It’s the morning of Friday June 7 and the first time since we arrived here (Tuesday afternoon) that I have been up before 9:30. The nights have been late (later) because Elisabeth has been muddled by teething and the time change. She fell asleep at 11:00 last night which is a vast improvement from 1:30 and, as I write this is still asleep. I’ve been trying to write a post on biting but a few reflections on travel so far felt like an important and more timely one so I’ll start with that.
It’s now mid-afternoon and Elisabeth has fallen back asleep. We’ve flown three times with her, including this last time, since she was born and let me tell you flying with a newborn (trip to Denver at 8 weeks) and flying with a 6 month old was infinitely easier than flying with a 1 year old. There are three main differences (The 3 T’s) now-
- Teething– We’ve got 2 teeth coming in (yes, again) and it makes for tough going sometimes. Elisabeth wants to bite things, a lot and our standard frozen banana in a teether isn’t an option when you’re on the go. I made do with a few of my fabric pouches which worked well in earlier months and travel easily because they are light and easy to squeeze into tiny gaps in your luggage. They measure approx. 4 x 5 and feature an opening on 3 sides (or 4 whatever works) in which you can slot ice. Ice is aways available from flight attendants, especially if they anticipate a crying baby! Luckily I did remember our Hyland’s Teething Tablets which are a good additional option. I also bought local cucumber from the store around the corner and froze a couple of sticks for Elisabeth to gnaw on. Finally we did also bring her very same washcloth from home which we froze and she’s worked on a bit. As usual, it’s a combination of many methods which has helped the teething pain.
- Time Change– Argh! This continues to be the bane of our week. Elisabeth seems completely befuddled by the time difference. She’s sleeping relatively well at night (albeit in bed with us and not in the crib) but as I mentioned above she’s been falling asleep SO late. This challenge unfortunately doesn’t seem to have any tried and true methods to help off it so we’re just kind of hanging in there. Elisabeth didn’t notice the time change when we traveled to Denver, or the need for extra hydration. One more aspect of travel that gets more difficult as the baby gets older.
- Toys– Elisabeth turned one earlier this week and entertainment of some sort is a must. Gone are the days when I can just pack a rubber key ring for her to work over in her mouth periodically. She needs stuff to do otherwise she gets bored. Knowing this we did pack an extra bag with a smaller set of blocks as well as a puzzle for our apartment (a checked bag) and visited the toystore this morning to load up on a few extra books and games. Elisabeth isn’t walking yet but she still has energy so she needs to burn that off somehow. We’ve found a cool park with an amazing swing but the key is to get her on the ground and have her work her little legs and arms a bit. That tires her out. And of course it helps if she has something to work on or over. Friends let us borrow a few books and a red little scoot bike to ride on so those will be go-to toys as well.
A few other tips that can help things go (more) smoothly:
- Pack extra wipes. Easy to squeeze in anywhere and used all the time! Sure you can buy them also, which we did but it’s nice to have extra on hand just in case.
- Ditto for books. I didn’t use the outside pockets of my rolley bag as well as I could have and could have fit more books in there but didn’t. I wish that I had. Books are great entertainment for you, her or both of you.
- Snacks, more snacks & drinks. I packed snack-size ziplocks of apricots, Cheerios, & her fav teething biscuits. I also packed full sippys of strawberry water & her favorite smoothie (no problem getting them through TSA at all) along with small size tupperware containers of apple & cut grapes, blueberries. In lieu of our standard Monuts bagel, we bought a Starbucks bagel for her work on (bagels are GREAT for teething, by the way) and a banana. These snacks are not only entertainment but are reminders for her of home. I think of them a little like security blankets; they just make things a bit easier.
- The obvious ones: extra socks, sweater in her diap bag along with a few onesies (one short sleeved and one long) were also useful and used.
If you plan on flying with a baby/small toddler at some point, hopefully some of this will be helpful to you. What tips do you have? Leave a comment below. All comments are confidential until approved.