So as some of you may know, I have flown a decent amount with my little one already, and she's only 14 months old. So far, Addie and I have gone to Chicago (when she was 3 months old,) Italy (5 months,) Las Vegas (9 months,) Chicago again (11 months,) and now Boston (14 months.) This trip, however, is not only going to be alone (as hubby needs to stay home for work,) but is also across the country! We did Vegas alone, but that's a quick flight from Seattle, and Addie wasn't walking yet. I have a feeling a toddler is a whole new ball game. Boston is 5.5 hours non-stop there, but broken up on the way home because we're going to Syracuse to see my little sis's college, which makes it a 10 hour travel day home with a layover in Atlanta.
So, after pinteresting and googling and facebooking for suggestions, I have come up with a variety of ideas for our trip. Of course, post-trip, I will update how all or none of these worked haha!
So here is my carry-on packing list for flying cross-country with a 14 month old:
Toys: ideally- light toys that don't take up too much room
Backup tin of goodies in case the regular toys have gotten old:
Ok, so I'm a mom that doesn't allow my daughter to use devices/watch tv. No judgement if your kid does, I promise! However, I'm caving for the purpose of travel. Not at home, but when traveling, it's a special treat. So, that said...
Now as for snacks...we should buy stock in Happy Baby! I absolutely love this company and Addie LOVES their food! You can not beat the convenience of these snacks for travel, and they're all organic!
Finally, these are my typical diaper bag items:
Note: when traveling...and all the time, really, I find it tremendously easier to use a diaper bag backpack than an over the shoulder diaper bag. It leaves my hands free to carry Addie, grab toys, sippie cups, etc without the bag falling off. And it's gentler on my back as well. I LOVE my Timbuktu diaper bag!! Can't say enough about it: comfortable, great sleek look, looks brand new after a year of taking it everywhere everyday...!
Travel gear: I almost forgot to include our trusty travel gear!
So, off we go this weekend! I'll keep you posted about our results!
Feel free to comment with what tips and tricks work for you when flying with a toddler!
If you're anything like I was during my pregnancy, or maybe even before...you're researching all the best gear, choosing your diapering style (which I highly recommend a cloth diapering service*-see my Blog post on diapering here), shopping for adorable baby clothes and preparing your birth plan...and that's just in the first trimester! There are so many options and suggested ways to go about this whole having a baby thing ;) but the bottom line is, this is your experience and you get to make it personal...to YOU. Now, the reality is, there are so many things that can happen that can derail you from your birth plan you created 8 months prior. Flexibility and openness can be helpful in this process, but having an advocate for your choices can also be very helpful.
When we started this search, my husband said what so many other husbands tend to say, "You want to hire a what-a?" "Babe, a doula, she helps throughout the birth." "Isn't that my job?" Sound familiar? Let me tell you right now, if you have a good doula, your husband will be thanking her profusely by the end. A doula, technically, is "a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible." A doula in mama to mama terms: a person who knows how births go, can be your advocate when your plan starts to derail, rubs your back, helps your partner know what to do and how to help you, helps keep your anxious family out of the birthing suite until you're ready, and cheers you on, helping you breathe, relax and push that gem out into the world.
I happened to stumble upon my doula from a recommendation of my dad's friend. Turns out, she was amazing! A sweet, comforting presence that was calming, helped me breathe through my contractions, encouraged me to stay in control and and championed for my wishes, both with the doctors (within safe limits, of course) and with my very excited families in the waiting room. I am so incredibly grateful for choosing to have a doula, but also wonderfully lucky to have found such a fantastic person to go through the most incredible and most vulnerable moment in my life with. By the way, of course I had the, "Is she gonna see my everything?!" thoughts beforehand. Haha, fellow mamas, you'll understand this...a few contractions in, I didn't care what she saw, as long as she helped me survive that pain! But in all seriousness, it's a beautiful bonding moment and a good doula will help you feel comfortable through that vulnerability. Needless to say, I will absolutely be using my doula again for our next one. There is no question in my mind. Definitely doula!
Suggestions for the Seattle/North of Seattle region:
*If you are in the greater Seattle region, I HIGHLY recommend Baby Diaper Service. I personally use them for my daughter, and I have worked with Carolyn, the owner, and she is lovely! Here is their FB page as well.
**Your doula choice is very personal. You need to feel comfortable with them, and of course, they'll need to have availability when you are due. However, for a reference, here is the website to my AMAZING doula, Malerie Brock at Manor Born Birth Services and her FB page.
I know that disposable diapers are easy, but in a time when there is such a need for helping our environment, I'd like to encourage you to take a second and consider cloth diapers!
Now, if you're a little intimidated by cloth diapers, don't be! We're no longer in the age of safety pins and poking babies, so you can rest easy! Let me see if I can help shed a bit of light on this cloth diaper enigma. You should've seen me with my mom and aunt trying to sort through different types of cloth diaper covers when I was pregnant: "What do you do with this one?!" I'm not an expert after 4 months, but I can tell you what I've learned.
My daughter, as is the case with so many babies, has no diaper rash ever with cloth diapers. When she wears disposables for too long, her bum will get a little irritated. Keep in mind that we only use natural products in our house for the baby, so that is even the case with Babyganics and Honest Co. diapers. We still use those for bedtime, and she does fine with that, but when we're out of town and use only disposables, we definitely see a difference. (Side note, if you're looking for an eco-friendly disposable diaper comparison, I'd recommend this one: click here.)
Now, how do you decipher between G Diapers, Bum Genius, Imagine, Bumkins, Thirsties...? It's honestly just a personal preference.
Imagine is another one we like a lot. The benefit to these is that they are size adjustable with a snap system. When baby is little bitty, you use the tightest snaps, and then expand them as they grow. They come in a side snap option or a velcro option, both with the snap adjustable sizing. There is not a rubber insert like g diapers, so the cloth diaper can wiggle, but really only while you're putting the diaper on. I have never had a cloth diaper shift once it's on- assuming you're tightening the cloth diaper cover properly. I will say, the blowouts have been a little messier in these than the g diapers simply because of the lack of liner. However, it's usually just on the sides of the cover and not actually leaking out. When that happens, again because we use a diaper service yay!, I just put the messy cloth diaper in a diaper bag, tie it up and put it in my diaper service bin for pick up once a week. I don't even have to rinse it out! I don't have to put it in the bag either, but I prefer to do that so there's less smell when I open the diaper bin. Then I rinse the diaper cover in our laundry room sink, spray stain remover on it and throw it in the washer.
Bum genius is another that we have tried and like. They also have the adjustable snap sizing as well as a side snap option or velcro side option.
cloth diaper service
If you're in the Seattle area, I would highly recommend using Baby Diaper Service. It really is so simple, and not more expensive then natural/organic disposable diapers. Once again, you just throw the dirty diapers in the diaper bin they provide for you, set the bag at your front door on your pick up morning and the driver replaces that bag with a bag of fresh diapers.
I hope this has helped you understand cloth diapers a little bit better. It really isn't as confusing as you think! My daughter likes the feel much better, no rashes, and with a diaper service, hardly any mess! Not to mention, we're helping reduce over 1,000 pounds of landfill garbage! We still use disposables on trips and at night, so I can't claim the full 2,000, but hey, every little bit helps!