When my daughter was 3 months old, I decided to fly from Washington State to San Antonio Texas alone with her as a new mom. My husband had to work and we could not afford for him to take the time off and come with us.
The Sling that saved my Arms
My Grandma had recently passed away and my Mom drove down just a few days prior to deal with the Estate. She took her 13-year-old Granddaughter and her Fiance on the trip with her. At the time of planning this whole trip, I just didn’t want to be in a car with a little baby for that many days. Especially being a new mom and just not knowing what to expect.
The stroller and car seat combo was once again my lifesaver in many ways. But especially when I drove to the Ocean and had lunch on the water.
Well a few days down the road I had talked with my mom which resulted in a purchased ticket and a baby on my lap. I had traveled many times before but, not with a baby. I was clueless and had to do all sorts of asking around for tips on how to travel effectively, organized and not to bring to much but to bring what you need. I had SO much stuff, you guys! Not that all of it was not totally worth bringing but, if I knew what I know now I would not have brought SO much. Not to mention it cost me $55 there and back for my luggage.
She was Clearly ready for her adventure
So thru my experience of 10 days away from home and my husband for the first time with our daughter. I felt like I could share my tips and what I came to discover worked best for me personally but, also to share some insight on things you can do that will make your trip a tad more simple. Which I know all of us Moms want that.
If you can find these sunglasses that have a band to hold them on. Get them! Totally worth the money and look how cool she looks! Ha Ha
Now if you are traveling alone like I did, good for you! Taking that on is a task and if you’re doing it for the first time, I am applauding you all the way. I know its scary and might be tough but, you got this mama!
1.STROLLER (DON’T CHECK IN UNTIL BOARDING THE PLANE)
2.CAR SEAT (CHECK IN AS BAGGAGE UNLESS USING ON PLANE)
3.CAR SEAT COVER FOR CHECKING IN (PROTECT THAT SEAT)
4.PACK N PLAY (CHECK IN AS BAGGAGE)
(ATM’S AT THE AIRPORTS OR ANYWHERE RANDOM IS GOING TO CHARGE)
6.PACK SNACKS FOR YOU! (PUT THEM IN THE DIAPER BAG/CARRY ON)
7.TWO MORE DIAPERS THAN YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED (PACK IN CARRY ON)
8.TWO ADDITIONAL ONSIES (JUST IN CASE AND PUT IN YOUR CARRY ON)
9.EXTRA FORMULA IF NOT BREAST FEEDING (AT LEAST ENOUGH FOR TWO EXTRA FEEDS)
10.WEAR THE BABY IN A WRAP IF YOU CAN (IT WILL SAVE YOU ON THE PLANE)
I know that seems like a crazy list of items you NEED. But let me explain why I brought all of these items and that I am glad I did.
The stroller was my saving grace! I had to run from one tunnel to another and it was about a quarter mile. I was wearing a 3-month-old baby who was hungry, a stroller I stuffed full with 2 bags and my purse and I was covered in sweat from running and panicking I was going to miss my flight due to a late arrival. I even fell getting off the first flight! I fell backward trying to kneel down and open up the stroller. No one helped me and it was so embarrassing. So a lesson from me, BE VERY CAREFUL when opening your stroller if you are front or back heavy. I was carrying two bags a baby and my purse before loading up the stroller and adjusting myself. Even tho I struggled opening it, It helped me carry all my things and push it around. Just check it in at the gate before boarding your flight and pick it up at the next arrival. Easy peasy and its free!
Car seat and the car seat cover were big for me. I had a car rental in Texas waiting for me and I knew a car seat was needed to drive my daughter around. So, of course, I had to bring my own. Personally, I would never trust anyone else’s car seat or car seat rental. You just never know and it made me more comfortable to have mine. I purchased a car seat cover on Amazon for $15 and it was durable enough for that ONE flight. I had to duct tape the entire thing back together when I got to Texas. I was thankful my car seat was not damaged by an open bag cover. So I suggest learning from me and buy the fancy ones. Don’t try and take the cheap route, you could end up with a damaged car seat. Plus it saved me money on adding a car seat rental to the bill of the car rental.
This was not an option as she needs somewhere to safely and properly nap while we were away from home. I thankfully got the stroller and car seat checks in for free. However, the pack and play was treated as luggage and I paid $25 for the fee there and back. Pricey tag but, something that is an absolutely necessary item. I only had a twin bed to sleep on while I was away and it made me nervous sleeping in such a small space with her. Which is another reason why the Pack and play was needed. I am glad I packed it even tho all of these items were crazy lugging around.
Snack and Cash! Two things I made sure I packed with me on the plane. I knew that I would get hungry and was not going to cave and pay 3 x’s the cost of snacks. Even tho I caved and got a coffee. I only brought cash with me on the trip which was nice and I felt like a lot more convenient for me personally. A lot of places don’t take cards believe it or not!
