Tips on Traveling with an Infant

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disclaimer: I was provided the Dockatot Grand and Travel Bag in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

Wondering how to travel with a baby? It doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. I would encourage any family wanting to travel to definitely do so, and to start young. We took Leo on our first family (car) trip up north at 3 weeks, first international trip to Mexico at 8 weeks, and to Nashville at 6 months.

Many of our friends and coworkers couldn’t believe we weren’t going to curb our travel once we became parents, but it is truly a passion of ours and we never want to stop exploring or going on adventures together. We want to show Leo the world!

Here’s a few tips and pieces of information for anyone traveling with an infant.

1. Getting a Passport
Infant/Child passports are good for 5 years. Birth certificates are made available to the State within 3 weeks of birth. Both parents will need to be present when applying for a passport, and it must be done in person. You can check online using your zip code to see what office is closest to you. Normal processing time is 4-6 weeks. We expedited ours for an additional $60, and it arrived in about 10 days.
*Try to print a picture beforehand. The size is 2×3, which is NOT the same as “wallet size.” Learned that one the hard way…*

2.Planning Flight Travel
An infant up to 2 years of age can be considered a “lap child/child in arms” and you do not need to purchase an additional ticket for them. After purchasing an (international) ticket for yourself, contact your travel agent or the airline and let them know about your child and they will add them to the flight. For international flights, you will need to pay the international fee and taxes for the baby, even if they are considered a lap child. (For Mexico, this was about $18 each way.) For domestic travel, the check-in counter can add them to your flight ticket and it will print with your boarding pass. *Be sure to bring the baby’s passport for international travel and either passport or birth certificate for domestic travel.*

When you check-in for your flight, ask the airline if the flight is full. If it is not, you will be able to bring your carseat on the flight with you (placed rear-facing, in a window seat.) Make sure you have the FAA sticker that approves it for flight. Some flight attendants may ask to verify.

3. Navigating the Airport
Bring your stroller and car seat for FREE! Both these items, as well as your pump, and diaper bag all qualify as “courtesy items” and will not be charged as a carry-on or checked item. If you are traveling with breast milk, this is considered “liquid medication” and does not have to be stored in 3oz sizes-it can be more. Pack in a cooler with ice and go through security-they’ll likely scan it with a laser to make sure its just milk.

When we’re traveling with Leo, we keep him in his stroller until we get to the gate. We also bring our Ergo360 for transporting him-this is handy walking through the airport if he wants to be held, or if the flight is full and we aren’t able to bring our carseat on.
When you get to the gate agent, ask for the tags that say “gate check” Put your stroller (and carseat if the flight is full) in your gate check bags, and put the gate check tag on each bag. This way, the ground crew will bring your stroller and carseat back up to the ramp as you deplane.

My biggest tip in-flght would be to feed your baby at take-off and landing. This will help their sensitive ears adjust to the rapidly changing pressure in the cabin. Other than that, kids will be kids and you can only plan and pray so much that it will go well. You could try introducing a new toy, packing snacks, or trying to plan your flight during nap time. We’ve been very fortunate that Leo has been a happy, sleepy, curious traveler so far.

Don’t leave home without….
Dockatot
For those that follow my blog or instagram, you know how much I LOVE our Dockatot! This is the #1 thing I recommend to all expecting parents. We bring it with us everywhere. Its great for tummy time, play time (look how cute the new play bar is!), sleepy time, and all the times in between. Who wouldn’t want to travel with their own bed? Its comfy and familiar. The geniuses at Dockatot just came out with a travel bag that makes it so easy. The travel bag is available in both the Deluxe Size (perfect as a carry-on) or the Grand Size (needs to be checked.) I pack all of Leo’s diapers, clothes, and necessities for the week in the bag as well.
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Have any questions on the Dockatot, what to pack, or traveling with a baby? I’d love to help! email: emeraldandoakblog@gmail.com

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Dock a Tot

dockatot6disclaimer: I was provided a Dockatot deluxe in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

For those who follow me on Instagram (@emeraldandoakblog), you’ve likely seen me posting photos of a very playful or peacefully sleeping Leo in his dockatot. This thing is a lifesaver!

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I first learned about the Dockatot on Instagram but was hesitant about its necessity while already owning a pack and play, rock and play, and boppy lounger. I figured we could easily make do with Leo napping in the pack and play and rock and play until he was ready for his crib. I was completely wrong in this assumption! Besides diapers and wipes, the Dockatot is our most used and beloved baby product! It is the perfect lounger, napper, and co-sleeper. The Dockatot was designed in Sweden and handmade in Europe, and is now becoming very popular in the States.

The Dockatot stays downstairs with me during the daytime and is the perfect place for Leo to lounge, play, and sleep while I’m doing other things. The fit makes him feel snug and comforted, and is much safer than having him sleep elsewhere. We bring the dockatot upstairs for bedtime, and if Leo is getting really fussy during the night in his rock and play or pack and play next to our bed, I’ll move him into the dockatot and into our bed between us. The shape and fit is perfect for co-sleeping and we can fall asleep knowing that he is safe.
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Even better, the dockatot is super lightweight, breathable, and easy to transport anywhere, much easier than hauling and setting up a pack and play. We put this to the test last weekend when we went up north for a weekend getaway as well as to a New Year’s Eve party. We are headed on our first international family vacation in January, and I know the dockatot is going to be coming with us. Plus, they have a stylish carrier for it that can be used as a carry-on!
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Besides the dreamweaver pattern I have, there are more patterns, covers, and a classic white available on the website. It is important to note, there are two sizes of the Dockatot available, the Deluxe pictured (best for newborns-8 months) and the Grand (up to 3 years!) You may be tempted to purchase the Grand so that your baby can grow into it and you can use it longer, but I would advise against it! The Grand is much too big for your newborn. Our plan is to invest in the Grand once Leo outgrows the Deluxe and then use our Deluxe for his baby sister or brother in the future. Plus, the Grand will be perfect for the transition from his crib to toddler bed.

The quality is fantastic-these will definitely last for years to come and be coming with us when we’re away from home!
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You can purchase the Dockatot here !

Do you own the Dockatot? I’d love to hear what you think! If there are other baby gear items you’d recommend for new parents, please let me know! I’d love to check them out.

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