Category Archives: Travel


If there is anything to remember it’s nurse/bottle feed baby during take off (not taxiing) and landing …this helps baby’s ears pop and helps alleviate screaming…for us as the kids got older this transitioned to lollipops. Travel brings out the warrior mama in me. I can do this challenge and we will win.

We love to check new places out

What to Pack

The absolute bare minimum is diapers, wipes, 1-2 change of clothes for baby and a change of shirt for you. The rest is honestly what you feel you need. I try to keep it to a backpack so I can throw on my backpack, scoop up baby and make it to my next flight. With older kiddos they each have their own backpack. Our babies generally liked their car seats. So if you can purchase a seat I’ve found it invaluable. We have done a mix of both. If you do fly with a child in a carseat, make sure the sticker on your carseat states it is airplane safe or certified. The airlines have checked that pretty darn close to 100%. Our babes like the baby carrier so we have used that a lot particularly for infants. Keep in mind the flight attendant will tell you to unbuckle the top of your carrier during take off and landing. I’ve usually said oh here see it’s not buckled. Then buckled it when they sit down. Sorry not sorry. Kids under two and some under 1 really enjoy bubble pop apps. Our crew do not get tablets unless it’s for airplanes, long train or car rides. For the little littles I’ve had to get them addicted to the tablet for the bubble app to work. Download it in advance and make sure it works in airplane mode. I like to use a nursing cover which doubles to clean up messes. I nominally nurse with the baby in the carrier with the cover over baby. Definitely bring a top for yourself. Somehow you will get thrown up on, peed or something on. It just happens. Bring a thermometer & liquid kids Tylenol with dosing directions as needed (I have never had a problem flying with this in the labeled bottle). I only pack diapers and wipes etc for the flight as there are places to purchase there…or not. If you travel with your carseat in the airplane or if you are flying solo, I highly recommend a carseat/luggage connector system something like: otherwise I bring rope to tie everything down because it’s usually party of me with a million kids.

The flight is not forever

Checking your Carseat

If you are not going to have an additional seat, I highly recommend bringing your own carseat (for older kiddos…really recommend washing it prior to flying…that can be embarrassing). After requesting a carseat through multiple rental companies (two times), I found the rental company does not get the difference between a toddler and an infant carseat. From what I found, to them a car seat is a car seat. I stopped renting after this happened twice. I don’t like to mess around with carseats. If a person on the other end can bring a carseat for you to use great. For us, we’ve chosen to fly with the carseat. The airlines do not charge for carseats. If you choose to fly with it, buy a car seat cover. Just do this. It protects from rain and general nastiness. US based airlines 90% of the time did not have bags available. Something like this: Check your carseat fits into said bag prior to going to the airport. Worse case bring a clear trash bag. I usually buckle the car seat itself and put the baggage tag in a secure location (if using um say a clear trash bag put the baggage tag on the straps in your car seat).

I love making memories with them too (these were REALLY loud firecrackers for Chinese New Year)

How to get Through Security

It’s not going to be fast. Plan for extra time. Even with TSA pre-check I plan for 30-45+ minutes. Breaking down the stroller to fit through the metal detector or having the car seat tested or the check of child’s water bottle (yes you can bring water they will open the cap and wave a strip of paper and then test said paper). I usually wear the baby, collapse the stroller, and let them take the car seat. It’s controlled chaos just be patient. You are mama. No one messes with mama. Sure there may be side eye glances but look person I challenge you not to lose your sh*t dude. I got this. What.

Not a great picture but you see the get up

What to Gate Check.

I travel with an umbrella stroller. You can bring this through security and check this at the gate. They will give you a gate check tag. This does add time to getting from one flight to another. The airlines last I checked does not cover or replace your damaged BOB or expensive stroller. (I didn’t want one of these situations: I’ve traveled with the toddler in the umbrella stroller and baby in my carrier and a backpack. I check our big bag or if it’s a short flight, I bring a carry on luggage.

Keeping the end goal in mind really helps me

How to Thrive

Take care of your own mental health. Some kids fly well others just don’t. It is what it is and you will both survive. Bring your favorite snacks (I get hangry…just a fact) and also bring noise canceling headphones…watch your favorite show or watch a new movie. Just keep going. People can deal. I am trying my dardest over here people and we have to go places too.

It also might be just fine!

Airplane Activities

Bring snacks you know your kid will eat. Also bring new snacks and treats you think your kiddo(s) will eat. I found mess free markers to be super helpful for toddlers (eg … that way if they draw on the airplane it doesn’t show up. A tablet is really nice…download shows new and old, download apps (we’ve done a lot of the lumikids brain teasers for kids). Under 1 sometimes the bubble pop apps work as mentioned. Under one…I try to time flights with naps (sometimes this works…sometimes it does not). For long flights involving significant time changes, I try to land during daytime on the other end. It helps or has helped us with jet lag. If you have a layover we found we love the lounges. If that’s not an option, I used to choose layovers based off the airports play space for kids(eventually COVID will go away right?). For toddlers a two+ hour layover was golden. Run them around!!

