I can’t believe I did it! I was nervous to travel with an infant overseas but everyone said, “Do it now before she is mobile.” I am so happy I listened! The trip was not bad AT ALL and I am so grateful for the memories we made. To make the flight as easy as possible I started preparing for this trip weeks in advance. If you want to travel abroad with your little one I would definitely suggest speaking with your pediatrician first. It was important for both of us that Eleanor had her 8 week shots, although I know some people travel before this, for peace of mind this was a non-negotiable.
Our trip included a two hour layover in London before getting on another plane to Geneva. I was most worried about the layover but it was no sweat. You will read in one of my tips below that I think overpacking is essential (especially if this is your first trip with Little One). Poor Eleanor went through two outfit changes from spit-up before we even made it to London. I am so happy I had plenty of back-up outfits. I would have felt so badly if she was flying in clothing that made her uncomfortable. As a mom, knowing your L.O. is completely taken care of is key. So I say, be organized, plan ahead, over-pack, take deep breathes, and most importantly follow your gut! Bon Voyage!
* Sucking on Something – This is KEY! She didn’t get fussy during the flight which I believe was because on take-off and landing I had something in her mouth for her to suck on and equalize her ears. She either had a bottle or passifier without question on ascending and descending
* Be Organized – I used these travel bags to organize all of her essentials. So all of her gripe water, gas drops, tylenol and other medicines went in one. Her changing needs (diaper, aquaphor, wipes) went in another. And her passport, my passport, boarding cards, and other travel needs went in another. And so on… It made it so easy to quickly grab what I needed without having to dig through a bag looking for what I needed.
* More is More – Everyone says to pack light. Bullshit! Bring everything you need and then a backup. Who wants their poor baby to fly with spit-up on their pajama. Or to run out of clean bottles. Especially if this is your first trip, overpack. Not only will you use most of it, you will also have peace of mind that you have everything you need
* Bassinet – Upon booking your ticket make sure the airline knows you will be traveling with an infant. It does not matter if you are in Business class or Economy. The airline will sit your seat on the bulkhead aisle which has a wall where a table pulls out and they strap a bassinet to it. I brought a blanket to lay in the bassinet and then a swaddle to cover her so she wasn’t touching anything I hadn’t washed. Yes, I know this is totally a first time mom move!
* First to Board – If you like to board last, DON’T! You have so many items to get ready for such a long flight. Get on board and start organizing. It will make your life SO MUCH easier once in flight
* Always have back-up clothing for YOU and BABY – While I was spared baby poop, I wasn’t spared baby spit-up. On the way there she went through two outfits! Luckily I had four ready to go
* Bring Ziplock bags incase of an explosion. This is great if you are on the plane and something gets on you or the baby and you need to store your clothing
* Have bottles prepared but wait to actually make them – Eleanor is on formula so we had the powder ready to go in the bottles before boarding. When the plane started to taxi to the runway I poured the water in and fed her upon take-off. I would wait to make the bottle as long as possible. On the way home we were about to take off and the plane ended up having to return to the gate which took over an hour. In this case I threw the bottle away and made a new one.
* Stroller (Doona) Nightmare – Not one international flight would gate-check our Doona. It was the one nightmare of the entire experience. We would drop it off at the gate and then when we de-boarded they kept sending it to baggage claim, even though we were traveling onto another destination. My advice, check the Doona at check-in and use a YoYo stroller or the Pockit (folds into a tiny square that can store in the overhead bin) if you have a long layover. If you don’t then I would recommend wearing your baby in the Ergo 360.
* Stroller Cover – I highly recommend getting a cover for your stroller. I used this one for the Doona and am so grateful we had it. No matter if you check your stroller or gate-check it the stroller gets dirty and full of germs. I didn’t want to have to worry about what Eleanor was sitting in while we were at our destination. The cover put my mind at ease and kept the Doona safe.
* Changing Table on Flight – This might sound dumb, but I had no clue where to change her when we were on the plane. Fret not, the changing table is above the toilet. You simply fold it down. I recommend bringing a changing pad and sanitizing wipes to clean it when you are done. I didn’t want to put it back in the diaper bag with all of those germs. YUCK!
* Schedule – I am such a stickler for schedules. I think it helps her and me, however, throw it to the clouds when flying internationally. Just breathe and know that you will get her/him back on schedule when you can, but you are simply just surviving this process. I would say it took Eleanor a good 4-5 days before she was able to somewhat beat jet-lag. Again, blissfuly remember the memories you just made!
This is Eleanor’s first time in a pool! So happy we got to share this moment at my in-law’s in Switzerland.
This is Eleanor and me at a lunch at my in-laws.
Eleanor and the Jet d’Eau. She won’t remember this, but B and I will!