Last August we went on a family holiday to Europe to visit my husband’s family and check out Italy.
Maya was only 4 months then but I was definitely anxious about the 9 hour flight. And then how she was going to react to jetlag with her sleep.
I’m sharing the best tips I was given here below.
Bring an umbrella stroller: the light foldable strollers you can carry with you everywhere.
Most moms shared horror stories of how their actual heavy duty strollers were either damaged or lost on the airplane as they had to be checked in. We bought the Summer Infant 3D Lite for our trip. It was so so so useful and super light. The reviews claimed it didn’t cover enough in terms of the hood but to be honest we didn’t really notice and if we did it was just so bright we draped a blanket over her anyway. The best aspects of this stroller was it can be dropped down to a lying position – this was handy when we couldn’t find a change table. AND we were able to hang our baby bag on the handles.
Bring a baby carrier the one with a waist strap.
We used our baby carrier everywhere: on the plane during take off & landing and when we went sightseeing (like climbing Trim Castle in County Meath and touring a La Masseria lemon orchard along the Sorrento Peninsula). We had the original Baby Bjorn which was fine for the plane but for long tours I would have prefered the carrier with the waist strap. I contemplated buying a sling for the plane since 9 hours was a long time to have baby on lap. It might have been handy for our flight there since I held my baby while she slept (thank God!!) through most of the flight. But on the way back the flight wasn’t as full and the flight attendants gave us the whole row!
Try and maintain similar bedtime routines
Of course you’ll be out and touring but as much as possible we tried to keep her bedtime routine the same which was watching for her sleepy cues and making sure she slept in a pitch black room. Sometimes it was hard. We did share a room with her a but we made sure to give her her own bed/space. I think this might have been the toughest for us as pre-baby we loved going out and having our wine & dinners. But with a baby they just get so fussy when they are tired and then are monsters when they’re over tired. The best thing we did was pre-planned. For most of our trip we ensured she had her own room. In Sorrento we booked our stay with La Maison Tofani they were affordable and had a balcony with huge block out doors. Best part was our balcony was literally right over the market so we drank wine and the noise or the light didn’t creep into the room while baby slept soundly.
Carry lots of wipes and outfit changes
This doesn’t just go for baby. From carrying her to her poop explosions it will save your sanity to carry an extra top and wipes. I thought we brought enough for the trip and I ended up buying more.
Toys and blackout blankets
For the plane I read to bring a new toy or a toy she hasn’t seen before for every hour of your trip. My husband complained that this was too much especially since her carry-on was full of toys. Thankfully Maya slept through most of the flight there. And she was angelic on the flight back. But when you’re stuck on a plane with a baby – the last thing you think about then and there is ‘wow I’ve brought too many toys’. It will never happen. Tips I also read were to bring things that aren’t toys that your babe might find interesting. The blackout blankets were helpful for us because I could drape them over her stroller, carseat or in the plane for her naps.
Anyway so those are all the tips off the top of my head. We are traveling to Asia early next year – before Maya turns 1 year old! It will be a little more challenging as it’s a 14hr flight and she will have waaay more energy. Say a little prayer for us!