Going Away for the First Time

Updated on April 03, 2008
K.L. asks from East Northport, NY
4 answers

I am heading to FL next week with my 9 month old daughter. It will be just me and my daughter traveling. I am excited, but now starting to feel a little overwhelmed. What do I bring? Do I need the car seat (she will be a lap child on the airplane), are the car seats provided by rental places good? Do I check my pack n play? I just am so lost as this is my first time traveling with a child. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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answers from New York on

Just another thought - there are rental places all over Florida (and most other vacation areas) where you can rent things like a Pack N Play, high chair, bouncy seat, anything like that. Do a little research on the internet in the area that you will be staying. We traveled to Disney with our 5 month old a few years back. I rented all of the above which were clean, shrink-wrapped and waiting for us on the lanai of the home where we were staying. Easy, not too expensive and all the comforts of home.



answers from New York on

Hi K.,
Don't fret! I've traveled a lot with my son. Once I flew home alone when he was 6 months old and he had a diaper blow out! Car rental places do have car seats and they're fine! They're a little bit older models, but they serve the purpose. You may want to bring yours if it will be a longer trip as your daughter may be more comfortable in her own carseat. If you decide to bring your own, definitely check it, but remember you only get two checked items. Also, you didn't mention how long the flight is and if you'll have layovers? Hopefully, you have a direct flight!!! I always bring something for him to drink, but you won't be able to get through security with your own drinks, you'll have to buy it at the airport. Snacks, a couple favorite toys and books are always worth packing into the diaperbag! You'll have to check the pack and play as it will be too big for a carry on. Here's an idea ~ if you're going to a friend's or family memebers house, consider shipping the pack and play ahead of time so it's there when you arrive and it will be one less item you'll have to deal with. Also, whatever your daughter's favorite stuffed animal, blanket, etc BRING IT!! You'll do great, don't stress. She'll feel your anxiety and that will set her up to be anxious too. Let us know how it goes. Good luck and have fun!



answers from New York on

The last time I travelled it was myself with my almost 2 year old (in a seat) and my 7 week old (on my lap), on a 12-hour international flight.

1. You CAN bring your own juice/formula/milk for a child under age 2. Just make sure to bring it in a bottle, and NO WATER! Water you can get anyway at the airport (any restaurant will fill a cup for you if you ask nicely), so that shouldn't be a big deal.

2. When I travel with my kids I bring my own carseat, but that's because they have always still been in infant seats, and I want the one that snaps onto the stroller. Since your daughter is not yet forward-facing, you might want to bring your own, unless she's big enough for the 2-in-1, which is what most rental companies have.

3. I always took my stroller, because I can use it right up to the gate, and that way I don't have to carry all the bags (diaper bag, carry on, carrier). I do take a carrier/Snuggli as well in case my kids decide they want to be held the whole trip, as it leaves my hands free for other things. I also don't have to juggle the bags and the baby while trying to get the luggage of the carousel...I can leave the baby in the stroller (next to me at the carousel) and have both hands free to grab suitcases.

I never saw a need to travel with a pack 'n play, so I can't help you with that.

Pack light! It is entirely possible to pack for 2 people for a week in one large suitcase. Keep in mind that you have to be able to lift it! I never packed diapers (I had a diaper bag for the plane, and I packed 1 diaper for every 2 hours we'd be away from the house...including travel to and from the airport, waiting times, and flight). You can buy diapers when you get where you're going. Same with wipes. One stroller & one rolling suitcase is definitely manageable.

You have 3 pieces of luggage allowed, unless your ticket says otherwise, and your stroller is NOT counted as one of them. Your carseat will be if you are checking your stroller rather than taking it to the gate. Use your allowance wisely!

I also always had 2 carryon bags: one real carryon (snacks, books, toys, music...) and one diaper bag. My diaper bag always had diapers & wipes, a change of clothes for each of us, my breastpump, and any valuables. It could have accurately been called my "oh my G-d they lost my luggage" bag.



answers from New York on

You definitely need to bring your carseat, rental places do not provide them and even if they did can you really trust them? You can check that as well as your pack and play. Don't bring anything aboard that will be too hard for you to take off/bring on. You may want to get one of those Snugli things if you don't already have one. Where you can just strap her to your front or back so you don't have to worry about how to carry her or where she may crawl off to if you put her down, plus a stroller is one less thing for you to have to push. Make sure that on the plane you have something for her to suck on like a bottle or sippy or binky during take off and landing. The pressure can hurt their lil' baby ears. The constant swallowing will pop their ears and relieve the pressure. Good luck with everthing!

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