about two years ago, my parents had enough of New Jersey and decided to full-time move to Florida, after spending the winters down there for a few years. they bought a home so that we could all stay there for extended periods of time and grow as a family (i.e. with baby Luca!) although my father isn't retired and still has to fly up to NJ for work a lot (a couple weeks out of each month), they're living down here and love it - and it's easy to see why!
so when we first had baby Luca, one of the first things we thought was, "are we going to be able to travel to Florida for the holidays with a baby this young?!" with the blessing of our pediatrician, we decided to do it! not only did we want to feel the Florida sunshine, we wanted baby Luca to be exposed to fresh air every day, because at home, it's easy to get in a rut and hole up inside for a couple of days without even realizing it!
I've gotten so much questions about our very first trip with the baby, so I figured I'share some of my tips! from what I've heard, traveling with babies is easy, because they don't run around (they can't, haha!) and they pretty much sleep, if you time it correctly.
I've found that to be true - Luca LOVES white noise (it lulls him to sleep every time) and he loves being in motion, so the soft rumble from the engine paired with the white noise, he slept in my arms the entire time.
tips for traveling with a baby under 3 months
feed on takeoff and landing (or use a pacifier)
I was really nervous about this, because I thought, "what if he isn't ready to eat at that time?!" or "what if he's sleeping then, do I wake him up?!" when we booked our flights, we didn't know what his napping/feeding schedule would be like (and he's not on one at all anyway now). so, we had to wing it! luckily, it worked out that when the flight was due to take off, he was due to eat.
UNFORTUNATELY, our flight (due to snow and ice) was delayed an hour, so I had to feed him before takeoff. I tried to keep pulling him off the boob, to get him to take breaks so that he would still want to eat when we took off and that worked well. however, I had the pacifier ready, just in case.
on the landing, he was asleep and I tried to wake him up and put him on the boob, but he just wouldn't wake up, so I stuck a pacifier in his mouth and tried to get him to suck a little bit here and there. I was so nervous his ears were going to hurt and he'd shriek, but luckily, despite being asleep and not sucking/swallowing, he was okay!
carry the baby through the airport - check everything else
we were gifted travel bags for our stroller and car seat from our baby shower, and we put them to good use! basically, we got to the airport and checked all of our luggage, including the stroller and car seat. when we were in the airport, all I had was my diaper bag (which Lu carried for me) and the baby strapped to me in the Ergo Baby (with the infant insert.)
Luca pretty much slept the entire time in the airport. I ended up putting a canopy cover over him, because my son has FOMO and if there are things/people to look at it, he'll look - and won't be able to fall asleep. so I popped that over him and he slept like a champ all the way until we got in our seats.
pack a travel neck pillow or have something to use as a pillow for support holding the baby
the one thing I didn't think to bring was something to put under my arm to support it while I held Luca. holding a baby for 2.5 hours on a flight is no joke on your arm muscles, so luckily, Lu had a down jacket with him and I bundled that up and wedged it underneath my arm. as long as you have something like that, you're good!
you could also have the baby sleep in the baby carrier the entire time, but after I fed Luca, he fell right asleep and the fasten seat belt light was on for 20 minutes, so I didn't want to disturb him by getting him into a baby carrier. if you're a breastfeeding pro, you could breastfeed in the carrier and then let the baby fall asleep on you, but we're not there yet.
have your hand sanitizer and baby wipes closeby
I'm not a germophob at all, BUT I am one when it comes to the airport. I packed baby wipes in an accessible compartment in my diaper bag, as well as a bottle of my favorite non-toxic hand sanitizer (this one by Babyganics.)
pack a bag with one set of your changing essentials
when we first got on the plane, Luca had a soaking wet diaper, so we had to change him. in a baggy, I packed a diaper, a change of clothes, wipes, my diaper cream, and a trash bag (I love these travel ones by Diono) so that I could grab it out (along with my changing pad) and have everything I needed, so I didn't need to go searching through my diaper bag to get everything ready.
bring a warm blanket
I find airplanes very cold, so I made sure to bring a blanket (along with my canopy cover) to cover Luca as he slept in my arms. this kept him snuggled up and then I covered his face with the canopy cover so he wouldn't be distracted by the lights and would have a warm, cozy place to sleep.
book an aisle seat
I was blessed, because I traveled with my mom and my husband, so we had the entire row to ourselves - and I had all that support. it just worked out that way, we didn't plan it! BUT, if I was traveling alone, or it was only my mother and I or Lu and I, I would have wanted the aisle and the middle seat, because I would want to get up and walk around with Luca if he was fussy or needed a change of scenery.
when you sit down, have everything you need for the flight nearby
this means water bottle, headphones, book, whatever. once Luca was asleep, I didn't want to wake him - luckily, I had my mom/Lu to grab things as I needed them, but I immediately thought to myself, "if this were just me, I would have to wake the baby up!"