Margaux’s sleep: Margaux has been sleeping 10-11 hours a night since she was 10 weeks old. After a few adjustment days for time difference, she went right back to her normal sleeping habits. My favorite sleep resources are Taking Cara Babies and Full Feedings. I follow the Moms on Call eat/sleep/play schedule according to age.
We had a village. We traveled with my husband’s extended family for most of the trip so we had a lot of extra hands. I still 100% plan to travel internationally just the 3 of us though.
Expect it to be hard. Tiny humans need a lot of STUFF. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it if you love to travel.
Sidenote: TAKE OUT TRAVEL & MEDICAL INSURANCE! Our UPPAbaby Vista Stroller broke and we needed it.
FIRST THINGS FIRST – MINDSET
Mindset will make or break you traveling with a baby. We had 3 flight delays and one missed flight on our travels (DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT fly with British Airways, more on that later).
If sudden change in plans throws in a tizzy on a normal day, I don’t think traveling with a baby is for you. Unless you are good at changing your mindset quickly. Sounds harsh but you’ve got to be extra go with the flow. Babies are sponges and if you freak, your baby will soak that in and freak too.
LET GO OF ALL EXPECTATIONS AND SCHEDULES. I religiously track Margaux’s feeds and sleeps at home but while flying and getting through airports and on trains – ain’t no time for that.
BABY FIRST AID KIT: Children’s Tylenol, Children’s Benedryl, NoseFrida The Snotsucker Baby Nasal Aspirator, thermometer, baby nail clippers, powdered Pedialyte in case of dehydration.
ZIP LOCK TRICK: I packed all of Margaux’s clothes in labeled zip lock back categories (i.e., long sleeve onesies, tank rompers, bubble rompers, PJs, drool bibs, pants, etc.) I could fit 3-4 items in Ziploc Slider Storage Bags. Baby clothes are SO SMALL and can lost so easily. This was major in traveling to 3 different countries.
BOTTLES/PUMP: I planned on breastfeeding but wanted the option to pump and give her a bottle if necessary. I brought my manual Medela, Harmony Breast Pump since I knew my electrical would blow in the different voltage overseas. And we brought two bottles just in case one was left somewhere or broke.
DIAPERS: We brought one sleeve of Pampers (packed it inside the car seat before we checked it) and then planned on buying diapers as we needed them.
TOYS: We brought a few of our favorite Lamaze Play USA toys – Lamaze Fifi The Firefly, Lamaze Mortimer The Moose and the Lamaze Counting Animals Soft Book. Honestly Margaux played with water bottles and other random things most of the time haha.
PACIFIER: Margaux uses her pacifier for sleep soothing and we LOVE this Modern Pacifier Clip for Baby so we don’t lose a million of them. We always had this on us for the plane, car and outings. She likes to chew on the wooden parts too.
CARRIER: The ULTIMATE travel friendly baby carrier (seen below) – the Solly Baby wrap. I have two because Margaux chews on the sides and create an epic huge drool patch so I always need a back up haha. It also packs down to NOTHING and is so comfortable.
ON THE PLANE
BOOKING FLIGHTS: By far the BEST TIP I HAVE. BOOK BULK HEAD SEATS!! Most international slights have a bassinet hook up at the bulk head and it’s worth every extra penny it may cost you thought it wasn’t any extra for us. Margaux slept for most of the overnight flights in this. *BRITISH AIRWAYS will make you take your baby out of the bassinet every time the seat belt sign goes on – it’s SUPER ANNOYING. We also flew United and they did not do this.
SLEEP SACK: We put Margaux in her Love To Dream Swaddle UP 50/50 Transition Bag for when it was night sleep time in the bassinet.
TAKE OFF/LANDING: I tried nursing Margaux on take off and landing for her ears. She was NOT into it at all. It was way too distracting for her so instead I just nursed her a little after take off and landing.
DEHYDRATION: Whatever your body is feeling, so is your baby’s. Dehydration can contribute to milk supply drop so I stocked up on loads of water and made sure I fed Margaux more often to keep her hydrated. Fun fact: Babies get all the hydration they need from breastmilk! Bodies be cray.
SICK PEOPLE: Coughing people on planes are the worst and I was definitely nervous about the measles going around in the US (please vaccinate your kids, kthanks.) but I wasn’t TOO worried about Margaux getting sick because I was breastfeeding. Did you know that any antibodies you’re making to fight off germs gets passed on to your baby IN REAL TIME?! The coolest.
SLEEP ENVIRONMENT & JET LAG
WHITE NOISE: We brought our white noise machine (Marpac Whish White Noise Sound Machine) from home because it’s USB power cord can be used anywhere – YAY.
JET LAG: Jet lag with a baby is NO JOKE but it only took us about 3 days to get over and back to normal sleep schedules. As I write this, Margaux is still waking around 5/5:30AM but I go in to her room, soothe her with a back or belly rub and some shooshing and she goes back to sleep. I then leave her in her dark room with the white noise on until it’s 7AM. She’s been sleeping later everyday. (of course, if she is screaming I will go in and get her but she mostly just grumbles for 20 minutes in there until 7). **As I hit publish on this, she is back to her normal 7AM wake time a week later.
OUT & ABOUT WITH BABY
DAY TRIPS: A pretty major baby hack we discovered while traveling was the art of day trips. Instead of leaving right after a feed I thought it would be good to try leaving to go somewhere when nap time was approaching to see if she’d nap in the car. IT WORKED, every time you guys, every time. We love this MyBaby Soundspa On-the-Go – Portable White Noise Machine for the car and use the beach setting! We’d travel somewhere about 1-2 hours away, she’d sleep and then wake up to have lunch or check out a vineyard and then by the time we were done, she was ready to nap on the way home. We did this in South Africa and in England.
JUST TRY IT: A few times we brought Margaux out close to her bedtime and it was hit or miss. Sometimes she was totally fine and we had a great evening out, other times it was a disaster. You definitely have to take the good with bad traveling with baby.
THINGS WE DID NOT USE/THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENT
BABY NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES: I read a lot of tips about these and how they helped soothe some babies. Margaux hated them and would rip them off her head haha.
TRAVEL STROLLER: We dragged our Uppababy Vista halfway around the world and it was NOT WORTH IT friends. I either had her my Solly Baby carrier or she sat on people’s laps. It also broke on our trip from Cape Town to London. Next time, we will take a super lightweight/small travel stroller.