Are you thinking about traveling with your babe but a little nervous to? Not sure what to pack in the bag that you can't get to and the one within arms reach? Not sure what to pack at all or how to time things out properly? I get it! Johanna and I have taken 3 trips, 1 via airplane and 2 via car. I was nervous as hell to take her on a plane and I can still feel the anxiety from it. It was just me and her. She was only 7 weeks old and I was so unsure about taking her on a plane that I almost didn't go. Let me just say, it was quite the experience. I planned everything out in my head, literally every scenario possible except what actually happened.
Everything went so smoothly and she was an angel until we went up for take off….. a blow out! I was sitting in the middle seat between 2 older gentlemen who were in awe of her until they realized what had just happened. Then they were extremely quiet. I didn't expect them to offer a helping hand and I probably wouldn't have taken the help but I was a bit shocked that they just sat there in silence. Have you ever sat in the middle seat of a fully occupied plane? Have you ever had a 7 week old baby with you?!
Part of my planning involved her being in the moby wrap for the duration of the flight. Which was only 45 minutes. I put her in it right after we got through security and she came right out of it 10 minutes into the flight. Because the blow out went right through her diaper, clothes, blanket and the moby wrap! Cleaning her up in my lap was such a task but I'm so glad my type A personality allowed me to pack properly. Here's what I put in our carry-on bag:
-2 changes of clothes for baby -1 change of clothes for me -2 bottles of breastmilk -wipes/diapers (TSA tested my wipes for bomb residue) ;) -diaper rash cream -blanket -swaddle -2 receiving blankets -burp cloth -soap -manual breast pump just in case -milk storage bags -wallet with ID's and such -chap stick -phone charger -portable sound machine -car seat (I had to bring it for transport after the flight but you can check it right at the gate and the flight attendants will take care of it for you and have it waiting when you get off the plane)
I'm sure you're thinking that's a bit excessive especially if you're a seasoned Mama but I can't tell you how glad I am that I'm so excessive. I used everything in that bag on that flight the clean her up. It took me almost the whole flight just to get her situated, changed and fed. At that time I still had a slight fear of public nursing so the bottles were clutch. Now a days I wouldn't hesitate to throw her on the boob (with a nursing cover). If you had seen me walking through the airport you probably would've thought, “oh yeah that's a first time Mama, for sure." I probably looked absolutely ridiculous with a big packed diaper bag on my back, carrying a car seat with baby in it, an empty moby wrap tied and ready for use and a coffee because of course I had to have my coffee. I arrived at the airport super early and was able to nurse her in the car. The flight was super early (planned on purpose of course) so I was able to make it so I nursed her in the car then fed her from a bottle 2 hours later without being interrupted by security checks, etc.
Now, the flight back I was a bit smarter. I upgraded my seat to economy for more leg room. That was an empty flight and Johanna slept the entire time. Ha! Yes! The flight back was really late at night and I did the same thing regarding feedings. Nursed her in the car and fed her from a bottle 2 hours later. Overall, the trip went just fine! I remember thinking to myself that she's just so fragile. I had to protect that little tiny thing with everything I had and I'm sure everyone could tell that I was thinking that the whole time.
Now the trips in the car were a bit different than the flight. The first was easy peasy because I was a passenger. Packing was a bit difficult because I also had to pack for Cookie but i pretty had a bag within arms reach with the same things I had in my carry-on. We took this trip when Johanna was 10 weeks old and we left super early so the trip was quite a breeze. It was a 5 hour car ride and Johanna slept up to the last hour. Feeding her and keeping her entertained was easy since I wasn't driving.
However, our last trip involved me driving and us leaving mid-day. It was just Johanna and I so I needed a bag in the front seat that I could reach without necessarily having to pull over. I packed the following: -2 bottles of breastmilk -4 toys (in case she lost one that I couldn't get to while driving) -blanket -snacks for myself -water for myself -water for baby
I also put items in it such as diapers, wipes and diaper cream so that if I did have to pull over it would be at hand. I didn't want to have to dig through any bags. This was a short trip (only 3.5 hours). Johanna slept up until the last 20 minutes which was amazing! Since she was already 7 months old for this trip she could hold her own bottle. Great for me, I just popped the top off and handed it to her. She was a happy camper and held out with a cry for the rest of the ride!
So if you're thinking about traveling with your little babe but you're nervous, don’t be! You'll have to do it eventually unless you literally don't go anywhere. I believe the earlier the better so you can create a fun travel buddy! Once you've done it once you'll be a pro! Everything may not go perfectly the first few times around but you'll get it down!