Tips for Traveling without Your Baby
When I’m feeling nervous about something, such as traveling without my child for the first time, I tend to Google…a lot because surely there are other women out there that have done it and can tell me what I need to do in order to not end up a weeping, milk gushing mess whilst on the road. I found a few pointers here and there, but here’s what I have to add to those other recommendations.
1. Have husband/significant other and baby drive you to the airport. Ok, husband drive, baby sleep and you try not to cry. This delays the inevitable goodbyes as long as possible. Make sure you wake the baby up to say goodbye. It helps knowing that they definitely saw and heard you one last time before you got on your plane.
2. If #1 is being done, pump on the way to the airport. One more bottle for husband and baby, one less thing you have to worry about doing prior to boarding your flight. If you can’t do thing, find out from airport information if they have a family area or at least a family restroom where you can pump prior to boarding.
3. Load laptop/iPad with tons of pictures. A half hour into my flight I was already viewing a slideshow of Ella. Pathetic I know.
4. Check batteries in pump battery pack. Hello, Jess, do you have a brain? Um, yeah, I didn’t even think about it because they worked last time I used them.
5. When you’re a bonehead like me, make sure you have a backup hand pump to use on the flight. Trust me; the pressure of take off/landing is one you’ll want to relieve. Oh and make sure you have a nursing cover to hide the girls. If you can’t get to the restroom to sit there to do it, at least you have the option of pumping in your seat. You may want to give your neighbor a heads up so they don’t think you’re just feeling yourself up. Oh and if you’re not going to be able to get it to a fridge within 6 hours, bring an ice pack.
6. Request a refrigerator for your hotel room.
7. Scope out a place to pump during your meeting. Convention centers typically have family restrooms or a meeting area you can use. If all else fails, just find a chair next to a plug in a private-ish corner. You lose most modesty after birth right? Also long as your covered, you’re good.
8. If you’re going to be away for more than a day or two, you may want to find a dry ice place to pack and ship milk home. No way am I letting all that work go to waste.
If you’re carrying some home with you, go to the medical liquids security line and have it out and ready to declare to TSA. Don’t let them tell you that you have to dump it out because they changed that rule a few years back. You are allowed to bring it with you even when you’re traveling without your baby.
9. Skype. I don’t know who invented it, but whoever it was, I love them. It was so comforting to be able to see and talk to Ella (and Josh) and have her be able to see me and hear my voice. At least I wasn’t completely gone from her awareness.
10. Take a bath, read a book, workout, go out, and enjoy the short break from being mommy. As much as I was dreading this first trip, it has given me a little bit of time to recharge.
11. Have a full day upon return that you can spend with your baby. I’ve very lucky that Josh is able to fly down to meet me with Ella for a long weekend. I also can take a day off next week. Yeay!
Before this I was a traveling one woman show. I had it down from when to arrive at the airport to getting myself through security in minutes. Funny how being a breastfeeding new mom adds a whole new dimension to traveling preparation.
What are your best travel tips?