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We have our first flight with Ava TOMORROW as we head off to London and the Cotswolds for a friend’s wedding. I have honestly been SO nervous to get on a flight with Ava, hence why it’s her first one at 17 months, but I realize I can only control so much.
When looking for packing lists for traveling with a toddler, the lists I found online were SO extensive. Some people pack TONS of items that I just did not find necessary. Now, we are traveling to a location with easy access to stores, so that does change my list a little, but I do recommend doing your research ahead of time to see how easy it is to purchase diapers and snacks once in your location. This might change your packing list a little.
Once we are back in the States I will update the list and mark what items we did not use and make note of any items that I wish we had brought.
EDIT: I updated this blog post a few weeks after returning to the States to mark what I used and what I wish I had brought.
Edit: I would reconsider my outfit choice next time we are on a plane because the romper she wore has a bunch of snaps that normally don’t bother me, but in a small airplane bathroom they became quite difficult.
We tried to pack a lot in our diaper bag because we will be traveling from 9am until 8am the next morning, so we need basically an entire day’s worth of items for our baby. This includes all of her sleep items because the flight from New York to London is overnight.
Please note that we will have our things in a rollaway carry on suitcase, so we can easily grab her snacks and a change of clothes as needed!
Edit: We did not use the Motrin because she ended up being ok without it! We also did not use the nail clippers or sunscreen.
We had my husband’s cousin bring her iPad because we do not own one. We bought a cover and headphones last minute for iPad use and I am SO glad we did. We would NOT have survived without the iPad for the international leg of the flight.
Ava did not have a single blow out on any of the flights nor did she require any outfit change due to a spill. The only time we changed her outfit was for the overnight flight to London where I did her normal bedtime routine of changing her into jammies and putting on her sleep sack.
We also brought an entire Ziplock bag of cheerios to replenish her snack cup as well as a bunch of other snacks like applesauce packs, Serenity kids pouches and Larabars.
Edit: We ended up last minute scratching the Slumber Pod due to space in our suitcase and instead brought this Pack n Play cover that I forgot we owned because it was at my mom’s. It worked super well. We did not bring a monitor because she slept in our room, so we could hear her just fine.
She did not end up wearing one of the dresses and the short sleeve shirt because it was colder than we expected!
Edit: We did not get her a book and instead she picked out a sheep stuffed animal!
If I gathered one thing from reading all of these online blogs about traveling with a little one it is to research and prepare ahead of time. Here are some things I recommend looking up before you leave.
In all honesty, it was HARD traveling with a 17 month old, and we knew it would be. She is SO mobile and loves to climb, so there was hardly any down time. The best thing we did was set zero expectations. We fully expected her to just meltdown everywhere we went, but were pleasantly surprised at her ability to adapt. She only took 1 nap during her “normal” nap time out of the entire 6 day trip. Instead, she would just eventually knock out either in her stroller or in our arms when she was tired enough.
The only “meltdown” she was was during our connection at the airport from NYC to Nashville. Our connecting flight was delayed 6 hours and due to the time change this was when Ava should have been sleeping overnight. Once we finally boarded the plane she passed out on my husband and passed out in her crib upon arriving home at 2am. So I guess it kind of helped her with the time change? Ha!
If we had to travel internationally again we would NOT go anywhere that needed a connection, but I think overall we will stick to shorter flights within the states without any time zone changes for the next year or so!
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