Traveling to Europe with an Infant
Let me start this by saying that there are tons of blogs articles about how to travel with an infant and before we did I read hundreds. However nothing could have prepared me for our 2-week long trip to Europe with our 4-month old Maverix.
Before we left I literally spent hours making lists, researching and packing. I felt confident that we would be ready for anything Maverix threw our way. Ha. I bet there are a few other first time moms that felt the same. A few days before we left Maverix found his voice. It wasn't a little quiet voice it was a loud screechy ear peircing voice. I loved it of course, because I love every new development that he has. However, I'm sure the other hundreds of people on the plane or the family we were traveling with probably did not. I wasn't too worried though because we were traveling at night and I was oh so sure that Maverix would just nurse will taking off and sleep through the flight. Wrong again. He was fascinated with everything at the airport and on the plane. He would not sleep or eat. To our benefit he did remain somewhat quiet throughout the flight with only a few outbursts, to which another mom comforted me and said not to worry, that everyone would get over it. (This helped a lot believe it or not).
Breastfeeding has never been easy for me but I am stubborn and don't willing to give up - it's been four months and Maverix is clearly gaining weight just fine so I must be doing something right. Having an over active let down makes it super hard to feed unless I'm laying down - try doing that on a plane. Maverix also hates being covered up and I am way to modest to not cover up while nursing - especially with my father in law two seats over. (To all the breastfeeding activists out there, I know I shouldn't be uncomfortable, I'm feeding my child after all but I can't help the way I feel). So not being able to lie down and trying to feed Maverix covered up proved to be very difficult. I eventually had to go to the bathroom and rocked him to sleep while nursing standing up. It wasnt comfortable but it worked and I was happy with that.
Kyle and I opted out of having a skycot to put Maverix in while sleeping because I would have ended up sitting by myself with a baby and a stranger for 8 hours. I thought it would be much easier having my husband. Again wrong. We would have made it work sitting separately because Maverix would have had somewhere to sleep. My advice - when possible get the sky cot. After hours of trying to get our little man to sleep I finally succeeded and we ended up using our tray tables for a bed for him. This worked for about an hour. After that Maverix was so sleepy and the plane was dark so I was able to just feed him uncovered and he was able to handle the fast let down. The second he fell asleep again we hit turbulence and we had to put our seat belts on. Kyle and I just laughed. The flight attentent came over and helped us put on his seatbelt without waking him. From this point on I just kept myself and him seatbelt to avoid this in the future.
A lot of people told me that the worst part of flying was having the babies ears pop. This was the easiest it seemed. Unfortunately Maverix would not feed during take off as planned and so I was worried his ears would not pop but they did seemlessly. We had him suck on a pacifier (which he rarely takes) and blew in his face occasionally to get him to swallow. This all seemed to work because we did not have a child screaming in pain. While researching before we left I read about the unfortunate things that altitude does to babies - makes them pooh - a lot! I prepped for this and brought a crazy amount of diapers and way to many extra sleepers. Maverix poohed once and it was right before we started landing. I was very thankful for this. On our return flight I still packed lots of diapers and extra clothes.
While researching I read lots about bringing toys and things to keep the baby occupied, I brought enough toys in the plane to keep Maverix occupied for days. He didn't care about them at all. There were too many new faces to look at and when he got bored of that he would stare at the screen on the back on our chairs. I would only bring one toy next time we travel.
In the end we landed in Paris and we arrived home save and sound after two amazing weeks in Europe. The flights weren't fun but really who enjoys an 8 hour flight in a cramped airplane. I never have. The flight was worth it to have made the amazing memories we did while travelling throughout Europe.
Leave a comment about your travel experiences!