Piper turned eight months 12 days ago (idk how?!?) while we were in Colorado. This post along with everything else in my life in the moment is very behind schedule. Work has been crazy and I feel like I can't come up for air. BUT it's all very good things. I'm trying my best to be present with Piper but I'm so grateful for helping hands. At the beginning of August I flew solo with Piper for the first time. I read a lot posts from my favorite mama bloggers, received advice from friends but at the end of the day, every kid is SO different. With that being said, a handful of people asked me to share my lessons learned so here goes!
1. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T PRE-BOARD!
I'm friends with babies kept saying, "you get to pre-board, you'll be just fine!" But let me tell ya, sitting on a plane for thirty minutes before take off with a very wiggly eight month old that screams bloody murderer if you force her to sit down, is the opposite of what I needed to do. On the way home we waited until everyone else was on the plane then we boarded. The longer I walked through the airport so she could people watch, the better! p.s. This is a great idea as long as you don't need overhead bin space.
2. PACK DOUBLE THE DIAPERS AND OUTFITS YOU THINK YOU'LL NEED
Our layover more than doubled in length making our travel day very long. It was about 13 hours from door to door. I followed the rule of one diaper for every hour but I should have doubled it. Luckily I found a place that sold diapers, they were basically one size fits all but we made it work. We also became owners on a $25 Colorado souvenir onesie out of desperation. So if you want to avoid that, packed at least two extra outfits.
3. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR STROLLER FOR YOUR LAYOVER
This really only applies if you're connecting but I thought when I gate checked the stroller it would be waiting for me as I exited the plane. Wrong! The flight attendant looked at my boarding pass(es) and connected my stroller to my final destination. For a normal person this would be a serious win. You avoid the baggage fees and don't have to worry about it lugging it around during your layover. BUT as a mom, this was a worst case scenario. I had to wear Piper or carry her during our four hour delay. All she wanted was to crawl on the floor. Full disclosure: I was so over it by the end I let her crawl around by our gate. If you gate check your stroller when connecting, be sure to double check this!
Here are a handful things I couldn't live without while traveling alone with Piper. And for your viewing pleasure, a few photos of what traveling solo was really like!
- A great baby carrier is a must for security and time spent in the airport. Piper only wants to face forward unless she's really tired so I'd suggest getting one that's convertible.
- I've mentioned these pouch toppers before but they are a saving grace while traveling. I looped the paci holder through the lid so her pouch wouldn't fall on the ground every 2.5 seconds.
- A good diaper bag is a must. I love all the compartments in this one. Plus it clips on to the stroller handles so I didn't have to carry it around during our returning flight.
- I accidentally forgot the paci holders on the way here..what a mistake! I was trying to clean her wubbanub constantly. I had some more delivered from Amazon as soon as we got to Colorado!
- The carseat backpack was super helpful when we landed back in Houston and Trent was picking us up. As crazy as it might be, I was able to carry everything through baggage claim.
- Purell wipes need no explanation. :)
- This changing pad was a lifesaver even though Piper managed to touch every surface of the changing table in the airport bathrooms. I used this a ton while we were in Colorado though. There were quite a few places we went without a changing table so I opened this up and changed her on lap. My sister would say this was a #totalmommove!