hey everyone! I thought I’d put together a list of must haves for traveling with babies…now that “I’ve been there, done that!” I was so nervous about traveling with Quinn to Europe – not the actual time we’d be there but the flight and jet lag part of it. Turns out it wasn’t that bad, and definitely wouldn’t stop me again from doing it! That being said, it does pay to do your homework so that you can be prepared and hopefully help your trip go as smooth as possible.
- Ask for a baby bassinet on the plane – but confirm that if you’re child can sit up – they can actually use it! We planned on using the bassinet but after they had it all set up, a flight attendant noticed that Quinn could sit up (it has a weight limit of 25lbs – usually a baby of at least 25lbs should be able to sit up!) but that is their rules (Air Canada) so away went the bassinet. I’ve seen other airlines be ok with it though.
- Bulk head seats – you’ll be thankful you paid the extra money for the leg room! It also gives you space for the extra baby items you carry on with you. And also…with a sleeping baby lying on top of you – you’ll be glad you can stretch out your legs!
- Spend the first day of your arrival getting oriented and take it easy. The first day we arrived in Paris, we didn’t do a whole lot. We let Quinn nap in his travel crib, and went out for short walks and spent lots of time in the park. We didn’t mind – it was the Eiffel Tower park!
- Be prepared for jet lag if there is a time change at your destination. Quinn did very well with the switch over to 6 hrs ahead because we kept his schedule the same the first day and kept him up so he was going to bed at 7pm Paris time. He slept well, but then woke up for about 2 hrs in the middle of the night and was very disoriented and confused. I nursed him lots, held him close and he eventually fell back asleep and then slept in until 8:45am! It was great! We all had a chance to catch up on our sleep. From then on he was on Europe time. When we got home from our trip, he woke up early a couple mornings but that was to be expected – I was also awake early dealing with my own jet lag!
- Stroller & baby carrier: we ended up using our Beco Gemini baby carrier the most because Quinn likes it better than the stroller and it was better than dealing with cobblestone streets! We also brought our own carseat as well, as we rented a car. Super important as the car rental carseats may not always be up to date with the current safety standards.
- Pack lots of SNACKS: we literally wouldn’t have had such a great trip without Quinn’s favourite snacks. After he’d eat a meal, we’d be able to enjoy ours while feeding him and keeping him occupied with his snacks. He ate tons of them on the plane too! we even found some similar to the ones like these in Gstaad, Switzerland and we were so thankful.
- My Little Seat Travel High Chair – this was a life saver. Reuben had read on a blog before coming that not a lot of restaurants in Europe have highchairs, so this was a necessity. We are so glad we had it! Quinn loved it, because he could sit with us anywhere and didn’t feel strapped in and it was so easy for us to feed him. We’ve since used this in restaurants here, and even at church! The highchairs we did find in Europe were so cute though, nice wooden chairs (some with toys attached!) and we fell in love with the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair…we just may have to buy one of those!
- Baby Bjorn Travel Crib – this is worth the extra money. It fit in Reuben’s suitcase, and took literally seconds to unpack and set up. We bought a nice sheet for it, brought his stuffy Scout, and along with his blanket – he was snug as a bug! It was great for him to consistently have the same bed to sleep in at each place to minimize any sleep disruptions.
- Diapers and wipes: pack lots! we ran out of wipes near the end of our trip and we were able to buy more, but Quinn’s skin is sensitive so he reacted a bit. Next trip, I’m making sure we have enough!
- Portable baby monitor – we were so happy we brought our video monitor with us! In some of the places we stayed in we had a separate room for Quinn so it was helpful to see if he was sleeping, etc while we were in the other room reading or watching TV. We also brought along his sound machine and shusher – to make it as much like home as possible!
- Selfie Stick: for all the obvious reasons!
- Keep expectations low – and you may be surprised! for this trip I wasn’t going to be worried about routines and strict bedtimes, but Quinn ended up napping usually twice a day and going to bed around normal times. We didn’t pack too much into our days but it ended up being perfect – we were able to relax and explore at the same time. We also stayed in very nice places so that when we were just at the hotel it was a nice experience as well. I was surprised to see how much Quinn enjoyed himself and seemed to understand he was in different surroundings! There is something so special about them experiencing new things – it makes you step back and look at things differently as well!
What travel tips/products do you have? I’d love to hear them!