We just returned from our 7-day trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mayan Riviera, Mexico. I was against going with a 7 month old baby, but when my parents offered to meet us there we thought we would give it a shot! So here are my top 10 things to consider when traveling with a baby, advice from a new mom!
1. Make a list, do your shopping, and pack ahead of time!
My husband and I are frequent travelers. I like to pack the night before and I always have travel bags pre-packed with toiletries and sunscreen so it usually isn’t that hard to pick up and go! Well…that was before baby. My goodness, we brought WAY more stuff than usual. With diapers, wipes, creams, food, bottles, toys, clothes, hats, sunscreen, etc., etc., etc., our suitcases were FULL. It took a surprisingly long time to pack and double check my lists before I finally felt satisfied (It also took 3 trips to the drugstore!) If you are going to a foreign country be aware that it is usually much more challenging to run to the store to grab Tylenol or other necessities that you may need, so I prefer to pack anything I can think of that would be useful.
2. Get a ride to the airport
It was very helpful to be dropped off right at the door. Saved us the time and hassle of parking, shuttle buses, luggage, etc. Anything to simplify.
3. Bring a lightweight stroller, and baby carrier (or wrap)
I carried our baby in our LILLEbaby soft structured carrier through the airport, as they don’t make you take the baby out to go through security. (If they are in a car seat or stroller they do, even if they are sleeping!) It was nice having the lightweight stroller with us as well as we used it to carry all our bags, and it was necessary while on our trip as it was A LOT of walking.
4. Bring as much carry on luggage as you can
Be prepared with multiple outfit changes for both parents and baby. It seems they just really love to poop and spit up all over when you are traveling. Also, put a diaper cover (plastic kind) OVER the disposable diaper on the plane. This is a foolproof way to prevent blowouts. I learned this from experience since I needed to change my pants the last flight we took! Also, liquids like formula or breast milk are okay to bring in your carry on, with no limitation on volume.
5. Be aware of the time zones
We gained 2 hours on the way to Mexico, which meant baby’s sleep schedule was a little screwed up. We tried to keep her on California time as much as possible (going to bed 2 hours later than she normally would) but that didn’t work so well as she still got up at 6am, so it took a couple rough days at home to get back on California time.
6. If your baby is eating solids bring lots of snacks!
I am still breastfeeding, but our daughter also loves her solid food. In the airport it sometimes is just not convenient to breastfeed her so we brought a couple snacks that she likes to keep her happy and entertained while standing in line in security and waiting to board the plane.
7. Prepare for everyone on the plane to hate you (just kidding…well maybe a little)
I got some pretty weird looks while boarding the plane. Everyone is HOPING that they aren’t the ones stuck beside you. Well, too bad. We have all been on a plane with a screaming baby, it sucks, but there’s nothing you can do about it. I look at it as retribution for all the times I was annoyed with the baby crying behind me. On that note, be sure to ask the person at check-in if the plane is full! We got lucky and by switching our seats we were able to have the whole row to ourselves
8. Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that vacations will never be the same
If this is your first time traveling as a family just know that no matter how much help you have, vacations will never be the same. I was a little delusional in thinking that because my parents were there it wouldn’t be a big deal and we can enjoy ourselves just like any other trip. We had an AWESOME time and did get to spend a lot of time as a couple, but of course baby always came first. No sleeping in or staying up late for us!
My husband is a really awesome man. We are complete opposite in temperament and that is a good thing. When he sees me getting overwhelmed he is quick to take the baby and go for a walk. When he starts looking tired I would feed her and try to get her to sleep. Parenting truly is a team sport.
10. Remember, no matter where you are going, it will all be worthwhile once you get there.
Okay, traveling with a baby sucks. BUT…a week away, swimming in turquoise blue waters, and enjoying delicious meals and housekeeping services. Definitely worth it.
Lastly, some ideas on how to stay healthy while you are away!!
- Don’t let nap time go to waste. Use your hotel patio as a personal workout area! There are lots of no equipment exercises you can do to get your blood pumping. Check out my instagram @fitmamasb for a quick crossfit workout I was able to squeeze in during a nap.
- Walking counts! We used our pedometer and concluded that we walked on average 7 miles a day! Made me feel better about having a little dessert!
- If you have childcare… snorkel, swim, run, do something outside that makes you happy. Did you know snorkeling can burn 540 calories an hour?
- Bring a couple small workout items like resistance bands that can be used in the hotel room. I threw a resistance band in my bag and was able to use it all sorts of ways to do a baby-wearing workout on the beach! (Stay tuned for that post…it’s going to be a good one!)
- Drink lots of water, it’s easy to get dehydrated when you are sweating in the sun all day.
- Eat and drink what you want, in moderation. I like to have a day where I eat anything I want, and then eat healthy the next day, and continue like that. Heck, you are on vacation it’s okay to cheat your diet a little; just don’t let a cheat week turn into a cheat month.
- Have lots of sex. No really, have lots of steamy vacation sex. It’s exercise, endorphin releasing, and helps you relax and love each other just that little bit more! If my family is reading this post, sorry, haha
- Take an hour to yourself everyday. Vacations are stressful, especially if you aren’t used to being with the baby all day everyday. An hour of ‘me time’ is good for everyone.
- Feel like you fell off the wagon? Contact me when you get back to do a quick 2 week jump start program to get you back into a healthy lifestyle!
Hope this helps!
In fitness & good health,