Extra diapers and Onesies! So I got really lucky and my daughter did not have any blowouts. Pheew! This does not mean it can not happen and that you should not be prepared if it does. Just toss a couple extra diapers and onesies for the flight. ( Maybe even an extra top for you )
I was breastfeeding and formula supplementing. On the plane, I would just feed her the disposable formula bottles. Mostly because I wasn’t producing enough to provide keeping her happy on the plane. They come in 2 oz bottles and seriously were incredible time savers and mess savers! Enfamil makes them and they were amazing for the flight! Highly suggest them if you are formula feeding for travel!
So not all moms wear the babies nowadays but, it has become more popular. I was encouraged by other moms to try it out for more freedom with my arms. I used it here and there but not as much as I thought I would have. Well, let me tell you, that wrap saved my ass when I was running around and hustling thru the airports trying to use both hands to accomplish the tasks needed. I really encourage all moms to use a wrap when traveling. Not only that but on the plane during the flight it makes for a lot more comfortable ride for the baby and saves your arm from going numb! Promise you won’t regret it. It might get warm but, we gotta pick our battles!
So now that I have shared with you the things I think you should NOT forget. I now would like to share a short list of things you DO NOT need to bring with you but, just buy it when you get to your destination! Allows you to pack lighter!
1.ALL THE DIAPERS AND WIPES FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP
2.THE ENTIRE WARDROBE FOR BABY
3.YOUR ENTIRE WARDROBE
4.A MILLION TOYS
5.MEDICINE AND EMERGENCY KITS
Okay, I am not saying all of these things could not be used. I mean I did pack exactly everything you see here, plus some. But that is why I am sharing the list with you. I didn’t pack ALL the diapers I would need but, I sure packed a lot. Don’t do it! Just go to the store when you get there and buy what you need. As far as wipes go, well that is always a tough one because I realized on my trip I was using those for everything. So in my personal opinion, you don’t need a ton when you actually fly. But, buy a shit load while you are there because I swear I went thru so many more while I was gone.
Wardrobes… Okay I know it is really easy to over pack because we never know what to expect with a place we don’t live. So we were coming from dead Winter in Washington State to Blazing hot Texas Summer basically. Thirty degrees to ninety! I was not complaining but, I needed to pack properly! My daughter didn’t have summer clothes yet and neither did I after having a baby!
So I did what any new mom on a budget would do, I wore maternity shit the entire time I was there and of course Maxi dresses and skirts! It all worked out tho, thankfully. Not going to lie I over packed for us both and ended up coming home with more stuff. If anything the biggest tip is knowing your gonna come home with items, so don’t overpack. It was tough packing for Gracie but, I went to a second-hand store and grabbed a few dresses, a suit, some shorts, and shirts. It was so hot that she hardly wore much. Keep it simple and light. I say 6 items of each of everything! We also had access to a Washer and Dryer which helped!
Bring Toys but, bring literally some teethers, a favorite stuffed animal and maybe a few small items. When they are under 6 months you don’t need a ton of toys. Just entertain, play and go sightseeing! Gracie loved going for walks and seeing the palm trees and we drove to the Ocean also! Glad we bought a suit.
I packed some medicine for teething and her basic kit to check for fevers. It added up being 6 small items in a small bag. I didn’t end up even needing any of it except gas drops.
Okay, I also packed 7 blankets, you guys. I can’t even believe I am admitting to that because to me now that is ridiculous. But if you would have said that to me then, I would give you purpose for each one of those blankets. Um, it was 80 degrees and hotter every single day. LMAO! So basically what I am saying is, she only needed maybe 2. Don’t be a dork and pack as if your going to Antarctica. How I confused Texas with Cold is beyond me.
Here are some Link that will QUICKLY guide you to some items you might find useful!
These were Not the ones I used. I used the ‘INFANT” yellow box ones. But i can only seem to find the 8 oz containers for those. So I wanted to put up the “Newborn” option for the 2 oz containers. Life savers! Grab a cheap little screw on cap and nipple! Wa-La! Click the Photo for more Info!
The Ring Sling was a huge arm saver. It allowed me to rest easy during the flight and gave privacy if I needed it for feeding. ( If you want that ) I encourage considering the wrap with the ring and not tying it. But that is my personal input. I didn’t enjoy the idea of a big knot. The ring did bother me from time to time. But nothing that was worse than a numb arm. Ha Ha
I hope some of this was helpful for you and your future trip if you are planning one. There is much more i could go on about with tips or just my input. But, that could turn into something much to long to read. So for now I will leave you with this, Believe you can do it, Pat yourself on the back for every single small success along your journey and don’t forget to give yourself grace and patience for all you will endure over your time away from home.
X O X O
BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
journey to the little things