Traveling With a Six Month Old: A Breeze or a Nightmare?


We are preparing ourselves for our first, two week long family vacation and it will without a doubt be quite the adventure (did I not mention we are traveling with a baby, a dog, two suitcases filled with christmas gifts, a duffle diaper bag, a stroller, and a car seat?)

I thought it would be a good idea to share my packing list with you mamas out there (because no one wants to forget anything at home, especially with a baby), as well as a few things we will make sure to keep in mind as we head to JFK for our vacation in the sun.

Exciting news: I’ll be writing a review for Flyebaby after our flight, courtesy of Melanie at SCS Direct Inc… Stay posted! We’re excited about the product and hope it will provide some comfort for Liam (and for us, of course).

First and foremost, sigh of relief, Liam will only be just about six months when we go away. What does that mean? No crawling or walking yet. No real understanding that we are 30,000 feet up in the air. Hallelujah. Downside? Liam is just about 21 pounds (as we speak, not three weeks from now) and really heavy. Let’s hope we don’t need to be separated from our stroller for very long… He’s a dynamic baby that needs constant entertaining and moving around, so we’re praying that sitting on Mommy’s lap for 3.5 hours won’t be a recipe for disaster, either (see below for some ways to keep a baby entertained on board).

Before I was pregnant, I pinned these adorable little gift bags on Pinterest. As cute and thoughtful as they are, I don’t think I have it in me to make them this time (don’t judge… I have enough on my plate!) But if you do plan on making them, I will call you Super Mom… Just saying.


Anyway… So far our packing list for Liam goes like this:

  • Car Seat and Stroller
  • Passports / Birth Certificate
  • Microwave Sterilizer Kit (to avoid taking our big Tommy Tippee one with us)
  • Breast Pump / Two Bottles / Pumping Bags
  • Nursing Cover
  • Baby Monitor
  • Wubbanubs (We have two)
  • Blankets (4-5)
  • Tissues
  • Diaper Cream
  • Baby Carrier (We settled on the Ergo Baby)
  • Nail File
  • Inflatable Bathtub
  • Babyganics Sunscreen
  • Babyganics Mosquito Repellent
  • Mosquito Nets (Tropical weather, you guys!)
  • Shampoo / Body Wash / Vitamin D / Lotion
  • 6 Month Sticker (His birthday is the day after Christmas!)
  • Bibs (4-5)
  • Wipes and Diapers (1 pack wipes/2 packs diapers)
  • Onesies (15)
  • Pajamas (5)
  • Long Sleeve Onesie (at least 2, just in case)
  • Shirts (4)
  • Pants (4)
  • Socks (2)
  • Shoes (2)
  • Toys (Beach toys, rattles, and teethers)
  • Little pillow (for the flight)
  • Extra shirt for me (for the flight)

Considering everything we need to bring for Liam, hopefully Hubby and I can travel light and share a suitcase. Easier said than done? I know. Don’t remind me.

Based on some of the research I’ve done, here are a few tips to ensure that everything goes as planned:

  1. Make sure you walk down the aisle a few times during your flight (depending on the length of it), to make sure your baby doesn’t get sick of the same view/position.
  2. Sit at the front of the plane (to make sure you are able to get on and off quickly) or the back of the plane (if you want to make sure you are seated in the noisiest part of the plane). Pick your poison.
  3. Travel with a small stroller (not your extra bulky jogger stroller): it is easier to get through security, fold up in the taxi, and carry around at the terminal. We are actually going with our Chicco Infant Car Seat that clips on to the caddy stroller. Lots of space in there, very small when folded.
  4. Go through security using your baby carrier (to make sure you have both arms free to deal with all of your gear). Oh, and wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
  5. Nervous about breastfeeding on board? Believe it or not, it’s actually the easiest way to feed your baby on a plane. Bring your nursing cover and just do it. It is essential to feed your baby during take off and landing to make sure his or her ears do not pop. Pray for a miracle.
  6. Try to book a trip that coincides with your baby’s nap schedule. It’ll just make traveling a little less stressful for you.
  7. Bring enough books and toys to entertain your baby.
  8. It’s all about your mindset: your baby will probably cry at some point during the flight. Be prepared for it and don’t freak out about it. There is nothing you can do. If passengers around you get upset about it, you can apologize, but try to ignore them… It’s not the first or last time they’ll have to deal with a crying baby. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

It’s all about staying relaxed and getting through it, guys! I’ll make sure to write a post about our first travel experience with Liam after the holidays… Fingers crossed! If you, on the other hand, have some advice or funny stories to share about one of your trips, please do share 🙂



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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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