Well we did it. We survived our first “real” trip as a family. Two weeks ago we flew to Denver for my cousin’s wedding and I’ll admit, I was nervous about it. Wyatt had never been on an airplane before, and I feared it would be a disaster. I didn’t want to be “those” people with the screaming baby who annoys the rest of the passengers the entire flight. However, Wy was fantastic. He managed a quick nap on both flights, and the stimulating surroundings (and new toys I had bought for the trip) kept him entertained the rest of the time. The time change also had me a bit worried, as we were traveling west and going an hour behind our normal time zone. Wyatt’s bedtime had been pretty early since transitioning to 2 naps (like 6:15-6:30 most nights) and I feared he would need to go to bed even earlier while we were there. But the first night we were there we had a family function and kept him up later than usual and-surprise!- he woke up later the next morning and immediately adjusted to the time zone. We’ve even managed to shift his entire schedule an hour later since being home, so he goes to bed at a much more respectable 7:15-7:30 now. So the time change I had feared actually worked in our favor!
As this was our first time traveling by plane and staying in a hotel with Wyatt (besides the one night as a newborn when we moved), I made sure to read up/ask around for advice to help make this trip go as smoothly as possible. For any of you out there who have not yet braved a trip with your little ones, here are some tips that worked for us:
1.Remember essential items- We made sure to bring Wyatt’s sound machine, monitor, Pack n Play, umbrella stroller and, most importantly, puffs. Always remember to bring puffs. Whether your baby is tired, hungry, angry or bored, give him some puffs and he’ll be happy as a clam.
2.Feed baby during take-off and descent- I read that breast or bottle feeding helps keep the change in air pressure from hurting babies’ ears. We didn’t have to do this during take-off on either flight, as Wyatt was already asleep. However, I did feed him on the descent of one flight. On the other flight he was too busy playing to want to eat. But it didn’t seem to bother him at all. My pediatrician told me offering puffs could work well too, as it keeps their jaws moving to pop their ears. Yet another reason to remember the treasured puffs.
3.Create a bedroom in the bathroom- Sounds crazy, but other ladies that I know had raved about how well their babies slept when they put their travel crib in the hotel bathroom. So I figured we could give it a shot. We shared a two bedroom suite with my parents which made it work perfectly, as we had a bathroom to spare while he slept. We also had a handicap/accessible room, which meant our bathroom was quite large (I recommend requesting an accessible room for this reason). Wyatt slept like a dream in there (pun intended). He even took a 2 hour nap one morning, and he never naps that long at home! I’ve considered moving his bed permanently to our bathroom…
4.Maintain routines as best you can- This is hard, especially when you’re without the comforts of home. I made sure that we did the same things before naps and bedtime that we did at home. I think this helped reduce the anxiety that he may have otherwise had about sleeping in a new place. Sure, we had some tears at times. But he would typically fall asleep within minutes of being put down.
5.Remember to take the baby food out of your bag during the security screening- I forgot to do this on the flight back, which resulted in an additional search and re-scanning of the bag. When you’re already frazzled and running out of time, an extra 5 minute delay is not appreciated.
Hopefully those tips will be useful to some of you out there! We had a wonderful time on our trip. The wedding was beautiful, and Wyatt made a very handsome ring bearer. Pictures to come soon!