Last week we set out on a 15 hour trip from Amsterdam to London. Maybe you saw the video? If not, go check it out on our video page. Just go watch it real quick...Im not going anywhere. ;)
We have grown accustomed to this traveling life-style. When we decided to go into missions we new that it also meant not having the comfort of our own home, but making a temporary home wherever we find ourselves and for however long we are there. It comes with its challenges for sure. When Cora was born it seemed that the challenge of it all went up a whole notch. We started to view traveling, packing, and accommodations with a whole new set of eyes. Thank the good Lord that Cora is such a little trooper and has really handled all the moving around, small spaces, new cultures, and different people with such joy and ease...for the most part.
The practicalities of traveling with an 8 month old can seem daunting. But don't fret! I bring good news! It is possible, and it can be a blast! If you share the same lifestyle or you are nearing a trip of your own for the first time with your little one, I am here to offer my little tips and tricks I have learned that have made it all a bit easier and more enjoyable. So here it is, my growing list of helpful tools to traveling with a baby.
Traveling by plane? A bottle can help those little ears pop!
The first time I traveled by plane with Cora I was so nervous she was going to be screaming and crying because of the air pressure change. I started giving her a bottle during take-off to help her ears pop, and oh my it has changed, everything. Make sure to ask the flight attendant for water as soon as you get on the plane and to prep the bottle before take off. As soon as our wheels leave the ground I give Cora the bottle and she does great!
Pack too much food
Seriously, this is a big one. Especially when your traveling overnight or all day having more than enough food is crucial. Most likely your little one won't follow the same schedule of napping and eating as usual so its good to prepare snacks for extra energy and to calm the fussy moments. Also, I have learned that snacks for Josh and I are crazy important also because we need all the energy we can get traveling with Cora.
Josh and I know that this whole parenting thing takes a lot of team work. Same goes for when traveling. Recently we traveled 15 hours with Cora and taking turns sleeping and watching Cora was a huge help for us. This allowed one of us to always be "awake" while the other slept. Just be kind to each other. Traveling with a baby can be hard, but if you just give each other the benefit of the doubt and work together it can be so much fun.
The standing diaper change
OK guys. You can't rely on changing tables or bathrooms all the time during traveling. If you haven't learned how to change a diaper either holding your baby or having someone else hold your baby then you gotta learn. It will change your life. Just last week Josh and I were at a bus station at 9:30pm having our passports checked and Cora needed a diaper change, bad. The bathroom was nasty and of course no place to lay her down and change her. Josh squatted against the wall and cora lay across his legs while I quickly changed her. Also, you can just stand them up and do it that way as well. Its a little more difficult this way but we have managed it several times. Its hard to explain, but I would encourage you to practice it at least once before traveling, just in case!
Good luck you brave parents out there! Just remember that even if its stressful or not as easy as you hoped it would be, it totally worth traveling with your littles and adding memories to your life together.
Have a great week!