Since everyone I know (well sorta) has had a child in the last year and most will be traveling in the near future I thought that I would share the valuable lessons that I learned in hopes to help you out!
Since the airlines now charge you for each bag that you check, we took two carry-on suitcases, two personal bags, umbrella stroller and the Bjorn in hopes of saving some cash. This is what we did:
What to pack:
(if you are flying)
1. Just a few outfits (if you can wash them where you are staying).
2. The monitor (you will want to have two hands to drink some eggnog and hang out with the relatives).
3. Your pump. Those sweet relatives are going to want to feed that babe of yours (and you will love the extra help).
4. Enough diapers just to get there. Bring your coupons and hit up wal-mart for diapers, wipes and the bathtime things.
5. Gripe water or Mylicon
*They will check the stroller and car seat for free. You will want to valet check the stroller so you can pile everything on it while going through the airport.
We packed our clothes, AB's clothes and the above gear in the suitcases. I carried the diaper bag as my personal bag and Frank carried a messenger bag that had snacks, reading material, ipods, and chargers in.
When you are packing your diaper bag, for the love, make sure that the gas medicine you use is in there. With the pressure change, it can make their tiny tummies upset. If you nurse, do not forget the hooter hider. If you do not have one or can not afford the thing, email me and I will make you one for cheap!
With the million dollar question:
What do I do with my babe on the plane?
First of all, throw their schedule out the window the day of travel, as you will need to just survive the flight(s) without a meltdown.
If you can, plan on a feeding during take off and landing. If you can, nursing is the best, especially during landing. I did use the bottle for one landing and she did just fine. I sat next to the window so that I had more privacy. The pacifier did not work during one of the four landings that we had. Her tummy got so upset and she had horrible gas, I'm thankful that the meltdown happened after we landed and were getting off the plane so that the jet full of people did not have to hear her (too bad all of the Memphis airport did hear it... sorry guys!).
I would also recommend using some sort of carrier to carry the babe in. We used our Bjorn and it was perfect. We took our stroller for use while we were there but used it to carry all our stuff in while in the airport. We did plane side valet for the suitcases and stroller and it was perfect.
Good luck with the travel and feel free to email me with any other questions!!