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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Milestone Cards

disclaimer: I was provided The Original Milestone Cards in exchange for review. All opinions are solely mine.

Time is already flying as a mom, just like everyone said it would! I can hardly believe Leo is already 7 weeks old. He’s got his passport, shots, and has grown out of his newborn clothes already. It was so sad to pack up all those cute onesies and newborn outfits so soon!
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I’d recommend a baby book to all parents! I want to remember all these cute moments and preserve them in a memory book for Leo to look back on as he is older. Milestone Baby is an excellent supplement to your baby book! These cute cards are an easy, cute, and fun way to photograph, sign, and celebrate the big moments for your little one. They include age cards like “Today, I am 2 weeks old” all the way to months and one year birthday. I think a cute idea is to sit your little one in the same chair next to a card each month and take a photograph. In the same chair or position each month, you can really start to see their growth over time!
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There are also really cute cards to celebrate all the firsts like first tooth, crawling, first time sleeping through the night (still waiting for that one…)

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You can sign and date the card and insert it into your baby book as a keepsake. Milestone Baby even has some FREE printables on their site to celebrate all the first holidays!

These cards would make an excellent baby shower gift or gift to take a new mom when you’re visiting.

How do you celebrate and commemorate all your little one’s special moments? I’d love to hear what traditions you’re starting for your family!

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New Mom Gift Guide

Just in time for the holidays, I thought I’d share some of my favorite baby product must-haves and great gift ideas for new parents. For anyone that is visiting a new mom, shopping for a shower or Christmas gift, these are some of my favorite things!

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1. Dock A Tot
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I’ll be blogging soon about my product review, but I will tell you this thing is genius! I put Leo in here during the day downstairs for napping. It is snug for him for calming sleep, yet breathable and multi-functional. I also use it for co-sleeping during the morning hours when he feeds and then falls back asleep next to me. It comes in several patterns and colors (or you can purchase covers) as well as two sizes (I have the Deluxe for 0-8 months, but there is also a larger version, the Grand, for 9-36 months.)

2. Lulu And Roo Sweats
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We recently found this line at a boutique near us and scooped up the red and gray sweatsuit for Leo. It is so cute! If you’re into matching Christmas pajamas for the whole family, Lulu and Roo has them in big kid and adult sizes too.

3. Binxy Baby
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I just blogged about how much I love Binxy Baby here. This is a must-have item and one that isn’t on most registries!

4. Blue Apron
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One of the absolute best things we have had brought to us is dinner. It has been so nice to not having to worry about cooking while operating on little sleep and getting used to caring for a newborn and healing after birth. I love the idea of Blue Apron if you aren’t able to bring dinner to someone-this gets delivered directly to them and is available nationwide!

5. Covered Goods
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I’ll be blogging about my review of Covered Goods soon, but this is one of those no-brainer items! It has so many uses-nursing cover, car seat cover (to block all the elements-super useful in Michigan!), scarf, and grocery cart covers for toddlers. There are so many patterns to choose from, but I especially love this black and ivory striped one that matches my diaper bag.

6. Pocket Nanny
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I received the pocket nanny from a friend of mine at a shower. It is so useful! It will record the time since your last feeding, what side you fed on, time since last change, etc. It is really helpful when you’re tired late at night and can’t remember, or if you’re leaving for work or an errand and leaving baby with someone else.

7. Milestone Cards
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These milestone cards are adorable for celebrating all of baby’s first moments: 1 week old, first time smiling, first time sitting up, etc. They also have free holiday printables on their website, as well as premature, cards for pregnancy, twins, and more.

8. Petite Pehr Hi Blanket
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I love this alphabet blanket and everything from Petite Pehr. They also have other great gift ideas: swaddles, crib sheets, changing pad covers, and more.

9. Personalized Baby Name Necklace
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I found this shop on Etsy while pregnant and knew I wanted a piece of jewelry to commemorate Leo’s birth. I had Leo stamped in one font and Emerson stamped in another. It’s quickly become my favorite piece of jewelry.

10. Baby Book
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This Emily Ley baby book is beautiful. It not only documents baby’s moments, first words, and offers plenty of room for anecdotes, but it also has room to document your pregnancy, place in photos, share memories of your baby shower, share stories of mom and dad, and make predictions for baby.

What are some of your favorite new mom products? I’d love to hear!

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