Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Have Baby, Will Travel: Take 2

I have a good little girl.

She was very cooperative on our solo flight to Texas to visit friends and she may have just earned herself a few extra gifts from Santa.

I scheduled a short weekend trip to visit college girlfriends and to celebrate a new little Girly. I initially was going to leave our Girly at home, but my girlfriends brainwashed me to think it would be a good idea to bring her. In truth, I did think it would be easier to travel with her now versus in July because we could use the pop-up stroller and would have a car seat waiting on the other end.

I tried to pack very strategically - one carry on, one checked bag, the Maclaren umbrella stroller and ourselves. I remember a friend saying a while back that you wanted to bring the minimum necessary in your carry on so you had full use of your hands. My normal "diaper bag" is a small, open top canvas bag from Lands End, which wouldn't work for this trip. I brought a real diaper bag, with all the pockets, and it worked well. Something that you can carry like a messenger bag, or even a backpack, would be great.

In the carry on: diapers, wipes, spare outfit, snacks, 2 bottles with formula powder (one more than I anticipated needing), 2 small bottles of water, ziploc bags, one toy and one book, food, small disposable plate and plastic knife, itinerary, copy of baby's birth certificate, my wallet and phone.

We were super fortunate to have a spare seat next to us on the way down, but still did OK on the way home with a full flight. Our flights happened to line up pretty well with nap time and she slept almost the whole way each time. We sat on the aisle in case of an emergency diaper change and it gave me a little more elbow room to maneuver.

Security was the only challenging part, and it really wasn't too bad. It does amaze me how little most people offer to help a mom with full hands. The last thing I wanted to do is sit her on the floor, so I juggled pretty well. (Don't we get so good at that?) Dress strategically - slip off shoes for mom and baby, or even better, pack baby's shoes in your carry on. No sweater or jacket unless easy to remove. Declare all liquids so they can inspect them separately. We gate-checked our stroller and had no issues. Remove all cup holders or doo dads from your stroller first - the other couple waiting lost some of their things in the luggage bay abyss under the plane.

I would definitely attempt this again, although clearly it will all be different next time!

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