One of the things I swore to myself would not change when we had a baby was our love of traveling. Even before I was pregnant, we would go to places (like last year in Barbados) and I would say to Dan, we could do this with a baby, don't you think? (To which he would inevitably have to say that yes, of course we could, so as to not ruin my mood ;) ).
While our original plan to travel to Australia to a friend's wedding in April did not work out for several reasons, we were so excited when we found a time to take Magnus to Europe to meet my family and our European friends. We all had an awesome time, so I thought I'd share some tips and tricks we've found helpful for our trip. Keep in mind that Magnus was 4 months old at the time, and they say the younger the baby is the easier it is to travel with them.
Please excuse my "travel look" ;)
IN THE AIR
I actually had to take Magnus on the transatlantic flights by myself both ways, which definitely made me a little nervous beforehand. Thankfully it all went spectacularly well - Magnus has inherited Mama and Papa's travel bug! Nevertheless, here are some tips that were key to making a transatlantic flight with a 4-month-old stress-free:
For international flights, it pays to call the airline beforehand and request the bulkhead seat and bassinet. The bassinet can be attached to the wall while at cruising altitude - a huge lifesaver! We flew United - their bassinets can handle babies up to 22lbs (10kg).
In order for baby's ears to master the changes in pressure, feed them at take-off and landing. This one made me freak out a little bit at first, because especially landing takes a lot longer than one of Magnus's regular nursing sessions. But I found out that we were perfectly ok if I started feeding him right when I first felt my ears pop, and he would be ok even if he wasn't nursing for the last few minutes until landing. I also did not feed him a couple of times during take off or landing when he was asleep - that went ok, too, so I would not stress about it.
If you are bringing a carseat along, first off most airlines let you check it for free IN ADDITION TO a stroller, but make sure you double check. Second off, I would recommend getting this car seat bag from Amazon - it is only $12 and has saved us a lot of headaches when the airport had run out of big plastic bags.
This one might be a no brainer to all you organized mamas, but I thought it was gold when I heard it from a fellow mom: Try and pack a very organized personal item/hand luggage that you can get to (and get stuff out of!) with one hand.
Bring the nose frida!! Ever since we got stuck in Miami because Magnus caught a cold, I am living in fear of having to actually get on a plane with him when he is sick. That's why I now religiously pack the nose frida - so at least we can relieve the pressure somewhat, by nose-frida-ing and feeding at takeoff and landing - if we have to fly with a snotty baby. That being said, thank god we didn't need it this time around!
Our happy little traveler in his bassinet!
ON THE GROUND
Our itinerary included a lot of walking around and exploring, as it always did before we had Magnus. While we definitely slowed it down a little bit, I have to say we saw and did a lot!
Hands down the best thing we bought for traveling with Magnus was the Babyzen YoYo stroller, We loooooove this stroller! It folds up so small that it fits into any overhead bin and is so light that you can just fold it up and carry it if you have to go somewhere that is not particularly stroller-friendly. Fun bonus that we had no idea about when we bought it - it is just about the most popular stroller in Paris. Way to make us feel super Parisian-chic!
Another product we came to appreciate so much were these stroller pegs. We brought a couple of swaddle blankets and used the pegs to attach them to shade Magnus from the sun. They are also great to keep toys from being tossed to the ground - Magnus hasn't reached that phase yet, but we are bracing ourselves! ;)
Out and about in Paris with our Babyzen YoYo stroller!
Let me know if you have any other questions - or your own tips! - about traveling with a baby. I'll be sharing the packing checklist I made for Magnus, as well as a Paris bucket list for parents, in the next weeks.