The first time my daughter Viyana traveled by airplane she was only 2 months old. The extreme exhaustion of being a new mom definitely helped to numb the nervous feelings in my stomach. I did pay attention to some small details though. What could I do differently next time to make the experience easier? Should I pay more attention to mom travel hacks? If I share my tips and tricks, will it help any moms out there? The answers to those questions without a doubt is YES.
Viyana has been on a plane many times since then, and just recently we took her with us to Jamaica. Yes, an 8 month old. Getting into a no excuses mindset helped me to come up with mom hacks based on troubleshooting previous travels. Early on I would miss out on activities, and stay in the room desperately trying to keep Viyana on some sort of schedule. The truth is that is more stressful and limiting, so go have fun and make it easy. I did, and it was worth it, here are my tips.
In Flight Comfort
One word: BOPPY. In a perfect scenario little Viyana has her own seat, and is sleeping peacefully in her carseat for the duration of the 4h22min flight. Isn’t every mom’s dream to be hands free for more than 4 minutes? Purchasing her own seat wasn’t an option, so I needed to come up with a sleeping surface for her while she was in my lap. I suggest not stacking up blankets as that is what I did on a flight to California once. Not only will your arm fall asleep, but little one will try to switch positions multiple times. For Jamaica I decided to take her Boppy on board and it did the trick! She fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep. The Boppy even came in handy throughout the trip, in cafes, restaurants, and on the beach. She was secure and not missing naps. Even if she was sleeping for only 45 minutes, it was enough to not have major cranky pants. Success.
If you are in the baby section of my kitchen you will most definitely find microwave steam sterilizer bags. Bottles in bag with a little bit of water, and all it takes is a quick 3 minutes in the microwave–keeps this momma happy! Nothing time consuming or labor intensive. While travelling this is not always an option, however; hot water is always available in resorts, hotels, restaurants, and in flight. So I travel with a funnel. You will find me in a restroom funnelling hot water into bottles for the perfect rinse. I came to this idea after pouring near boiling water on my hands way too many times. So cheers to the quick clean, many affordable funnel options on Amazon makes for the perfect mom hack!
If you could maximize comfort for your little one to fall asleep, you would SO do it. My experience with sleep and travel goes something like this: occasionally she would be out like a light, other times not- which means high pitched screaming. Which is why as a mom, multiple strategies have saved me every time I want to throw in the towel. Every kid, and every situation is different, so I invested in noise reduction headphones. Nothing gives a mom more comfort them knowing your baby is calm, and not distracted by their surroundings when trying to catch their z’s. I feel really good about doing everything in my control to keep Viyana comfortable. My choice: My Happy TOT hearing protection headphones, they are adjustable!
Get In The Pool
The most joy and smiles as a mom came from my time in the pool with Viyana. Funny enough the pool was initially low on my priority list because admittedly, I was scared AF to take her in the pool. But FOMO and mom determination kicked in, and I researched pool floats on amazon. Hands down my favorite item ever: SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy. As much as I want to keep Viyana “safe”, I realize that for every activity there is a solution. If you know how you want to spend your days, you can always ensure mom and baby comfort with fun.
Pouches & Spoons
Before the trip I would obsess about feeding times, will she eat solid foods, is the drinking water safe, bathing a kid in a sink is not my favorite thing, will she nap, or will she be too hot? Cooking on vacation, ummm no. It turned into more of meal prep and and let me tell you how. There may have been no homemade applesauce but there was Happy Baby Organic food pouches. I would squeeze the baby food directly onto a spoon and then right to Viyana’s tastebuds. No jars, no blenders, no mess. It was the perfect solution for the week. I will confess that she did not have any meat for a week, but I wasn’t willing to do meat in a jar, or give her food from the resort. So she was plant based (and formula) for a week and did phenomenal.