Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Traveling with a Baby

I was feeling pretty nervous about our first big trip with Lucy. We would be flying from Denver to Atlanta, and then driving ten hours from Atlanta to Sanibel Island. And then, we would be doing it all over again the following weekend. Yikes.

But, as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Lucy was more content when we were traveling than she was when we were relaxing at the beach. How is this possible? Well, aside from many sleepless nights praying that all would go smoothly, I think I had a lot of very good advice...

 {Lucy sleeping like a baby on the plane}

Here are the tips I received that helped me most...

- I was most nervous about the flying part of the trip. Mostly because I didn't want Lucy's little ears to hurt, resulting in her screaming non-stop for three hours. My friends told me that - if a baby is awake - the best way to make sure their ears don't pop is to let them nurse during take-off and landing. Lucy actually slept through both take-off and landing on our flight there, but coming home, she was awake for both. I let her nurse, and sure enough, zero crying. In fact, she was smiling the whole time. I was so relieved.

- We tried our best to book our flights during times when Lucy would ordinarily be asleep. Our flight out was  early in the morning, around 6 a.m. so we had to leave our house around 3 a.m. We completely underestimated the time it would take to check our bag and navigate the airport, and so we actually almost missed our flight. We made it to our gate just in time, and I was amazed that Lucy slept through the whole ordeal, including security and a Home Alone esque sprint through the airport to catch our plane. She slept through take off, woke up once on the plane to eat, and went right back to sleep again. Just like she would if we had been at home. Our flight back to Colorado was in the early evening, around Lucy's ordinary bedtime. She ate as we were taking off, played with us for about an hour, and then fell asleep. She woke up to eat just as we were about to land, and then fell immediately back to sleep. 

- I know sometimes it's necessary to bring a car seat when traveling, but I found that it was so convenient not to have to lug a car seat around. We brought a light-weight stroller, which is also useful for carrying other things through the airport, as well as the trusty Ergo carrier. We used both, and getting through the airport was super easy. Having Lucy with us didn't slow us down at all. We also checked my suitcase, so that my hands would be free to push the stroller and carry Lucy through security.

- M's parents were nice enough to find a car seat and a pack'n'play for us to use, so we didn't have to bring those things with us. That made our lives so much easier! We also discovered that you can rent car seats from the car rental companies. You pay a little extra, but so worth it in my opinion!

- While driving, we obviously had to stop every so often, so that I could feed Lucy and change her. This turned out to be not such a big deal, and we took advantage of the breaks to fill the car up with gas or use the restroom. We ended up stopping as often as we would without a baby.

I'm sure it won't be so easy every time, but I feel much better knowing what to expect. We all survived Lucy's first trip and are no worse for the wear. Thanks for the advice, friends :)

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