Thursday, March 22, 2012

adventures in motherhood: traveling with a baby (three helpful hints)

Now that we've flown with our little sweetpea twice and taken two 7 hour roadtrips with her, too, I feel like I'm starting to get more comfortable with the idea of traveling with an infant. It's not easy -- not even close! -- but I have a few tricks up my sleeve now.

one of the only times L has ever slept in the car -- had to document it for posterity!

Like I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I think Joanna's list of travel advice is the best one out there. Ashley over at Hither and Thither posted links to some other helpful hints from mommy bloggers. I won't repeat their suggestions or bore you with the things you probably already know, but there are three tips I've come to swear by when traveling:

1. Don't pack it -- rent it. For about the same cost as schlepping extra checked suitcases full of baby gear to and from the airport, you can rent what you need at your destination. We've done this twice now, once in Utah and once in Florida, and both times we were really pleased with the customer service and quality of the products we received.

our stroller rental -- cute baby not included!

You can google baby rentals (that sounds bizarre, doesn't it?) or try this website, which seems to be a pretty comprehensive list of companies that provide this service across the country. We bring our own crib sheet so it smells like home, and we've made sure to rent the exact make/model of travel crib, high chair, car seat, and etc. that we have at home so we can be sure that they are up-to-date and meet all current safety standards.

2. Make like a handyman -- or serial killer. Be sure you have black garbage bags and a roll of painter's tape in your luggage. You might get funny looks in the security line, but when you get to your location and realize that the curtains let in way too much light for your jetlagged little baby, you'll be grateful to have a quick fix that doesn't permanently damage the walls. (While you're at it, pack your iPod and some portable speakers -- white noise tracks on iTunes are as little as 99 cents and can block out any surprise sounds you weren't expecting and your baby isn't used to.)

enjoying the sights and sounds of nature at a roadside rest stop this summer

3. Wear your toys. Of course you'll pack lots of things for your bambino to play with. But there's always the chance they'll fall on the super nasty plane floor -- and washing them off in that tiny little bathroom seems just as gross. I searched high and low and found a great teething necklace from mylilmarket on Etsy made from all natural materials for the amazing price of $11.50. It's perfect for little fiddling fingers and stays put around your neck (the adjustable cord becomes longer when those little fingers yank on it so you don't get choked).The biggest plus? It doesn't look ridiculous on, like so many teething necklaces.

Any of you planning trips in the near future? Good luck -- I hear offering earplugs to passengers seated near you is a great way to break the ice! :)


  1. thank you so much for the sweet mention. and i LOVE the tip about bringing garbage bags and duct tape -- so smart!!! rental houses are always so bright.

  2. Great advice! I had no idea you could rent strollers...we always flew with a car seat and a stroller! Such a pain!

  3. Rentals! What a wonderful idea. I'm still recovering from a transatlantic trip with my toddler, and I'm interested to see what tips you pick up as your little one grows up!

  4. We TOTALLY bring black trash bags and duct tape EVERY time we travel. My husband things I'm strange and thinks Ellie should just learn to "suck it up" obviously doesn't understand...happy baby, happy momma...happy momma, happy hubby! :-)
    ♥ Kyna

  5. We are traveling for a long weekend to Edinburgh for R's birthday. We invited friends with a little darling the same age as J and rented two one bedroom apartments that are next door to each other so that we can trade off babysitting at night and during naps! Since our families live an ocean away, we think it will be a nice break. Bonus: the girls will LOVE playing together. Not sure about the 4 1/2 hours train ride though...planes, trains and nice(r) restaurants are the times when I feel okay about breaking out the ipod apps.

  6. What great ideas you have. Will keep them in mind when traveling with our little one. Thanks!

  7. Love the idea of bringing garbage bags.. never thought about it! Thanks.

  8. Stroller rentals are a great help. It makes things so much easier not having to haul a stroller in your car or plane.