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.
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
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!
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!