you were handed two of the same boarding passes, and have to go all the way back to check-in.
Your baby will sense if you are stressed out. Breathe deep, focus on getting to your destination, and walk through that airport like you’ve done this 1000 times. On the occasional trip I have felt nervous, stressed or otherwise not relaxed, those have been Atticus’ most “interesting” flights. Our babies feed off of our energy. If mama is relaxed, baby can be relaxed.