Our sweet girl is 6 months old and we have been on 4 air-travel trips – including one to Mexico! She has been on 8 flights – all non-stop – to Florida, Colorado, Mexico (Playa del Carmen) and California. Her first flight was at just over 6 weeks and her longest flight was just at 4 hours. So we are getting well acquainted with travelling with a baby 🙂
I so often heard from other mamas that they either 1) were so glad they traveled while their littles were young or 2) wished they traveled more when their littles were itty bitty. It makes sense, right? When they are tiny, all they need is their mama (or a bottle), clothes and a place to sleep. And plus, the thought of being home bound for 12 weeks during maternity leave was less than appealing to me. I read somewhere that a baby can eat, sleep and poop in Cancun just as easy as Cleveland. SO. TRUE. So, we made the decision while I was still pregnant that we would try to keep up our travelin’ ways. And I can honestly say that I don’t regret any of it. Did it provide for some anxiety and added nerves? Yes. Has it always been easy and hiccup free? Of course not. BUT, our baby girl is starting to see the world, and her parents are happier and therefore better parents because we didn’t let a baby completely change our routine. Traveling with a baby is still a work in progress, and I know it will evolve as Charlotte grows (and as we add more babies, God willing), but here are my travel tips for flying with a newborn:
From the early weeks of having Charlotte, I did sooo much Googling and blog reading on baby schedules/routines/sleep/etc. I had no idea if or when to try to establish a schedule. I saw so many mamas’ stories of young babies being on these awesome routines, so I felt pressure to do the same. Thankfully, after doing all the aforementioned Googling, I found plenty of mamas who said “wait until baby is older” and “don’t let a schedule mess up breastfeeding – feed on demand” which were two bits of advice I was happy to take! Furthermore, as much as I craved some sort of routine, I did not want to be married to a set time or schedule she (and therefore we) had to do things. It came down to this: I wanted to give our sweet girl some routine and order to her new little life, but I still wanted us to have a life too.
We slowly found our groove, so I wanted to share what worked for us. As with any baby advice, I share this only in case it might help other mamas and with the huge caveat that every baby is so different and I firmly believe that every mama knows best for her baby.
When I was in the hospital after giving birth to Charlotte, I had the most wonderful lactation consultant: Lactation Sue. She was old school and to the point, which I appreciated. She told me to eat whatever I wanted – spicy food, etc. – because after all, woman all over the world with all sorts of cuisines breastfed their babies! She did say that while not to avoid any certain foods, there were certain foods that I could incorporate that *may* help my milk supply. She gave me a lactation cookie recipe, which looked delici0us, but was full of butter and sugar. Not exactly what I wanted to be filling my body with. So, when I got home, I used that as a starting point and tried to find a lactation boosting recipe that was a little cleaner.