I hate carrying things. When we go shopping, I despise carrying bags. When we go anywhere, my biggest pet peeve is carrying something. I don't know why, or how this happened, but it happened. I know, this is not a good trait for having children.
I should mention that I don't mind wearing a backpack.
Before Haddie -- our 10 week old daughter -- was even born we booked a trip for the three of us from Toronto to Palm Springs.
The second we booked it, I knew that I was in trouble. Travelling with a two month old on a five hour flight?? That sounds like a lot of "stuff" to carry, and it sure was.
What did we bring:
- Half a suitcase for me;
- Half a suitcase for Carlie;
- Half a suitcase for Haddie;
- Half a suitcase for shoes;
- Stroller base;
- Stroller seat;
- Car seat;
- Car seat base;
- Baby Bjorn carrier;
- One carry-on for me;
- One carry-on for Carlie;
- One carry-on for Haddie; and,
- One lunch bag full of 24-hours worth of formula for Haddie.
I was dreading the trip. How could it be humanly possible to carry all of that?!??!! Were we over packing?? Was this normal?? On top of that, was Haddie going to scream the entire way???
Well, I am writing this while sitting in Palm Springs. We made it. Not only did we make it, but it was a breeze.
The flight was absolutely nothing to be worried about. And, additionally, while we weren't sure if we were overpacking, we didn't. We actually needed everything that we took, with the exception of the Baby Bjorn Carrier -- that could have been packed in the luggage (although many people say it was a life saver for them).
As a side note, I want to give a special shoutout to the WestJet team. They were so awesome and helpful with everything, and really put us at ease while we were checking in, boarding, and flying. Thank you!
Here are some tips that made it much easier to travel:
- If you use an UPPAbaby stroller, they also sell a travel-bag. The UPPAbaby travel bag is awesome because it neatly fits the stroller and the seat; but, it's even more awesome because it acts as insurance - if the airline breaks the stroller, UPPAbaby will take care of it.
- Haddie is only 10 weeks old, which means that we've been using the stroller bassinet. One of my biggest concerns was how we would travel with the bassinet, because she is too small for the stroller seat. Thankfully the day before we left we bumped into some good friends, and they told us about a newborn stroller seat insert - BAM! Problem solved, no need for the bassinet. (side note, while writing this, I just read the description for the Travel bag mentioned above, and it says that it can also fit the stroller base and the bassinet).
- Bring lots and lots of formula (if you're not breastfeeding). Thankfully our flight was on time, but we were concerned that our flight could be delayed for hours and hours, and we'd run out of food. No worried, we packed 24 hours worth of food.
- If you can afford it, upgrade to Plus. Having an empty seat and more leg room was a really big plus, and allowed us more comfort in staying organized with all the baby "stuff" on the plane. Also, we were allowed heavier bags, meaning that we didn't have to pay all the overage fees (which would have probably been the amount of the ticket). Side tip here: if upgrading to Plus, do it months in advance - these seats can book up FAST.
- We fed Haddie one bottle while taxi'ing the plane, and one during take off. We thought the sucking would help her ears, and the food would knock her out. It worked. No issues on take off, and she slept of the first 4 hours of the five hour flight.
- Don't sweat the small stuff, and roll with the punches. Carlie and I have been living this motto since Haddie was born, and it allows us to take everything in stride.
When I was talking to friends with children about what I should be bring on the plane, they all told me the exact same thing: travelling with a newborn is simple, wait until they are two. Whatever, I hate when people say stuff like that.
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook
Follow Matthew Slutsky on Twitter: www.twitter.com/iSlutsky