Recently I took my first plane ride to Toronto, and I did it with a baby in tow! I had a lot of fun but it wasn’t all rainbows and lollipops!! (although I did get to see a whole/round rainbow!) To read my story check out my post “Storytime: Mom & Baby’s First Flight”. Weeks before take off, I did quite a bit of research to find out what I needed to do to prepare for our first plane ride and most of the blogs said the same thing. Travel during nap time, buy baby a seat if possible… all good advice but like anything, we take the advice we want and leave the rest.
So after my first experience traveling with Mr. Grey, I came to realize what we truly needed on our trip, what we could have done without and what we should have brought for our 1 week stay in Toronto.
On the Plane
- For our trip to Toronto, I accidentally picked a 6am flight, and although getting up at 3:30am was a bit of a bear, Mr. Grey was a champ. I’ve been told traveling with an infant is best around their nap time which is what I did for the return trip but my experience told me otherwise! For MY baby, travelling early in the morning worked better!
- My research and fellow mommy travelers, all said give your baby a pacifier when taking off or landing to helps with the “ear pop” they may experience from the pressure change, and that I should chew gum. Well, I forgot to buy gum before getting on the plane and although Mr. Grey was sucking on a pacifier briefly he spat it out mid way through take off and didn’t have it at all when we were landing back in Edmonton. I didn’t experience any ear pop landing or taking of either time we flew. ( I’ve recently been told that you may not experience it every time)
- I wanted to travel light (to save a little money) so I packed a duffle bag for myself and Mr. Grey’s Diaper bag for him, this way I wouldn’t have to pay to check any bags. In theory this was a good idea but in hindsight I should have spent the $25 to check a bag. Trying to carry a duffle bag, diaper bag, car seat, purse AND Mr. Grey was NOT fun!
- I read on the Air Canada website that you were allowed to bring a stroller up to the plane door and gate check it but it had to be one of those collapsible umbrella strollers. Well, it wasn’t until my flight back to Edmonton that I noticed a bunch of families pushing their jogging strollers right up to the plane door!!! You can gate check your car seat AND stroller?!? Next time I am definitely bringing mine!!
- Definitely buy a seat for your baby if you can afford it. Seats in coach aren’t that spacious and having a diaper bag at your feet and a baby on your lap, shrinks the space to the size of a tic tac pack!! Here is a tip I got from a co-worker… spend the money to select your seat! Pick the aisle seat and the window seat… it is less likely that anyone will want to pick a center seat and if they do you can always ask them to switch seats with you… Thanks Jason!!
For Your Stay
Travelling with Mr. Grey at this particular time was a bit frustrating because we were just finally falling back into his sleep schedule/routine. But being that I wasn’t planning on taking his entire nursery with us on the plane I opted to only bring a few things I though would help him feel more at home:
- his sound machine
- sleepy sheep
- and his new found friend pacifier (he only started using it the day before the flight!)
We were staying at my Mom and Sisters house… but being that I am the only one in the family right now with an infant and no one has any “spare” baby gear, I was left to improvise for the sleeping arrangements. Mr. Grey is a roller, so I decided I would layer some fluffy fur rugs and a blanket on the floor to make sure he didn’t roll off the bed while I was in a dead sleep. That being said, I think the only thing I wish I was able to bring or buy once I got there, was a side sleeper/pack and play for naps and bed time sleeping. If you’ve read the post “You Are Getting Sleeeepppyyyyy…” you know I use the check up method for sleep training Mr. Grey. It was just about impossible to continue using that method with him sleeping on the floor… there was way too many opportunities for him to get into trouble! I don’t know how it would work if I were staying in a hotel, if they can provide you with travel crib or something like that, but bringing or having something for baby to sleep in… A MUST!!
Do you have any must-haves for travelling with an infant or kids? Leave a comment and let me know!