Traveling with baby!

A few weeks ago, David found out his company wanted him to attend a conference. When he mentioned it to me, I didn't realize it was in a week and a half...and in Orlando!  We have a Southwest companion pass through the end of the year, so why not use it and join him??  Sounded exciting--until the next morning!

It hit me--oh my, I have to pack for an 11-week-old for 5 nights?  But we won't have a swing or vibrating chair for him to sit in!  What about packing enough sets of clothes without being able to do laundry??  Oddly enough, I wasn't worried about the flying part. It was being in another town, maybe without a car, and only me to hold him for at least three days (while D was in his conference) that worried me. 

But it was great!  Just needed to think through and pack well.  Here are my tips:
1) Be organized with packing for baby!  Cousin Jayna mentioned she saw on Pinterest that people use ziplock bags for each day to do just that. We were away for 5 nights so:
1 bag for each day we were traveling (total of 6). Each had an outfit for the day and a pair or pajamas. 
1 for extra outfits
1 for bibs
1 for burp cloths
1 for hats, swimsuits, and socks
Quart size bags worked this time, but I may need to do gallon eventually--I have a growing boy on my hands!!
2) Take an item that baby loves and that gives you a break from having to cuddle him/her!  I researched companies that rented baby supplies, but the cost for 5 days was like buying a new toy!  I visited Craigslist and saw a lot of items that were cheap...but then I realized Sol's vibrating chair could come with us!
It disassembled into 6 pieces and was perfect!  While I realize we could have survived without it, we did use it--so I'm glad it was easy to pack!
3) Noise machine!  You don't want to be that parent driving around town looking for a noise machine at 10pm!  I recommend having a traveling noise machine that lives with your luggage...that way you won't forget it!
4) Flying?  NBD!  The nurse at Dr. Walley's office said that I should breastfeed him during take off and landing.  Another option is a pacifier.  They need to suck on something to help them adjust to the pressure change.  This guy did great!
We did bring drink tickets JUST IN CASE he tortured people sitting around us. We didn't need them for this flight, amen!
I was excited when I spotted our friend Carmon on our flight. He was super sweet and waited for us at the Orlando airport because he wanted to help us. Sol was so interested in everything---he didn't fuss at all!
5) Take a wearable carrier with you!!  You will definitely want it if you are traveling on your own with baby, but it definitely helps even with a companion. This way, you can help push the stroller with luggage in it (as I saw a mommy doing since she was on her own) or do anything with your hands and carry baby at the same time!  Sol LOVED looking around at everything in the airport and I have the carrier to thank for giving him a great view!
5) I called the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort ahead of time to make sure they knew we needed a crib or pack n play. I understand most hotels have something available for baby, but you'll feel better knowing they are prepared for your visit.  We didn't arrive until after midnight and the last thing we wanted to do was drive to Wal-Mart to buy something for him to sleep in! 
They delivered the crib within minutes of us getting in...and Sol slept great in it over night. 
We were in luck when we found out Nana & Lito had come back to Florida from their Boston travels. They drove the 3.5 hrs to Orlando to spend a few days with us!  It was great seeing them!!!
They kept Sol on Saturday night while D and I went out for a romantic Italian dinner :). Sol had a blast!
Nana and Lito took Sol and me to an area called Celebration. We enjoyed coffee, the farmers market, walking around, and an alligator!!  Thankfully, he was sunning on the bank opposite of where I was feeding Sol. 
Love cuddling with my baby boy 
We had dinner with David's college friend, Stacey, and her family. It was a great time catching up!!
6) Bath items like baby wash and maybe a towel and rag. We did use our rag, but the towel stayed in the suitcase as we used the hotel towels. Sol didn't have any reactions to their detergent. 
I had purchased a foam bathing pad before we traveled, but realized I could just get in the tub with him!  No need to pack another unnecessary item. Bath time was fine, I just had to watch for potential pooping!
7) Bottles, breastpump, and frozen milk. I took three bottles and 3 bags of frozen milk.  Since we feed him from a bottle every night, I wanted to make sure we would have a couple nights covered. I was able to bring home a few bags of milk as well--it was just a little messier because my freezer packs were no longer frozen 
Any suggestions on how to travel back with breast milk??
I guess I could have asked the hotel if they would put them in a freezer for me...but I didn't try that this time. 
8) Remember walking shoes!  You don't want to end up stuck in the room the whole time. Get out, get some fresh air. Be active with baby!
We explored the nature trail at the resort. It was ok...if it hadn't been so hot, I would've ventured elsewhere for exercise. 
Pretty bird on the grounds 
9) Think through where you take baby and what time of the day/temperature/etc. We ventured to downtown Disney in the middle of the day...90 degree weather...no shade...bad idea!  Sol managed, but boy did he need AC when we returned to the car. I didn't want my sweet boy to get overheated!
 
10) Gate check bag!!  We took our snap-n-go stroller for this trip, along with his carseat.  While I wouldn't enjoy our luggage being misplaced while flying, I wouldn't know what to do if his carseat didn't arrive with us.  By taking a gate check bag, we were able to fit both the stroller and carseat in to to the bag at the gate--and pick it back up when we arrived at our next location. It  would be more challenging to deal with if I was flying alone,  but I would want to create a routine that included using the bag.  I have no idea how the bottom of an airplane looks....and I don't really want Sol's carseat just floating around with everyone's stuff.
We made it home safely on Wednesday night and our little guy is now considered quite the traveler!

Traveling is a wonderful hobby that my husband and I enjoy.  We don't want it to come to a halt just because we have a baby now--so we'll keep making time to be adventurous and I know we'll learn new tricks as he grows!