or when my sister got married in Tuscany when J was three months old. Truly, it was breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and profoundly spiritual. The downside was traveling with a three month old to remote Tuscany. Many friends proffered suggestions upon my call for advice and here’s the distilled version of traveling with an infant overseas:
1) KEEP THE INFANT PAPER TICKET THE AIRLINE ISSUES.
Infant international tickets are not stored electronically. We learned that the hard, horrific, and expensive way on our voyage home. Enough said on that score.
We brought Hyland’s teething tablets, ear meds (for cabin pressure), baby Tylenol, nasal saline drops, and any other medication you can conceive of. J never had a single medical episode but at least we were prepared.
3) Breastfeeding for cabin pressure.
Nurse on takeoff, landing, and any time panic strikes (you or the baby).
4) Scout extra room.
Ask the nicest looking flight attendant for a bassinet, or to be moved to an aisle where there’s an extra seat.
Changing diapers in the tiny bathroom (which lacked a changing table!) was next to impossible. We simply changed J on our laps, or on the extra seat we had.
6) Hands free.
We used our Ergo and no stroller/car seat. It worked swimmingly as we were with 5 or 6 other adults. I did take a domestic trip alone with J and brought the stroller. If you are traveling alone with a stroller system, be prepared for TSA not to help you unload your items, not to hold your baby while you put the carseat on the conveyor belt for the X-ray machine, and not to understand why it is taking you so long to get through security.
Smile kindly to your neighbors as they may have to endure you being “that” parent with “that” baby on an airplane.
It is tough to pack lightly for a baby that spits up, makes diapers at a laudable rate, and drools. We opted for the Seventh Gen disposable diapers, paper towels, and lots of drool bibs. I’m sure our luggage was much lighter on the way back considering an entire bag was diapers. If you are traveling somewhere other than remote Tuscany, perhaps scope out if the nearby drugstores have diapers you can live with for your journey. We did not have that option.
8 ) Water proof pads.
I’ve used various sizes of these for various things, such as a changing pad on the plane, a clean place to lay down and play in the Tuscan hillside, or a safe spot to sleep on top of when J was in bed with us.
9) Ziplock bags.
Necessary for those pooped on outfits until you can get access to a washer/sink/something. The rest of his dirty clothing was fine in a little laundry bag of their own, but who wants to carry around poo?
10) Wipes for toys.
J dropped every toy in every conceivably filthy place–the floor of Charles de Galle airport, in between the seats in the rental car, the corner of the little ristorante, you name it. A quick swipe with wipes suitable for toys ensured he could masticate the toy again without running to the bathroom to attempt to disinfect.