Yep, we’re about to take the journey that many mom’s and dad’s have before and that is.- traveling over 7,000 miles with a toddler!!! Ahhhh, run for your life, right?
Wouldn’t it just be easier to travel that distance once he’s older?
Maybe. But easier isn’t always better and traveling with a toddler doesn’t HAVE to be as exhausting and stressful as it sounds. A sports analogy my dad always reminded me of that can apply to 31480034 things in life is: “A good defense is the best offense.”
Bascially, BE PREPARED – as BEST you can. Prep for the worst, and expect the best!
This will now be my THIRD trip across the world with our special little man (Daddy’s first), And I’ve learned a lot of DOs and DONTs along the way that I wanted to share with you now.
DO bring your husband!
Haha, I HAD to put this one first – especially since my first two trips between Europe and the States I did alone with our son. This time around, I am SO thankful to know I will have that second set of hands. If you find yourself, like I did before, traveling alone with a baby or toddler, do yourself (and your little one) a favor and ask for and accept all help. Whether it’s another mama waiting in line with you or a friendly flight attendant, allow others to help you. This is NOT the time to activate your Super Woman status and try to do it all. You’ll be so happy later on during the travel for the extra hands, extra napkin or extra set of eyes you had from that kind stranger.
DO pack MORE than enough diapers, wipes & sets of clothes
There are some things you do NOT want to run out of & have to scour an airport for and that is diapers, wipes & extra sets of clothes. Even if your little doesn’t have hardly any “accidents”, pack extra. You don’t want a sudden blow out, when your plane is about to land, and you have no clean clothes or an extra diaper to put him in.
DO NOT pack too many toys
Remember, often times, kids favorite toys are the NON toys. In most airports & air planes, there are a lot of free pamplets, napkins, spoons, forkc & etc. that your little one will love to discover and play with. You don’t want to scramble around for your passport at check-in while trying to get around the 12 blocks, 3 books & extra soft giraffe you packed in the diaper bag.
Do bring snacks for baby AND yourself
I am a HUGE planner & like to be as prepared as possible – with all of my traveling, I’ve learned to not RELY on airlines to have food you may enjoy or give it to you when hunger suddenly strikes. You don’t want a famished baby relying on others for their food. When my son was 3 motnsh old, I packed 2 days worth of milk & bottles in his diaper bag (again – just in case!) Then when he was 8 months old, and now at 15 months old, I am packing ample amount of snacks for him (and myself & my husband) to get. usthrough the long flights. Some of my favorites are: rice crackers, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts & fresh fruit – which only lasts for the first few hours. Side note: If your baby still requires milk, you can ask the airline employees to keep a bottle cold or even bring you warm water if necessary.
DO bring an extra plastic bag for old diapers & wet clothes
Sometimes our babies will poop, pee or make other bodily fluids at the most inopotune times. For the moments you aren’t able to get to a trash can, bring an extra plastic bag to hold trash temporarily until you can properly dispose of it later.
DO bring your stroller with you to the gate
I’ve had so many mom’s ask me whether they should BRING the stroller with them through the airport or check it. I will ALWAYS say: BRING IT! Every airpline I’ve flown on allowed me to bring it all the way to the gate, and they put it under the plane for me. It was always ready when I got off the plane to make my layover or at my final destination. When our son was younger & I flew when he was 3 & 8 months old, I also brought the car seat with me. In that way, he had a safe seat to sit in (and sleep in) for the flight. On a side note: If your baby is still under 20 lbs., ask for the baby cot! It is a GOD SEND on flights. It’s a cot that attaches in the seat or on the airplane wall & gives your way a “bassinet” type of bed to lie in to sleep on the plane.
DO NOT SWEAT the small stuff
Your baby might cry. He might pull out all the pamplets out of the seats one by one (true story). She may puke on the person in the seat next to you (I hope not), and he may tickle the feet of the person trying to sleep on the plane. Take a deep breathe when these things happen, and just let it go. Let your baby crawl where you typically wouldn’t. Let them watch a show on your phone or eat a few too many airplane crackers. This is the time for you to relax and focus on a safe & happy flight – NOT to win the “Mom Of The Year” award.
And most of all…don’t forget to have fun! Take pictures when you can – or ask another friendly mama you meet to take one of you & your family. It may feel like an experience you just can’t wait to end – but aim to enjoy it and relish in all the memories you are making.
Do you have any questions for me?
Did I miss something?
Comment below or come ask away & say HEY on our Instagram: @TheCleymans
Looking forward to chatting with you soon & sharing photos from our trip to the USA!
-Cheyanne “Mama” Cleyman