Traveling with Babies & Kids....What to Pack, Airplane Naps, Vacation Schedule...and how to survive until you get back home

travelbabytoddler

As a Work-at-home-Mom, nothing gets me more excited than the idea of leaving my house, especially when it's somewhere far, far away with my husband to be able to relax and escape every day life.  And dishes.  And routines.  And schedules.  Ok wait, my kids are already fighting in the backseat over a Elsa singing microphone, and we aren't even at the airport yet.  So much for relaxing.  As much as I want to throw everything completely out the window when it comes to wake windows and nap times, while I'm out of town, unless I'm pregnant on another Babymoon with my husband (HAHA), my children will undoubtedly be on every one of my "escape #SAHMLIFE" vacations for now- which means schedules, routines, and consistency....well loosely anyways ;)  

Now- how will you enjoy your vacation with your little ones without needing another one when you get home?  In this post we will cover it all: What to Bring, impromptu vacation schedules, sleeping arrangements, and how to not be "that Mom" on the airplane (although the Lord knows I've been "Her"!"

What NOT to Forget when traveling overnight with children:

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What NOT to forget when traveling overnight with children! You want your child to feel comfortable in new (temporary) surroundings and sleep all night, riiiight?  The idea is to keep your hotel room or the Grandparents house as similar as possible to the child's nursery. (We have our beach house trip coming soon and I'm already stressing that I'll forget something 🙈) Clockwise from left:

🎒 White Noise: In my child's room, I'm currently using this humidifier from Crane.  For travel, this is the travel-sized Sleep Sheep, but even a small fan can fit in a large suitcase. If you're using white noise in your child's room (hopefully you are), don't forget this!

🎒  Dock-a-Tot (not pictured):  This is PERFECT for road trip vacations due to their size, but these are amazing to take with you on vacation if baby is used to sleeping in one already at home.  You know how you don't sleep that well on vacation because it's not your own bed, right?  Well if your child sleeps in one of these and you bring it on vacation, he or she will sleep MUCH better, b/c they actually will be sleeping in their own bed.  Winning.

🎒 Nightlight: This is my favorite nightlight due to it's portability and super cute design, also has a tracker that tells you when it's time to feed for those babies still eating at night!

🎒Lovey/Security Item: The animal or lovey that your child drags around with them for comfort. Elle is obsessed with this security blanket.

🎒  Blankets & Sheets: Children have super sensitive noses, and can smell even the slightest change in detergents, so to keep them feeling safe, BYOBlankets!!  My son Jack can't sleep without his swaddle next to him still, and Little Unicorn has the softest ones with the best prints for girls AND boys!  They ship for free here.

🎒 Extra IPhone/IPad: Everyone has an old one lying around, right? If so, there is an app called "Cloud Baby" that you can download and use with Wifi to create a makeshift baby monitor using two "I" devices, awesome right? My camera for Elle is bolted to the wall so this always saves me!

🎒 Pack n Play (not pictured): I LOVE the Nuna Sena Travel pack and play and you can't always rely on hotels or rental houses to have a crib for you.  It's SUPER easy to take on the plane, flies for free, and sets up & down with ONE HAND.  It's also a lot lighter in weight compared to others out there for the same price. Play it safe- plus I feel better knowing mine is super clean.

🎒 Bottle opener- goes without saying. You deserve it! Cheers!

Sleeping Arrangements on Vacation: How & Where?!

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Sleeping arrangements: My kids have never slept in my bed, so when it's vacation time I'm STRESSING about how & where to get them to go to sleep.  I've even stayed at hotels with one-bedroom suite options so my son could have his own room (and so we could enjoy some adult time past 8pm!) However, I've been no so lucky in the past, and have found myself with 2 kids under 2 in the same small hotel room. Here are the tips that got us all sleeping soundly while on vacation:

1. If you don't have to option to book two rooms or a suite (if you do, do it!!) then find some place in the room for your child to sleep that's low traffic and dimly lit.

2. In a regular room, hang a sheet from the ceiling with tacks to create a partition between you and baby (my son would freak if he could see me)

3. BYOPP: Bring your own pack n' play. Hotels only have a handful, and even calling ahead doesn't always guarantee you'll get one. If your child is too big for one, you may have to go with what works, using a rollaway or make a comfy bed on the ground next to your side of the bed (best with older toddlers).  This one is easy to set up, sleek & ships for free.

4. Keep your bedtime routine similar to how you do it at home, and lay your child down and use your soothing techniques or words of comfort before leaving them to fall asleep (by leaving of course I mean behind the "sheet"!)

5. Bring all child's nighttime necessities (post later this week!) incl. nightlight & lovey.

6. Expect a little bit of upset the first night or two. It's totally ok, and totally common. If your child sleeps through the night at home, generally he/she should also do pretty well away from home as well.

7. Adult time: Some couples enjoy some wine on the balcony and sneak back in the room, or even outside in the hallway! Once your babe is asleep, due to the sleep pressure you'll prob get away with a movie on low volume or reading a book with a book light.

Babies on a Plane?  Scarier than snakes.

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Traveling with a baby/toddler on a plane? ✈ ️Scarier than snakes for sure.  I have been "that Mom" walking up and down the aisle bouncing my child furiously (one whom will only sleep in a crib) while avoiding everyone's eye sight 🙈 Def could have used one of these sweet bassinets from British Air in 1957! Luckily, if you have worked with SATC and/or have a good nap schedule already in place, don't worry- one day of craziness will not undo all your hard work! Always try to travel during off peak times to avoid crowds and delays, and have appropriate expectations of your child to reduce any frustration you may have.

Tips for naps on a plane by age:

Babies under 12 months old: do anything in your power to get them to sleep- any sleep crutch you've used in he past should do the trick I.e. Rocking or feeding to sleep (although with all the excitement at the airplane and in the plane, this may be a somewhat difficult task). I also like to feed infants at take off & landing to reduce any pressure in their ears.

Toddlers over 12 months: you may be able to push his/her nap that day until you land, get them to bed earlier that night, and get back on schedule the following day.  Otherwise on a long flight, I've used the "last resort" DVD player/IPhone videos to zone my toddler out to get a quick power nap in!

 

Have an upcoming flight or time change coming your way?  Submit your question below or contact us here for help before, during, or after your big vacation!