Monday, July 6, 2015

Traveling with a 1 year old

We survived! 

I'm not going to sugar coat anything...this "vacation" was more exhausting and a lot less fun that we had hoped.  Cris and I booked a trip to Florida.  Originally, Cris and I were going to go to Florida with Landry, and also bring my one of my best friends down with us.  She's amazing with Landry and she had plans to move across the country in August so this would have been one of the last times we spent together in a long time.  Things changed, she was offered a job in California with a start date too close to our vacation that she had to back out of our trip last minute.  I totally understood, and thought that we could still swing it if we went down by ourselves.  It was fine...fine, but not really fun.  We learned a lot though, and for that I'm so thankful!

First and biggest lesson I learned was when flying with a kid that still pees/poops in a diaper.  Don't just bring a change of clothes for them in the carry on, bring a change of clothes for yourself and whoever you're traveling with (hubby).  Landry pooped on me.  It leaked out of his diaper while he was sitting on my lap eating McDonalds breakfast in the terminal.  Dude.  Lesson learned.  I had to travel in my tanktop and put my sweater into the stroller and zip it up b/c all I could smell was crap.  That SUCKED.  I was smart enough to pack a plastic bag so that if there was an accident that we could put his soiled clothes into the bag and wash it once we got to our destination.  Point for me for doing at least that.

Second biggest lesson I learned:  Fly as early as possible.  Cris and I woke up at 3:45AM and left our house by 4:15AM to get to the airport (we flew out of Philadelphia which is a little over an hour from where we live).  First of all, we hit ZERO traffic.  Second of all, Landry was in the BEST mood.  And third of all, if you leave super early, chances are your kid will nap.  We were lucky, and Landry fell asleep on the tarmac before the plane even took off.  It couldn't have been more perfect.  With that being said...we flew home on a late flight.  BIG MISTAKE.  Landry was overtired and overstimulated.  He screamed and cried for a gut wrenching 20 minutes after we were up in the air.  We were experiencing some turbulence so the seatbelt signs did not come off for a looooooong time.  So I couldn't get up with him and walk up and down or anything.  Honestly, it was painful.  Literally.  I have scratch marks and bruises from his flailing limbs.  The nice thing about it was that people were SO understanding.  And to anyone that isn't, let me be the first to you remind you that you should pack headphones.  You can't control a baby, and to the people that think you can, they probably don't have kids.  So whatever, it was EXHAUSTING.  And we packed Tylonel in the carryon, and after the 15 minutes of screaming, we gave in and gave him tylonel, a little bit after that he quieted down and finally...FINALLY fell asleep.  Which wasn't a peaceful sleep.  He would wake up and toss and turn which meant, flop on my lap like a fish out of water and he'd cry while he'd try to get comfortable again.  I felt so bad for him knowing he wasn't rested.

Third lesson and one I should have thought of, was to pack toys.  In fact...I wish I would have dedicated one full bag to just toys.  We stayed at a rental house and it was awesome, but it wasn't child proof which means with no toys around, Landry was interested in plug outlets and drawers in the kitchen full of sharp utensils or cleaners and what not.  We constantly had to be on our toes...which on vacation, isn't something you really want to have to do.  He was bored, so I don't blame him for wanting to explore his new surroundings, but when those surroundings put him in harms way, he would be picked up and put into our lap or redirected to the television or we'd take him outside, which by the way was WAY TOO HOT.  Florida was having a heat wave while we were there and to be honest it was unbearable at times.

Fourth lesson was to travel with others.  I truly feel that our vacation would have been so much more enjoyable with others with us.  I loved spending time with my little family of three.  But we never got a break, and Landry never got a break from us.  We couldn't do things like go watch the sunset because Landry goes to bed around 7:00-7:30PM and the sunset was almost and hour later than that.  It would have been nice if we had others with us that we could take turns doing things with.  Like one night the girls go out, the next the guys, and then we could do couple nights or all stay in together and play card games or something once the kids were in bed.  I am so thankful that we were introduced to a lovely couple while we were there and was able to hang out with them as much as possible during the daytime.
Last few lessons, but this will be different for everyone.  Out of all the crap I packed for Landry to use a distraction on the plane (portable dvd player, sticker book, regular books, candy, snacks, ipad, etc) his favorite thing to do and it kept him so content was watching videos of himself that I had taken on my iphone. He LOVES watching himself!  Just a trick I learned the along the way, your kiddo might enjoy that too.  He seemed fascinated with it.  With that being said, I thought candy would be a huge hit.  In fact everyone recommended lollipops to help with the ear pain they might experience while changing altitudes.  However, unless your kid is in a carseat and they can't reach other things/people around them, lollipops with a 1 year old is a huge sticky icky mess.  I don't recommend it.  Landry did enjoy the gummibears we packed and I think that those were a lot less of a mess than the ring pops.  And if your kid is still taking a bottle, have one on hand at all times, even if you don't think they'll need one.  Especially for the flight.  The swallowing motion helped with any ear pain if he was experiencing anyway and I think it's what soothed him to sleep.  Don't forget any teddy bears or blankies they might sleep with too, without those, it wouldn't have been as easy to make him feel comfortable in his new sleeping arrangement at the rental house.  Last but not least, even if you don't like giving your kid tylonel or anything, just bring it.  When they aren't able to voice if their ears hurt, and they are screaming, chances are they are in pain.  With out the tylonel I think his meltdown would have lasted a lot longer.

I hope you found this helpful and realize it's not the same for every family/child and that I just wanted to share what helped and didn't work for us.  Hope your upcoming travel plans with your little one is relaxing and fun!

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