Topic number three in our Real Talk, Real Moms series is all about Travel and you know I love me some of that. We have done quite a few weekend driving trips here and there with Archer but the biggest travel adventure was our first cross country flight to Michigan when Archer was around 4 months old. I was nervous about the plane ride, to say the least. Everyone assured me, “oh he will do great, they are so easy at that age” but I am already a nervous (and motion sickness type) flyer so adding a baby into the mix only got my belly churning even more. I usually pop dramamine and pass out, so staying awake alone didn’t sound all that appealing. I looked around for advice for first time mama flyers but didn’t find a whole lot so I am going to share what saved my life (and my back) on our first mile high adventure (wait um no, not that kind… clean it up guys, jeesh).
I can’t say enough good things about the Orbit Baby travel system. I saw people carrying their babies in the airport (you know I love to wear Archie too) but Rupert likes to get to the airport INSANELY early, like three hours minimum, so there was no way I was going to be walking around with a near 20 lb monkey strapped to my body for that long. So I checked my carrier with the luggage and strolled through the airport. The great thing about the Orbit is that the car seat is the seat of the stroller and the fact that it swivels makes getting in and out of the car extra easy. We flew Southwest this time around and if the flight isn’t full they let you take the car seat on with you, giving your lap a little rest and taking up an extra seat, (hello entire row) without having to pay for it. Triple bonus. However if the flight is full, they let you curb check it, which means you get to push your little guy around in the stroller that also doubles as extra arms to hang onto your carry-on bags, right up to the side of the plane, drop it off and then pick it back up right after. Both ways are handy because having the stroller meant I was light on my feet while it did all the hard work of carrying our over-stuffed carry-ons with all the “just in case” things we could jam in and our heavy pride and joy. Yes, you could tell we were flying with a baby for the first time.
Anywayyyy, Orbit made the flight and the logistics of travel easy… other things we were glad we brought on were:
– a small cooler stocked with extra milk (Archer did do great on the flight btw. Although he did NOT want to nurse. He started crying and was hungry but refused to nurse. Rupert busted out a bottle quick sharp and that did the trick. He ended up fussing for all of three minutes the entire flight). We use Dr. Browns bottles and Kiinde storage bags, btw.
– my big giant squishy sweater/blanket which made a cozy bed for Archer on my lap when he crashed out.
– a toy or two. babies seem to love these links. Although a water bottle is still his all time favorite and keeps him busy for hours.
– a couple swaddles. For a million reasons… they can clean up messes, they make great sun shades, nursing covers, blankets and they also work well to cover your lap for in-flight diaper changes if you are like me and squeebed out by doing it in the airplane bathroom.
– oh and a pacifier if your baby is into them. Archer loved his wubbanub and those animals keep the pacifier in place SO well. (people recommend having the baby drink on take-off and landing to help with their ears. I have also heard that this is dated as the cabins are much better with the pressurizing these days but it sure as heck doesn’t hurt, and if they are not hungry because you have been stuffing them silly to keep them happy on the plane, then a paci works too).
– and I hope it goes without saying, loads and loads of diapers & wipes ;) Since we were going for a long trip I also shipped diapers and wipes ahead of time which meant I only had to carry what I needed for one day which was nice and saved me a trip to the grocery store that is not very convenient from the cabin.
So we made it to Chicago and had a two hour drive to the cabin ahead of us. Since Archer didn’t feel like nursing on the plane I was literally about to explode by the time we touched down and ended up pumping milk in the car rental parking garage (I have the medela pump in style that you get with your insurance in case you are wondering). Glamorous indeed. But we made it, and it was a heck of a lot easier than I thought, and since our stroller was also the car seat it made getting out of the terminal and into a car easy peasy (and probably saved us a lot of frustration from not having to figure out how to use the rental company’s different kind of car seat. Plus how many babies have pooped, peed, or threw up in the rental ones anyway? ew).
Once we got TO the cabin, I was back to my baby carrying ways and wanted to do nothing else but share lake michigan and all it’s beauty with Archer and take our nice walks on the beach as a family of three. Archie was just four months so it was his first time facing out in the carrier. They usually don’t recommend it for long periods of time until after 5 months so we kept it to short, 15 minutes at a time, before turning him back around. He then would usually conk right out and we would just keep on walking. The Ergo 360 is ideal for that reason. You can carry your babe in 4 different positions, I have yet to try him on my back, and it’s super easy to go from one to the other. Archer particularly liked chewing on the front of the carrier, since he was also teething, and that removable drool catcher kept things neat and tidy.
Archer loved the trip, the only bugger was the time change, we tried keeping him on California time but since we were there for three weeks he kept creeping closer and closer to Michigan time which made for quite the adjustment when we got back home. You can read all about that debacle in the post on sleep! I am glad we started him early and here is hoping he continues to be a good little traveler. Any tips or tricks out there that have worked for you? I’d love to hear what’s handy for older babes too!
And don’t forget to check out the rest of my cohorts chatting about travel…
Could I Have That
The Effortless Chic
The Refined Woman
A Daily Something
Our Style Stories
And, And… keep an eye out on Instagram for a pretty great giveaway all of us mama’s got together for. x