It’s been such a whirlwind of a week since I last posted! Phil, Naiya and I flew to New York City for a wedding last Friday and we visited with friends and family throughout the weekend. Although we arrived back in LA on Monday, I feel like I’m still recovering! Traveling with our almost one-year old was so much more exhausting than when Naiya was a newborn (more about our first trip with her here). Likewise, along with today’s outfit post, I’m rounding up my Top 5 Tips For Surviving Flights With Your Toddler using all of the intel we learned along our trip. I know we could have used all the advice we could get before our trip so hopefully today’s post will help other families taking the travel plunge with their little ones in the near future.
5 Tips For Traveling With Your Toddler
1) Pack Extra Snacks
Naiya has a daily routine at home where we know exactly when she is going to snack, eat her meals, sleep, etc. This routine helps us all to stay sane and it helps her to sleep. During our travel days, our normal routine was of course thrown completely out of whack–not to mention the time change which we were really nervous about. Phil and I had to improvise to figure out how to keep Naiya happy.
One thing that helped us big time on the plane were snacks. Whenever Naiya got fussy, she was extra hungry. She loved snacking on organic baby wafers like these or these. We broke them into tiny pieces so that we wouldn’t over-stuff her and they kept her happy and occupied. I only wish we had brought more because these wafers saved us time and time again.
2) Splurge On An Extra Seat
Technically, you don’t have to pay for an extra seat for your child until they are over 2-years old.
When we originally booked our tickets to New York, we were trying to save money and decided to take advantage of this rule. That said, we somehow got super lucky because we sat next to an empty seat on each leg of our journey so Naiya was able to have extra room.
Without that extra seat, I honestly don’t think we would have survived our flights as well and I for one would have literally been pulling out my hair! I also would have felt horribly for any poor stranger who would’ve sat next to us because I’m sure Naiya would have been on top of him or her the entire time. The kid was bouncing off the walls wanting to walk everywhere and there’s no way she would have sat in my lap the entire time.
The more space you can provide for your toddler on the plane, the better. I know it’s a total bummer to spend the extra moolah but once your baby is able to walk, it’s beyond worth it.
3) Try To Stick To Your Baby’s Routine On The Plane (And Beyond)
Since our flight to New York was relatively early in the morning, we kept Naiya in her pajamas. We hoped that this would send a cue to her that it was still time to sleep. This did end up working in our favor. Naiya didn’t end up taking a long nap in the morning like she usually does but we did get a good 30 minutes in, which was great!
Additionally, since we were flying to the east coast and switching time zones, we knew we would lose three hours out of Naiya’s routine. Since our trip was so short, we decided to keep her on west coast time the entire weekend.
We put her to bed at 10:30pm EST which was really 7:30pm PCT (her normal bedtime). This ultimately helped her to adapt perfectly both in New York and also back home in LA. It worked seamlessly for us!
4) Check Your Stroller And Carseat (For Free)
For us, it felt easier to zip up our carseat into a special backpack (similar here) and we loved that we were also able to add in some extra clothes, etc. since bags like this (and strollers) for your baby are actually free to check.
Additionally, instead of having to fold the stroller up at the gate, we checked that too. I ended up carrying Naiya in her ergobaby throughout the airport instead and it worked out perfectly.
I enjoyed being hands-free and also loved using this carrier to rock Naiya to sleep in flight.
On a totally separate note, if for any reason you’re planning to New York City, you do not necessarily need to bring your own carseat. We ended up using ubers that have carseats in them already and wish we didn’t lug our own across the country! Now we know!
5) Tablets Can Be A Lifesaver
Before we had Naiya, I remember watching babies and toddlers whose parents gave them tablets at restaurants or on planes, wondering if I would ever choose to do the same.
To this day, I personally try to limit screen-time for Naiya because I always want to make sure she’s getting enough playtime and reading time.
That said, now that Naiya is almost one, she has fallen completely in love with Sesame Street and I’m also the biggest fan. When she sees Elmo come on the screen, her entire face lights up and she starts dancing. It melts my heart and I love how happy all of the music and characters makes her.
Phil and I ended up downloading a bunch of Sesame Street episodes onto his tablet before our flights. Truth be told, we used the tablet sparingly and it only held her attention for short periods of time but for every few minutes it did, we were beyond grateful.
I spent most of the flight walking around with Naiya, trying to keep her entertained and Sesame Street helped to create a few minutes of extra sanity (which were pretty much everything).
Outfit Of The Day:
Today, I’m wearing the most comfy white button-down dress. It’s quickly become one of my current faves in my closet for summer and I look forward to layering it up for fall. I’m also loving this gingham version of the dress here.
This was the perfect dress to wear all over New York City in the crazy humidity this past weekend and it was also the perfect dress to wear out to dinner at night.
Today, I paired it with simple nude heels and a pink mini backpack. This backpack especially came into handy at the wedding we attended this past weekend because it actually fit my pump! I was so thankful that I could pump for Naiya and then store everything inside so easily.
Speaking of which, I can’t believe I’ve been nursing for almost a year but that’s a whole other story.
Photography: Azusa Takano