Traveling with a Tot

Apparently this post has been much anticipated, so I hope it can live up to the expectations.
Obviously, I mentioned several times that we traveled with Kenley a couple weeks ago.

Flying

Growing up, we didn’t travel much by plane. Our family drove everywhere.
We had a great van(s) with the works, so we were able to stretch out and get comfy.
Greg, on the other hand, had been flying since he was a kid.
Once we moved to Florida though, we became frequent flyers.
Our flight experiences consisted of getting to the airport right on time, or near right on time,
with everything packed nicely in our carry-on luggage, grabbing a beer, and boarding our flight.

Oh, how times have changed.

They’ve even changed since Kenley’s first flight.
This time around we didn’t even pack the Ergo, but opted for our new super-light umbrella stroller,
which turned out to be a great purchase and very convenient.

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We try to travel light with our carry-on luggage. I packed the diaper bag to the brim with the necessities
and Greg carried our camera bag with the small, fragile items. These two bags are easy to carry on our person,
so we have two free hands to deal with a squirmy child, if need be.

The flights were only two hours each way and they were a challenge.
She was by no means bad on either flight, but due to her age and her very busy nature,
it was a struggle on our part to keep her occupied in the small space we had available.

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I was able to get her to sleep on both flights for about 45-50 minutes :: cue angels singing  ::
and no matter how bad my arm hurt holding nearly 20 pounds of dead weight,
I wasn’t going to move it for the life of me. Let’s go back to rule #1…never wake a sleeping baby.

The flight attendants, on the other hand, couldn’t care less that we had a sleeping baby on our hands.
They were the first to let us know we were at cruising altitude and we were free to use our portable electronics.
Mmmmkay, thanks.

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While she was awake, it was an reenactment of a WWF wrestling match.
Kenley was up and down, then would crawl over to Greg, then back to me.
She was curious to see what was going on. She had no interest in the toys we brought her,
then ended up on the floor every time we gave them to her. Then that turned into a game in itself.
We had a snack and some puffs to pass the time.
Thankfully, on the way back, there was a sweet little boy in the seat in front of us who kept
putting his hand through the seat when he heard Kenley get fussy.
She loved it and it distracted her for a short bit.
Greg occupied another five minutes by clicking the reading light on and off… on and off.
She was enthralled by it. It’s the little things I guess.

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Like I said, she really was good on both flights, but it was exhausting.
Greg gets stressed out easily in situations like that and gets worried about the people around us,
which, in turn, makes me stress out  more about Greg than Kenley.
I kid you not, once we were back in the Orlando airport, I said to Greg that we are not having any more kids.
Obviously, the moment has passed and we can laugh about it now and needless to say, we were ready to get home.

Car Riding

We were very fortunate that my parents had an infant car seat, which means we didn’t have to bring one.
Big win.
Kenley is usually pretty good in the car & car seat. After flying 2 hours, we had to drive about an hour
to get back to my parents’ house. I used this time to feed her a snack to pass the time.
It was nice to always have someone in the back seat with her to help keep her entertained. 
We didn’t travel very far once we arrived at our destination, so the next long trip was back to the airport to go home.

Simplifying Life

We took advantage of the fact that we were going to be on vacation and opted to use disposable diapers.
It was one less thing to worry about and much less to pack in our suitcase.
It was nice and a good break from diaper laundry, but it didn’t change our mind about using cloth back home.
We also decided to get jars and pouches of baby food.
These Boon spoons were clutch all week when we were on the go. They attach directly to the food pouch.
Genius I tell ya.
We love making Kenley’s baby food at home,
but knew that it would be silly to do that on vacation. Again, a nice little break for us.

We tried to stay our normal schedule as much as we could, but we knew we were going to be flexible.
The first night Kenley was up about two hours past her bedtime and we honestly didn’t even mind.
It was a special occasion and we were cognoscente of the fact that people wanted to see her.
The rest of the week was more normal. While it was a little more difficult for her to sleep in a pack-n-play,
she ended up taking an extra nap every day while we were there, which was fine with us.

Rolling with the Punches

Of course, we were bound to forget something. Unfortunately, it was Kenley’s lovies that she sleeps with every night.
We improvised and purchased the next best thing at Marshall’s as soon as we arrived. This one had a rattle in it,
so I preformed some surgery on the little guy, opening him up, removing the silly noise maker, and sewing him back together.
He worked out great all week for her cuddling needs and now acts as a back-up at home.

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After the hour+ car ride back to the airport and knowing she was going to be cooped up on the plane,
we let her crawl all over the dirty airport floor. When push comes to shove, you realize it’s not the end of the world.
Whatever it takes to keep your sanity.

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So, there you have it, our travel experience with an (almost) 9 month old.
Do you have any tips for traveling with a tot?

One thought on “Traveling with a Tot

  1. Pingback: so long sweet summer « The Gilbertson Family

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