I have traveled a TON with Jack mostly due to the fact that being half English, he is in serious demand for some face time with his English roots on the other side of the world. Jack has been all ages during his travel experiences and has traveled to over 7 countries. Every time we go somewhere I learn more and more about what I am doing right, but mostly about what I am doing wrong. Which is expected, he keeps changing every month he grows. So how am I supposed to see what terrors and joys are ahead of me? I’m not psychic! We recently just returned from a trip to England where I stayed for over a month with extended family. In that time, we went to Ireland to attend the wedding of close friends, and then off to Spain for yet another wedding of close friends. I am happy to say I have returned to Los Angeles still a married woman and with a happy and healthy baby, which I didn’t think would be possible. On both accounts. Without going into the nitty gritty, we dealt with some serious illness for little Jack during this trip and I am happy to say he made it through and I am in love with the English health care system above all health care. Not only did they see Jack immediately each and every time, it was completely free including his medicine. But that’s another story. SO, without further ado, I am here today to give you the heads up on the ins and outs of travel with babies to far places across the globe and what to expect during these treacherous excursions, mostly the plane travel part. Obviously, your baby may be the one who has none of these issues that I mention below, and to you I say, ugh. No offense.
The pack n’ play is good for many things, but sleeping is NOT one of them. It comes with a “mattress” made from a board with almost no padding. Laying jack down to sleep on this thing was like Chinese torture, for both him and us. And I don’t blame him! It’s awful! After several trips to baby stores I have found that no mattress is made for the pack n’ play except a flimsy plastic one with no padding as well, which Jack saw right through and again tossed and turned, and cried. A lot. After half of his one year on this planet and zero solutions I had just about given up until BOOM! A fellow mother came to my rescue and asked me to look into the Mamadoo travel mattress. I immediately went home, googled it, and there it was. Angelic voices were suddenly singing all around me. A fold up mattress that was and comfy and incorporated the board mattress that came with the pack n’ play.
Since using this mattress, it is like I put Jack to sleep in his own crib! I don’t even use a sheet on top, it is that comfy. The mattress is made of organic material, and fits in our luggage. How ridiculous is that? In our dang luggage? I can’t speak enough on this subject, just know that it is the be all end all solution to all travel sleep problems and you need to look no further.
Feast your eyes. You’re welcome.
This is the most important thing you will decide to buy for yourself, in my opinion. I mean, carrying the baby is what you will now do all day, every day, for the rest of time. (Or till they can walk at least). We made the best decisions EVER when we bought each and every one of our baby carriers, and they all were extremely useful and worth the money as Jack grew. So far in Jack’s 1 year of life, he has been to 3 different countries. (I am about to do a post on traveling long distances with your baby as well). The carriers we used were not only life saving for plane travel, but for parties, hiking, and anything else you can think of! So here is the breakdown age by age…
(The most important information of all time contained within this post for all future traveling happiness)
Ok, so when the idea presented itself to me, a Hawaiian trip with just my sister and mother as a kind of girls get away, I thought YES! We bought the tickets, booked the hotel, and off we were to 6 days of paradise with baby Jack in tow. ( I now use the term paradise loosely. As in Hell on earth.)
Going on a vacation with your baby and without your husband may sound manageable, even pleasant. You think, “My mom and sister are so great with Jack, I will get so much rest and free time. I can finally read my book!” Then you find yourself with a baby who doesn’t want to sleep on the plane, it’s too exciting. Then you have a baby who won’t sleep in the car on the way to the hotel, there is too much to see. Then you have a baby at the end of the day who forgot to nap and is screaming for dear life because the hotel crib happens to be a horrible pack n’ play (by the way no baby can sleep a comfortable night in a pack n play. It’s for playing, not for sleeping 12 hours in). And you have a mother and sister who are enjoying margaritas on the balcony while you spend the next 4 hours dealing with that. So here is the skinny.