If you follow me on social media, you probably know that Brad, Becca, and I went on vacation this week in Myrtle Beach, SC! This was Becca’s first trip to the beach (I’m trying not to think of the fact that she turns 9 months in a few days!). And, we had a blast!! I was nervous when we decided to make the trip, because I didn’t know how flying with an 8 month old and taking her to the beach would go.
The first leg of the flight was a little rough. We were traveling right during her nap time, she was exhausted, couldn’t get comfortable, and she only wanted to be with me (so, I was exhausted from wrestling with her).
Do you ever feel like people think you are the worst person in the world for bringing a baby on a plane? I mean the stares you get when your baby starts fussing are unreal… Needless to say, I was kind of grumpy after that part of the trip!
But, we made it to our destination, got settled in, had a BEAUTIFUL view of the ocean right off our balcony, and spent the first few days just relaxing by the pool.
My husband’s family met us a few days later, and we all spent the day together in Charleston. I LOVE this city!! There is so much history, and the way they work to keep the integrity is so admirable. We did a morning tour of Charleston Harbor, which houses several historic forts, as well as an impressive Navy ship, and an unbeatable view of the city. I loved hearing interesting little facts about the city! One of my favorites was that there are no skyscrapers because the buildings can be no higher than the tallest church steeple! Charleston’s nickname is “the holy city,” so it only makes sense that they keep God higher than everything else.
In the afternoon, we did a walking tour of the city, which was hot and long, but included beautiful scenery and even more historical facts. The architecture in Charleston is worth the trip alone. It is just beautiful! The city has done such a wonderful job at preserving the authenticity of the Civil War era they are trying to maintain. There are city ordinances that prevent changes being made to the exterior of buildings unless they are approved. And, to be approved, the changes must stay true to the time period. So, when you visit the city, you are truly taking a step back in time and walking in the path of some of our country’s most influential leaders. Definitely recommend touring this city at least once in your life!
The rest of the week was spent on the beach, which Becca was not particularly fond of at first. We discovered that she loves floating in the pool, but would prefer to watch the ocean water from the safety of the umbrella. She did love the wind in her face, which was so cute to watch!
We had such a great time and made memories with our baby girl that we will never forget!
Traveling with an infant can be stressful, but you shouldn’t let it keep you from making these same wonderful memories. I picked up a few helpful tips from this trip that I am going to share with you!
- Pack LOTS of snacks for the trip- we took Puffs, Cheerios, and a sippy cup of water with us. The flight attendant also gave us extra cookies (graham crackers) for Becca, and she loved those! When all else fails, snacks will usually serve as an effective distraction!
- If you nurse, wear comfortable clothing that is easy to nurse in on the plane. I wore a nursing cami under a t-shirt, and was easily able to feed her mid-air. If you bottle feed, bring extra bottles and formula! Nursing, bottle feeding, or offering a sippy cup during the flight can also help with the pressure changes that may cause ear pain.
- Travel as light as you can- most airlines will let you check your car seat and stroller for free! We also paid extra to be able to check our larger bag so that we had less to carry through the airport. All of our flights were full, so when they offered to check our larger carry-on bags for free, we took that offer to make our load even lighter! You will be thankful for this when your arms are full trying to wrestle a squirmy baby!
- Bring a device such as smart phone, ipad, or laptop- Most of us already travel with at least one of these things, but I can’t tell you how many times we used them to distract her on the flights! Our flights offered free entertainment, so we used the iPad to download the Peanuts Movie and let Becca watch it while having snacks. This worked for a while, as she loves sitting on her daddy’s lap and watching cartoons at home!
- Try to book two seats by themselves for you and your travel companion- All of the planes we were on had the two seats on one side and three on the other set-up. I booked each flight so that we could have the two lone seats and wouldn’t have to worry about bothering a third person next to us. On the first flight, though, our seats got changed and we ended up sitting in a row of three. I was constantly trying to keep Becca from kicking the poor guy, grabbing his laptop, and tapping him on the head! He was gracious enough and offered her plenty of smiles. But, when she got sleepy and wanted to stretch out, it was difficult to accommodate.
- Buy a new toy that your baby hasn’t played with yet before the trip- Most of your toys that the baby is already used to will not be distracting enough in this new and exciting environment. So, buy a new toy that will provide you with a few extra minutes of quite time on the flight. Be sure, though, that the toy is not going to be super annoying to the other passengers.
- Bring extra clothes in case of an accident on the plane- it is always a good idea to have a change for both you and the baby, since it is likely he or she will be on your lap!
- Enjoy your trip, and try not to let the stress get to you! Don’t preoccupy yourself with keeping your baby absolutely silent on the plane. If he or she makes noise, just let them! The more you try to keep them quite, the more annoyed your baby will probably be and the more you will struggle with them. Just go with the flow, and if you feel like you need a minute, take your baby to the bathroom and let them scream away until you can get the situation under control. Most people traveling on planes have been there themselves and are more than willing to offer a hand or some entertainment for your little one!
Do you feel stressed flying with a baby or do you just go with it? What other tips would you include? I’d love to hear!!