Parenting

My First Time Traveling With a Baby

I have been going back and forth for sometime about whether I should write this post or not. The reason for this is that I didn’t plan for it before hand so I didn’t really document any parts of this trip so I could write a well thought out post. However, I wanted to share this experience with you guys and talk about how much of a great memory it was. Sharing how our first trip with a baby went and what I learned from it can help other moms out there who are getting ready to travel with an infant/toddler.

Β For starters, the idea of getting on a plane with a 1.5 year old was absolutely terrifying to me. Actually, just the thought of being in an airport with her was terrifying to me. My daughter is not the type of baby who can be given an iPhone/iPad and can sit there and entertain herself. She’s a very active baby and her idea of passing time/playing is running around the whole place and climbing on anything she can get on until she goes to sleep. So you can imagine how uneasy I felt about going on this trip and being confined in a plane full of strangers for hours with my sweet but oh so active little girl! While I couldn’t predict or control the way my baby would actually behave on this trip, there were things I could do to make it go as smooth as possible.

1. Baby Traveling Checklist

The first thing I did was make a checklist of the things I would need. Actually, I made two separate checklists. One was the usual list I make of things we need for ourselves. Then I made a separate one for her. Since this was our first time traveling with a baby I wanted to make sure I had everything covered and didn’t forget anything important. This really helped to get me organized and a lot more comfortable to get ready for this trip. I made a neat version of this list and you can find it below. I made this version from newborn- 24 month old so I added more things than I actually needed but figured some of you guys would depending on how old your baby is. (Press down on the picture to save right on to your phone or Pin it!)

2. Mental Meal Planning

Another thing that helped me prepare for this adventure was thinking ahead of what foods I can give Emma. At home I like to give her a wide variety of healthy and nutritious foods. I knew that this probably wouldn’t be the case on vacation. I have been to resorts in the past so I had a pretty good idea of what types of foods they serve especially in their buffets. So I decided that I would focus on making sure that she had a good breakfast packed with nutrition. Like this I wouldn’t have to worry so much if later on during lunch or dinner she didn’t get to have much of a healthy meal per say.

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I must say that I really got lucky with the resort. They were very kid friendly and had these great pouches with delicious combos for them. Emma loved them so I would grab a couple at the breakfast buffet and give them to her as snacks during the day. This helped with keeping her foods as healthy as possible.

Β 3. Entertainment Packed Carry On

This one is obviously a no brainer but I really didn’t expect it to be as important as it was. My carry on was pretty much full of all her toys, stuffed animals, books, snacks, and a blanket. She did much better than I expected on the plane and part of this was having a lot for her to do. However, these came in handy when things didn’t go as planned. As soon as we got to the airport we hit a road block that prevented us from boarding our original flight. We ended up having our arrival to Punta Cana delayed by eight hours and with an unexpected four hour layover in New York. Everything I packed came in handy times 10!

There is only so much you can do in an airport for four hours. Especially when traveling with a baby. We ended up having to have lunch at the airport as well which was not the plan. I think you can imagine that the food not only wasn’t good but my daughter didn’t want to have anything to do with it. She barely ate so I had to improvise. I bought her a plain Greek yogurt from one of their stores and added some nuts I had. This was something we obviously didn’t plan for and if I hadn’t had all of those toys, books and snacks this experience would’ve been way harder than it already was. So yes, fill up your carry on with as much entertainment for the baby as possible! No such thing as too much.

4. Don’t Worry About Schedules

One thing that did made me very worried was her sleeping schedule. Emma is on a really strict sleeping schedule for both her nap and bed time. So I was afraid that this trip will throw her off. I mean, I knew during our trip she probably wouldn’t nap or at least not her usual three hours and her bed time would be later than usual. I was ok with this, after all we would be on vacation. My concern was her not going back to her usual routine once we got back.

Something that really had me concerned was the fact that she likes sleeping in her own bed. She refuses to co-sleep ever and she is too big for a pack and play. When we arrived at the resort they offered us a crib which we said yes too. They never brought it to our room however. At first I was going to call and have them bring it. But, I saw it as an opportunity to practice some co-sleeping. I want Emma to be flexible and be able to adjust to any situation.

She did have a hard time falling asleep at first. To her it was still paly time! So I turned off the TV and all the lights and said it was sleep time. She went right to sleep shortly after that (granted she was exhausted from a long day of traveling). The other nights she adjusted just fine but again she had long days in the pool, beach, and dancing at the wedding we attended. She went to bed way passed her bed time every night and didn’t take naps. Again, I had made my peace with this ahead of time so I was ok with it.

When we got back it did take a few days for her to adjust back to her regular schedule. So I just made sure that I had her doing activities during the day that would ware her out so that she would want to go to sleep. Even though I was so jet lagged I still took her to story time at the library, she plays with the other kids so she definitely burns some energy. I took her to the playground, the beach, the park. She was back to her normal routine in no time. So I really worried for nothing!

Despite the bad airline experience and stressing over everything, this was a great trip. We made unforgettable memories, celebrated a beautiful wedding with great friends, and best of all saw our baby girl enjoy her first vacation. We got to relax and enjoy time at the beach and by the pool. Best of all, we got to spend time together as a family. It truly was a great time and I’m looking forward to our next family vacation.
First experience traveling with a baby was an unforgettable one. I talk about how I prepared for it and how it went. Free Printable Travel Checklist!

10 Comments

  1. Such good tips! The more prep you do, the easier it becomes! Great work making a magical memory!

    1. Thank you! It definitely was a wonderful memory!

  2. I can completely relate to this.Making the checklist really helped me out when travelling with my little one or else I would have forgotten half of it.

    1. Same here! I’m so glad I made a list!

  3. So glad you had a great time! Handy tips in there. I love a good checklist and I’m a complete overpacker!

    1. Thank you so much! I used to pack lightly but this time with the baby I definitely over packed lol!

  4. Great tips! I like to plan out my snacks/toys in intervals so I always make sure I have enough. They are a lifesaver! And I totally agree with you, traveling allows kids to become more adaptable and open to new circumstances. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That’s a great idea! The last thing you want is to run out of snacks lol. Yes I think it’s important they become adaptable to any situation from an early age! Thank you! 😊

  5. I remember my first time traveling with my oldest-she was 2! She was so easily entertained and excited by this new adventure. A plane was so new to her! My youngest was 2 months old-now that was a mission lol!

    1. Aww that must have been such a great experience to see her be so excited for her first trip! I would think a little baby would be easier cause they would just sleep. But I did try to avoid traveling with her until now because it was very intimidating to me!

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