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How I Traveled Out of the Country with a 6 Month Old

My husband and I love Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and were dying to get back. We couldn’t go last year because I was pregnant and the Zika virus was and still is present in Mexico. This year, with Brighton on the outside of my body, we were ALL IN. Yes, we took our 6 month old baby to Mexico and lived to tell about it. Haha!

Now, I am certain we did not travel in the most efficient way possible. It was a learning experience for everyone involved. I will share exactly how we traveled, so maybe someone out there will read this and let me know what I could have done better. Overall, I think it was a successful trip. For your convenience, I created an Amazon shopping list for everything mentioned in this post.

Getting The Passport For Baby

Shockingly, this was pretty easy. I took Brighton to CVS as I was too nervous to take the photo myself. Look for coupons on their website! You will need to complete all the tasks as outlined here by the U.S. Dept. of State and both parents will need to be present when applying. It didn’t take us long at all and the whole experience was quite smooth.

Purchase Your Baby Their Own Seat

After flying to and from Florida with Brighton as a lap child, we knew we never wanted to travel that way with a baby ever again. It was miz. Babies are hot! You can’t access your bags under the seat in front of you easily. Forget about using your tray table. We hated it.

We decided to travel in Business Class for maximum comfort and we got Brighton her own seat. This allowed us to have two suitcases each, six in total, in case we needed that many. It also allowed for us to have two carry-on’s per person, including Brighton because she was ticketed. I realize this isn’t feasible for everyone, so I’d highly suggest Southwest as an alternative. It’s kid friendly and they allow two free checked bags.

We ultimately ended up packing two suitcases (one jumbo and one standard) for Brighton, a standard suitcase for myself, and a standard suitcase for Chris. I only carried on a personal item and my diaper bag backpack and Chris had his own backpack. With the luggage allowance we were given, I think we did alright.

Prepare Plane Activites In Advance

I always get extreme anxiety when traveling with Brighton, which I think is mostly brought on by what I anticipate others will be thinking when they see me with a baby. It’s ridiculous, I know. This particular trip brought on even more anxiety because we were sitting in business. Of course, some people that walked by to sit in economy class were making rude comments and called her spoiled rotten. I was the most worried about the people sitting IN business class that paid extra to have a nice experience that we were about to ruin.

I planned a billion plane activities to keep her as entertained and quiet as possible. Here are some of the things I planned:

Getting Through The Airport

I have the breast pump bag hanging from the stroller handle and the diaper bag hooked on top of the handle. Brighton is in her carseat which is compatible with the travel stroller.

We always check our luggage curb side, but for some reason we couldn’t do that this trip since it was international. It took some finagling, but we were able to get all of our luggage inside without a cart. I advise you get a cart. We use the Mountain Buggy Nano travel stroller and placed our Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat in it. (We do not travel with the car seat base.) You have to fold up the stroller and flip the car seat upside down to scan through the security checkpoint. It’s a pain in the butt, so don’t get too comfortable with your stroller until you are through security.

Once you are through security, put the baby back in the car seat/stroller situation until you get to the gate. A few minutes before they board the plane, put your car seat in a car seat check bag to protect it from getting dirty if you are not bringing it on the plane. Fold up the travel stroller and put the cover on it as well. You’ll need to get tags from the gate attendant and then you’ll bring the items all the way to the plane’s door. We’ve done this now on four flights and our items were returned in perfect condition. One of the reasons I like the Mountain Buggy Nano is because it can fold up small enough to fit in the overhead bin should you prefer to carry it on.

Pack Light When You Can

We did not pack light.

When we traveled to Florida, I did not pack diapers, wipes, food, etc. as we could purchase it all when we arrived. I was very nervous doing that in Mexico. I was unsure if I could purchase the same brands and didn’t want to risk trying anything new in another country. I ultimately packed all of her consumables.

On top of this, I was unsure what the laundry situation would be like. In Florida, we have laundry in unit, so I could pack half of what I needed and do a mid trip laundry sesh. I had no clue what it would be like in Mexico. I couldn’t find a travel size packet of Dreft for the life of me, so I ultimately just overpacked anything she could ruin.

This is the jumbo suitcase with the Dockatot, inflatable bathtub, super seat, breast pump, baby toiletries, baby clothes/diapers, extra baby food, and some of my clothes. This was packed for our return trip back home and it is a bit disheveled. It was much more organized on the way there.

Here is my packing list for baby:

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Safe travels!

XO, Lauren

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