Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bear Ryan: Platinum Air Miles Member (Almost)

Bear is now 3 months old and has become quite the jetsetter. I'm kind of jealous of his life. He earned his "wings" at 2 months when we flew on his first trip to Lake Tahoe, CA, to visit my family for the holidays and this past week we returned from an amazing weekend in St. John, USVI, on the annual trip through my company. Bear isn't even 100 days old and he's logged quite some air miles. I hope he remembers all this...oh wait, he won't! 

Let me just say - traveling with a newborn baby is many things. It's exciting, nerve-wracking, sweaty and also really fun. And traveling without my husband to Lake Tahoe was a whole other experience that I can't describe. Having a husband/partner to travel with you is the key to the happy baby travel experience. Traveling alone...not so much.
Caneel Bay, USVI
But I am really happy we made these trips. Both were awesome trips and allowed Bear to be in new climates (hot and humid in USVI and cold/snowy/dry in Lake Tahoe). His ears never popped on the plane, which was my biggest worry and he slept through the whole ride. I now want to take him everywhere while he's this young. Wanna go to Tahiti, Bear?!  Yes - I think so. Traveling with a toddler will be WAY harder. 

Things to remember when traveling with a small baby:

    So glad THEY got to nap.....
  • Always feed your baby on takeoff and descents to prevent the dreaded ear pain. Or make sure they're sucking on something.
  • Book a seat for baby if you can. I held him the whole way to/from Lake Tahoe and it wasn't so easy. I cannot imagine if he was any bigger.
  • Disposable changing pads are GREAT.
  • Bring some bottles just in case it's too strange to breastfeed where you're sitting (i.e., a huge weird man sitting next to you...)
  • Pack as light as humanly possible. Repeat: Pack as light as possible. ONE carry on bag folks. This bag I now swear by. I got this after learning the hard way. (I totally took my Boppy on our very first flight. Not cool.)
  • Let the security folks know that you're bringing on milk. They will then swipe your hands for some explosives test. 
  • You will have to break down the stroller/car seat to go through security. Ask for help if your by yourself. Make sure everything is out of the stroller. Breaking it down and putting into the gate check bag, with a baby on your chest is HARD. Insert husband or partner into this part...or ask for help.
  • Get a gate check bag so your car seat doesn't get beaten up with the bag guys.
  • Window seat if you want privacy nursing. Aisle seat if you think you'll need to get up a lot. 
  • You must let the airline know you're traveling with a lap baby. They have to note it on your reservation.
  • An infinity scarf doubles as a GREAT nursing cover.
  • Take a few changes of clothes for baby AND an extra shirt for you.
  • 1 diaper for each hour of travel
  • Dress comfy! I was sweating because I was so nervous the first time...keep that in mind.
  • The changing tables that pull down in the airplane bathroom are actually kind of big and decent.
  • Ask the flight attendants for some "wings." Throw it in the baby book....
So get out there and don't be scared to travel with the baby. It's pretty exciting and not too bad. 

Safe travels! 
lake tahoe, ca!