How I Handled The 3 P's Of Traveling With Baby
The past 4 months (yes - Little Magician is 4 months old today!) of motherhood have taught me some incredible lessons - but nothing schools you like traveling with a baby for the first time. Whew, Lawd.
With family scattered across the globe, there was a clear understanding that the Little Magician World Tour would commence as soon as possible. We kicked things off with a trip to Miami for the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, and it was everything.
Getting LM's passport was a comedy of errors. The first place we went for her photos ended up not shooting infants. The second spot was ready and willing to take her photo as long as she wasn't wearing white - and guess what Mommy dressed her in that day? Yup. White. Luckily, we had an extra change of colourful clothes in her diaper bag, so that crisis was averted.
With the photos done, we proceeded to file her application. HomieLuva (my husband) completed it as the applicant and I filled in as the guarantor. All went well until I entered in my passport info and learned that MY passport expired the week prior. I. Freaked. Out. Did I just screw up her passport application? Then it hit me. Aside from thinking I couldn't be her guarantor (in Canada parents can be guarantors, and you can be a guarantor as long as your passport hasn't been expired for more than a year), it then registered that I needed my own passport for our trip. That story is a blog post all by itself.
Finally, everything got sorted out. The passport arrived (with the CUTEST photo I've ever seen, if I do say so myself), and we were ready to roll.
Got a bunch of bibs? Check.
Got a bunch of onesies? Check.
Got a couple adorable swimsuits? Check.
Luckily, we were staying with family who had a car seat, stroller, playpen, and more waiting for us. We just had to pack clothes and other personal items, which made life much easier. Our airline allowed her diaper bag as an extra carry-on, so we ensured we had enough diapers, formula, and clothing in there to get us from gate to gate. HomieLuva almost purchased a pack of diapers, but we decided against it, knowing we could just buy a pack in Miami and save the luggage space.
Also, I thanked my lucky stars for baby carriers. We could have LM secured stowed away, leaving our hands free to handle two full-size suitcases, two wheeled carry-ons, a laptop bag, and a diaper bag. Did I mention I got a GREAT upper body workout too?
Now, I have always been a traveler that was sympathetic to crying babies on planes. Babies cry. We're in an enclosed space. There's not much you can do about it. That being said, a wee one wailing in my ear when I can't walk away isn't my favourite thing in the world, and I was cognizant of that when we planned this trip.
Looking online for tips, I either vetoed them (didn't want to give her baby Benadryl) or knew she was too young for them (she's not quite at the "I can be distracted with a tablet" stage yet). I decided to try timing my feeds so that she would at least be full and comfortable - and hopefully even fall asleep when we took off. The plan worked - somewhat.
On the way to Miami, she slept through the takeoff, had a screaming fit due to gas mid-way through, and fell back asleep for the landing. Mary J said "won't be no hateration, holleration in this dancerie" but Little Magician surely hated her gas and hollered to let us know. Most people were understanding. A few jerks made a big show of craning their necks in our direction and sighing. A silly flight attendant tried to help by asking if he could get her some milk. I pointed to my boobs and said "I've got it covered, thanks." The most frustrating thing? Everyone who clucked and said "Poor baby - her ears must be hurting." Absolutely no one would listen when we said that the farts ricocheting out of her little bum led us to believe that her stomach ache was the issue, but oh well. What do we know? We're just her parents.
In short, LM LOVED Miami. The humidity fro'd out her kinks and curls something lovely. Her dry skin patches disappeared. She wasn't quite into the feeling of sand and water on her little feet at the beach, but she got used to it. She was mesmerized by the palm trees. Most importantly, she loved meeting her Miami family.
As it was Miami Carnival, us adults didn't miss out on the fun either - I enjoyed a boat cruise, and HomieLuva hit a party of his own as well. Fun, fetes, family, and friends - add some decent shopping and good eating to the mix, and you've got the recipe for an awesome vacation, which this was.
And the best part? On the way home, LM fell asleep as we boarded, and didn't wake up until we collected our luggage in Toronto. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she's ready for Trip #2.