A few people have asked me how I travel with two babies under 2, or babies in general, and if I have any tips for it! While I really don't feel like I can give a lot of great advice about actual "packing" because I'm such an over packer, I will ramble about what I feel like I have learned in the few times we have driven distances or flown!
My first bit of advice is DO IT! Fear is such a killer for moms. Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing because there are so many "What If's?" What if my baby cries the whole flight? What if our flight is delayed and I can't pump? How am I going to cart all our stuff around?! What if my child has a melt down in the airport? What if BOTH my children have meltdowns in the airport!? What if the flight throws off our nap schedule?.. I could go on and on and you probably could too in your mind! The possibilities are endless. But you will never know how it goes until you just DO IT.
I like to think more like this: If my baby cries for an hour on the flight, it was only an hour of my life and I when I get to my destination, I can figure out my next step for him (was he hungry, ears hurt, tired, etc.) That hour will seem long and I might get some grumpy stares but it's only a "short" time of traveling that once you get to where your going you forget all about and its worth it. The more times I travel with them, I learn more and more as well. Practice makes it better and better!
1. PACK YOUR MINDSET.
Have very low expectations for the trip and pack tons of patience. You have to have a "go with the flow" attitude! And don't get me wrong when I say have "low expectations" for your trip; what I mean by that is that you can plan, and plan, and pump, and have bottles ready and know when your going to nurse when waiting for a flight or whatever, etc, and it will all go wrong! lol Don't put high expectations on YOURSELF and you will always end up thinking that it went better than you thought. I really try not to over think the "what ifs" because 90% of the time is goes 10x better than I could of ever thought.
2. Make a list the night/day before and go over it with someone else who can help you think through everything! This helps me feel more prepared once I get to the airport, because I've already thought through some obstacles that are sure to happen. For example:
Did you pack a change of clothes and a target sack, just in case there is a diaper explosion? Did you pack the pump, in case you are stranded at the airport for a much longer time than you anticipated? Do you have your kids birth certificates/anything specific that an airline needs for your baby to travel? Do you have an endless supply of wipes/napkins for sticky snack fingers? Do you have a cooler with cold ice packs that can keep your breast milk cold until your next location? Did you remember to grab the monitor/charger cords when leaving for an early morning flight? Do you have Tylonel/Benedryl/gas drops and extra passies for the flight just in case?
You might have more specific needs to your babies but these are things I am always thinking through for mine! Bouncing ideas off your husband or your mom is a great way to problem solve ahead of time!
3. Pack LIGHT on what you ACTUALLY need to bring on the flight! But don't skimp on snacks!! lol When you have your stroller, diaper bag, personal bag, pump supplies and bag, AND child/children, it can just be a lot of stuff and YOU are the one who has to carry everything!
At first I would bring a big toy bag for Haddie with coloring books, crayons, books, her puppy, her blanket, her baby, etc. because I wanted to make sure I was "prepared" to keep her entertained. I have found that bringing all those items just stresses me out and Haddie barely plays with half of them for more than one minute. Now I pick one animal/blanket and rip off a couple sheets of paper and put a few crayons in a baggie. I bring 2 books and call it quits! I pack more snacks than toys. You ultimately know what will entertain your child most, and its so different at each stage, but I would really try to not overdo it for the few hours of travel on a flight. To entertain her in-between flights we like to walk around, look at people, look at airplanes, and just stroll around in the stroller.
I also condense all my own personal items and bring one little pouch with our passports/IDs, my credit card, flight info, gum, phone, and a Clif bar. I check everything else because carrying it around is the last thing I want to do when I have so many other things to carry.
4. BRING A STROLLER
Some people would rather have a baby carrier which is great but I always love having my stroller. While we are going from gate to gate, I love being able to pack all my bags (diaper bag and personal bag) in the storage space of the stroller and have both my kids contained in one place! That frees up my hands during most of the airport trip where I can carry them if necessary. Most airlines also let you check a stroller for free at the gate and then they bring it right back up once you land. I love it. Then your only REAL struggle is carrying your babies and your bags onto the flight, since your stroller is no longer doing the carrying work for you... which leads me to my last point:
** Sidenote- I LOVE this double stroller (Baby Jogger City Select). It is a single stroller that can easily be converted into a double stroller with more pieces and has lots of storage space. I had seen many moms use it but couldn't justify the price tag, but daily kept my eye on Craigslist and other resale sites and found one in excellent condition! Before Louie, we used the BOB, which I loved too (esp being in Branson with all the rocky terrain lol) but have loved now having a stroller that can carry them both. If you are looking for a stroller, I strongly suggest getting this one as it works perfect for one baby, and easily works later on for your second! Not many strollers are convertible but now I totally see why they are such a good investment! Also- I love this little stretchy cover on Louie's car seat because it doesn't fall off like a blanket, yet is breathable when it's not super cold out!
5. Accept HELP.
I have never been at the airport where people haven't helped me! Whether I had one, one and a belly, or two, people were always asking if they could help carry a child, a bag, pack up a stroller, lift a bag overhead, etc. Flight attendants also are always available and thats their job to help! Let them carry your bag to your seat and don't try to do everything yourself. People are always telling me, "I remember that stage!" or "We've all been there!" Enjoy the help and just smile and enjoy the stage you are in!
Message or email me if you have any other questions! I'm NO pro but always love to help if I can!