Travelling with a one year old is an amazing thing, albeit can be very difficult at times.
Haddie has travelled a lot in her 13 months of life. As an infant we went to Palm Springs, at 6 months she went to Philly, at eight months we had a failed trip to Hawaii which turned into Miami, and – recently – at 13 months old we went back to Miami.
In the one week we were gone, she went through a major mental leap, starting the trip as a baby and coming home as a toddler.
Each time she travels is a unique experience, filled with new challenges and incredible moments.
First, there is the amount of luggage and packing. The worst was travelling with an infant, as there was just so much formula and “stuff” to bring, and it was all new to us. We seem to be getting better at packing now, and while there was a lot, it was very manageable for two people.
Second, there is the flight. As an infant babies just sleep, which is incredible. At 8 months old Haddie was a little terror on the plane. At 13 months old, she was very active, loved to play and walk the aisles and even slept for 30 minutes! At 13 months old, the actual travel was still pretty easy.
Third, and the worst of the worst, was the change in sleep locations. At 13 months, our little one is old enough to notice that the room she was sleeping in was not the same as her room at home. She noticed that her crib was different and felt different. She was not happy about this. She was so unhappy that she would scream until she barfed, and then scream some more. In fact, at one point she was standing and screaming so much that she fell asleep standing up – no joke.
So, here in no order are some tips to travelling with a one year old:
- On the flight, if your little one is tired, go to the back galley and try to put them to sleep. Of course, first check to make sure it is okay with the flight attendants. On our Air Canada Rouge flight, the attendants were so awesome – they actually closed the blinds, and turned down the lights, which put Haddie to sleep in 3 minutes.
If you have a super active kid like Haddie, then it is worth getting an extra seat for them. While kids under two often fly free, it would be really hard to travel without a seat for our little one. She used the seat as a little play area, and allowed us to keep her in one area for the majority of the flight.
- If you don’t want to rent a two bedroom hotel room, check the floorplans of the hotel room first, and try to get a room with a huge walk in closet, or a large washroom for the crib. In my opinion it is worth giving up quality and location of a hotel for a larger hotel room with a separate private sleeping quarters for the little one.
- In our case, Haddie developed extreme separation anxiety and fear of her hotel room. It took her three days to get used to the room; in fact, one night at 5am we broke down and took her into our bed, where she immediately fell asleep on me. I was concerned that we had started a bad habit, but she was totally fine the next night in her crib. When we got home, she was immediately comfortable in her own crib in her room. Phew.
- Eventually we were able to get Haddie to sleep at night in her crib, but naps were a different story – throughout the trip we had to walk nap her twice a day, which lasted between 45 minutes to one hour.
- Our Maclaren stroller was a great travel stroller. On previous trips we lugged our large UppaBaby Vista, but the smaller Maclaren was perfect at this age.
- The only way to survive sleepless nights, filled with screaming and crying is being on the same page as your spouse. Make sure you can laugh about the situation, and joke about it. Make sure you are on the same page with how you want to deal with the situation, otherwise the trip can be a disaster, rather than an incredible and memorable trip.
Big shout out to my mother-in-law who was down with my wife and daughter for a few days before I arrived, while Haddie was having her worst separation anxiety. My MIL helped with the sleepless nights, cleaning up puke, and was an all around superstar! Thank CKB!
While there were many sleepless nights, the trip was incredible. Haddie had the best time, and loved every second of being in the ocean and pools. In fact, I think it was dealing with her separation anxiety that forced a mental leap on her.
Big shout out to the W South Beach – their team is just incredible.