- make 17 different lists of what to do and what to pack, organized by bag of course
- find suitcase
- pump stroller tires
- fix straps on car seat
- clean high chair
- load phone with running app
- debate whether using cloth diapers will work or not while staying in other's homes
What We Should Have Done to Prepare
- check the weather, check the weather, check the weather!
First, let me say, our trip was great! There was a bit of drama being pulled in a few different directions and some sulking from Grandparents about not getting enough time in with the little dude, but overall, great! I need to write a follow up post about how transformative our experience was for both Rowan and I but, before I even get into that, I thought I would just blog about what we packed and how it all panned out.
What I Packed vs What We Used
Packed/ Actually Used
4/4 cloth diapers
1/1 change pad
1/0 squirt bottle
1/1 ring sling
1/1 moby wrap
1/0 toiletry bag
1/1 Trail mix
1/0 Homemade vicks balm
1/0 Stroller tire pump
1/0 Medicine (tylenol, gravol, etc.)
1/1 Basic Makeup (eye pencil, mascara)
1/0 Phone Charger
1/0 Extra Soothers
1/0 Book to read (ha!)
1/1 high chair
1/0 car seat base
1/1 hair brush
1/1 running gear
1/1 plastic bag for dirty clothes
1/1 bras (nursing and not)
1/1 travel outfit
1/1 going out, outfit
20/20 cloth diapers
10/40 package of 40 disposable diapers
1/1 package of disposable wipes
10/ 0 cloth wipes
1/1 baby shoes
7/7 baby outfits
1/0 Rowan's birth certificate (just in case at the airport)
1/1 my ID
3/3 gifts for friends and family
1/1 purse and wallet
1/1 car seat
So it turns out, as much as I thought I had a great plan for our carry on/ diaper bag, it didn't really work. I had separated baby items from Mama items which was just too much to juggle. On the flight home I switched it up and focused on one bag full of both of our go-to items. I used the backpack rather than my lugz because the lugz is more horizontal and wasn't as easy to access items and the backpack fit under the plane seat/in between my legs much better.
This was our baby friendly plane set-up. Tray for banging, lion attached to string attached to tray clasp for batting at, sophie for dropping beside our neighbour so she'd pick it up for us a million times.
We ended up repacking our suitcase quite a few times. Oh, and I was very glad we went with cloth diapers, more on that in a future post. Traveling by myself with Rowan meant I didn't have time to be as organized as I usually am. Sharing a room meant unpacking or even getting my pjs ready before bed was a rushed and chaotic experience as Rowan's needs to be put to bed was much more important than finding my toothbrush or a clean pair of underwear. In the end, it was a lot of work to coordinate by myself, and it would've been much easier with Matt, my very supportive partner, but it was more than worth it. Now for my advice for flying with a baby:
WORDS OF WISDOM
- ask for help: whether it be a stranger, the flight attendants or the people who are dropping you off and picking you up from the airport, ask them to help you. If you're traveling by yourself with your baby, this is key! We didn't have help with our baggage when we arrived in Toronto and it was a mission to push the stroller and the trolley with all the luggage on it at the same time. Luckily an airport attendee eventually helped me get out to the pick-up location.
- make friends with your neighbour: our flight there we were beside two amazing and lovely women from St. John's, Newfoundland and on the way back another awesome lady, not sure where she was from but she played with Rowan and it was awesome
- sit near the front of the plane: Getting off of the plane is going to be your number one priority so that you don't rip your hair out or start crying in frustration and exhaustion in front of a plane full of people. Spend the money and book your seat in advance if you can. If not, ask the attendant at the counter if there's anyway to move closer.
- don't feel guilty or bad: I know it's hard, but you are flying with a baby, 'nough said! If he cries, if he flails, if he spills his bits and bites, it's ok. People will understand if he's getting in their space and if they don't, they're a jerk.