Several months ago I wrote a post about traveling with a young infant. At the time of my travels I was with my daughter who was then around 4 months old. I just got back from traveling with her again, this time she is 11 months old. So. Very. Different. So different in fact, that it warranted it’s very own post. And I’m sure the next time I travel with her, I will need to write yet another post dedicated to the traveling with whatever-age-she-happens-to-be-at-that-time.
So let’s get started. Once again I traveled with her alone internationally. My daughter has now been on 9 different airplanes and she’s not quite a year old yet. Our journey started in Chicago at the enormous O’Hare Airport (you gotta either love or hate this airport).
I had a lot of stuff with me, but there were many essentials that I really needed to have on the plane with us.
What I took with us on the plane: (I had my Backpack and a large purse)
In the purse:
- – One light weight muslin blanket (I love the ones by Aden & Anais)
- – Baby Changer Mat (This is still one of my favorite baby items! I take it everywhere with me – makes diaper changes so easy when we’re on the go!)
- – Wipes (My favorites are the natural wipes from The Honest Company) Invite to join the Honest Company here
- – My wallet, our passports, a consent letter to travel with my daughter from my husband, and our boarding passes
- – Sippy Cup and 2 bottles (I used the playtex nurser bottles with drop in inserts) These worked so well as I just brought extra nipples and drop in liners that way I wouldn’t have to rewash the nipples in the plane.
- – Ava’s favorite lovey blanket (a cute bird one that my mom made her)
- – Toys (a crinkly book, a new rattle toy, and a new linky toy thing) – each with a clip attached to it so I could clip it to her shirt. No way was I going to be crawling around on the ground looking for fallen toys.
- – Her wubbanub pacifier toys (not pictured) also on a clip and clipped to her at all times. This is her MUST HAVE item as she cannot fall asleep without it. The one we have is the frog (we also have the elephant as back up which I also had in my purse.)
- – My iphone, charger, ipod, and ear buds
- – Gum
- – Water bottle
- – Snacks for Ava (teething biscuits – she loves the ones by Plum Organics, and Organic O’s cereal from Whole Foods)
- – Freeze Dried Mangos for me (from Trader Joe’s) – Yum!
- – Extra diapers
- – Diaper Cream – Healing Balm by The Honest Company
- – Disposable Changing Mat (just in case)
- – 2 Formula containers filled with dry formula
- – Extra t-shirt for Ava
- – Contact lens case, extra pair contacts & glasses
In the backpack:
- – Lots more snacks (more teething biscuits, puffs, etc)
- – 3 pouches of pureed baby food
- – 1 package of baby yogurt melt snacks
- – 3 packages rice crackers mum mums
- – 1 package of wet wipes
- – 1 package of clorox wipes
- – a hoodie for Ava
- – 1 extra pair pants for Ava
- – 2 extra onesies
- – 3 bibs
- – Boogie wipes
- – Baby Tylenol and Baby Benadryl
- – Ava’s inhaler and mask & tube
- – A few more toys
- – My laptop and charger
Also with us:
- – my Ergo baby carrier, which I carried Ava in throughout the airport and onto the planes. This item was a life saver and a must have for me. I will never travel without it again while Ava is still able to fit in it.
- – Our Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat and base
- – and our Expedition Jogging Stroller. I searched long and hard for a great jogging stroller and I’m really happy with this one. For a jogging stroller it’s relatively light weight and it folds up really easily. I was able to fold it quickly by myself while wearing my backpack on my back and wearing Ava in the Ergo on my front. It unfold really easily too and it’s a breeze to maneuver it around. I decided to take this one with us across the country (and into another country) for these reasons: – it is easy to fold and unfold, it is easy to maneuver around, I was able to put my purse in the basket in the bottom and the carseat with the base attached into the main part of the stroller and push it through the airport. Also I wanted a jogging stroller so I could go running while I was away, which I did. 5 Stars for this stroller!
I checked our one huge suitcase (which weighed just under the 50 pound limit) and hauled all the other stuff with us. I gate checked the carseat & base, and the jogging stroller which made things so much easier for me.
While we were waiting at our gate, I took Ava out of the Ergo and laid her in the stroller to give both of us a little break.
****Tip**** When you get to your gate, go up to the desk and ask them if the flight is full. If it’s not, ask if you can be moved to a row where you have an empty seat beside you.
We were lucky on our way there as we had the entire row of 3 seats to ourselves. I put Ava in the window seat and she loved that! She loved looking out the window and then once we were in the air, she enjoyed having her own seat to sit in and play with her toys. On our way back we were in the window seat and had an empty seat beside us. There was someone in the aisle seat but that was ok, it was still nice to have at least one empty seat beside us.
I did utilize the airline bathrooms and I took some photos so you can get an idea of what they look like. It was actually a little roomier than I expected. The baby change table was clipped up onto the wall above the toilet.
Our flight was ok, but very tiring for me as Ava would not sleep except for a quick 20 minute cat nap the entire 4+ hour flight. I had to entertain her the entire time which a lot of the time was simply holding open her baggie of puffs for her. I made sure to bring LOTS of snacks for her, and I’m so glad I did! We sure needed them.
Once we got to Vancouver BC, she was exhausted and promptly fell asleep as soon as I got her into the Ergo. She slept all the way through both customs and our next security check. Thankfully they did not make me take her out of the carrier. In fact the staff there were incredibly great and they were very helpful. We made our way through the Vancouver airport all the way to the other side of it to get our next flight to Victoria. This flight is a quick one, but it’s usually full so no chance of an empty seat beside us. Lucky for us, we had a really nice lady who sat beside us and she didn’t mind at all that Ava kept reaching out and touching her arm, or cheek, or whatever she could!
Oh and by the way, I have been to soooo many airports all over North America, and I still think the Vancouver BC airport is the nicest. I mean, take a look at the photos below. Waterfalls, streams, artifacts…. Welcome to Beautiful BC, indeed.