You can and will succeed

International Travel

If you have the opportunity to fly non US based airlines…do it. Sorry US but the customer service we’ve received on international flights has been phenomenal. Asian based airlines let moms board first (so do some US based airlines), they go out of their way to help moms of kids under 4 ish, and provide specific snacks and toys just for your little person. Some airlines have bassinets for babies (they’re amazing). Ask in advance if they have children food … sometimes this needs to be coordinated in advance. As mentioned some airlines provide small toys for the children. International travel definitely stock up on new things but I found the excitement wears after 10-20 minutes. Not that you have to drink but drinks are nice. If able…get a seat for baby. If not, sometimes the airlines works to give you an extra seat. Without regard to international or not, I like to sit by the window (not over the wing) because it helps just walking kids stand and balance and it gives them something to do. Bottom line. The flight is relatively short. Keep it positive and your kids will too. You’ve got this.

We love adventuring.

If You Give a Toddler a Lollipop

She will stick it in her hair.

That’s the theme of this last week. A calamity of events I’ll say. But you know we did it together and it was AWESOME. Seriously.

My youngest brother is getting married later this month to an amazing lady whom I love. It is important to me that we attend. So naturally four of us, sans George (still on his business trip), piled into a plane and took a quick hop home … ok not so quick. Our first flight was 9 hours.


So I thought I’d reflect on flying solo and general travel with three for a minute. Let’s start at leaving our house…Armed with the standard flying luggage…you know my trusty umbrella stroller, two car seats, one large luggage roller bag with clothes to support 40’F to 80’F weather, activity backpacks and the standard infant necessities I marched the crew to the train. According to Google that should take 3 minutes…it took an hour (lugging all that down two flights of concrete stairs is a challenge). Then fast forward two hours on the train where Elle decided she was done with the train…I think the icing on that cake was the final train station didn’t have an elevator and had four flights of concrete stairs. That took another hour and I hurt myself (hip flexors I think) double wearing and carrying that luggage bag.


We had left the day prior to our flight to ensure no last minute awesomeness. When we arrived at the hotel in high spirits (at 1 am…Hahahaha) our elation was somewhat crumpled when our flight out was cancelled. Okay…so naturally the next day we walked to the local library in the rain because it would rain all day…and enjoyed a good read. That walk to and from the library was full of Sweetpea chatter….jokes, realizations and lessons she needed to teach me, advice on life, and the ever reassurance that I’m a strong Mom and that I can do this. As we traipsed back to our hotel, the moments were not lost on me. I felt I had the biggest smile and warmest heart. What a beautiful moment in time. I will treasure this.


Ok yes another fun fact about travel is sometimes little ladies get a little bit uneasy about new places to sleep. I celebrated the hotel when I saw the pack and play but quickly realized no one, including Gigi, wanted anything to do with it. So I found it immensely entertaining that to fit all four of us in a double (full? I don’t know whatever is one size down from a queen) we all had to sleep cross wise on the bed. I’m just glad that all 5’3” ish of me is around the width of that mattress. The room was the last room available (and in shuttle range of the air terminal)…Elle felt so special snuggled right next to me…except this lovely little lady felt the need to name and point out each body part she knew on all sleeping people: Toe!!!!! Nooooooo (nose)!!!!! Ear!!!!! Her enthusiasm was precious and punctuated with giggles and laughter with Sweetpea. At first, I was irritated and then listened to them and hoped those precious sounds are something I will always remember.



To be honest, I chose a military flight (Space A) for our first adventure because mistakes are bound to happen ie how does one get on or off an airplane with capable four yr old, an infant, a toddler who runs and two car seats (yup…no idea…just realizing that one)…I didn’t think that one through. Not to assume my military sisters and brothers aide….but I did and I will pay the amazing support forward.

So some of the fun:
1. You know with three someone oftentimes needs something. There is hardly a dull moment. BUT….after three hours of Elle’s frustration (the standard crying, yelling, screaming, anger with brief lulls as toys and her gracious neighbor temporarily distracted her) at being in her car seat…she passed out.
2. Right when Elle passed out…Gigi woke up. BUT with three hours til landing — Gigi fell asleep.
3. Right when Gigi fell asleep, Sweetpea had her first melt down on this plane…the warming eye mask I’d brought with us was too hot for her and didn’t fit her head. So a lullaby later, snuggled in an airplane blanket, she fell asleep.
4. I promptly fell asleep…Elle and Gigi in their car seats and Sweetpea…well she had two seats by the window by herself and was now fast asleep with her legs shooting into the isle.
5. I do not think the four of us can fit in the airplane bathroom. Thankfully I had car seats to secure kids in…not sure how I feel about leaving kids for restroom breaks. I’m really not such the fan.
6. Lollipops were genius for take off/landing until I saw Elle matte it in her hair.
7. New toys were great time passers….Sweetpea informed me that her next fidget spinner …well she wants one to light up one “like Cyrus”…her preschool buddy. Peer pressure starts so young…as does consumerism!
8. Filling out customs forms is simply hilarious. “On this flight the flight attendant does not have a pen so please borrow from your neighbor.” That’s funny…or not. Because seriously where did I pack the pen….
9. I was so thankful for some of the games on my tv monitor…that blackjack game kept my brain awake. I just don’t like the idea of falling asleep while holding Gigi. I should be fine but that “should” factor has many endings some of which I want nothing to do with…that’s a horrid thought.