We did it!! We traveled from Dallas to Munich with our 6 month old baby girl. The journey was about 18 hours. In most cases, the trip is not this long, but we flew into Frankfurt and then drove to Munich. We also had a two hour delay at Frankfurt airport while waiting for our rental car.
Speaking of rental cars, if you are visiting from North America, it’s likely best to stick with American companies like Hertz and Budget. We went with Europcar and it was disorganized and they didn’t have enough cars. Although we had booked on Expedia and already paid for our rental, we ended up spending an addition $360USD. The car we wanted was not available and they ended up selling us a better car along with insurance. I think it was their trick. Let me also note that we spent more than an hour in the line. By the time we went through the rigamarole of securing a vehicle, we just wanted to get out and start our trip.
Our baby girl did so well. She was a bit fussy at times in flight and after the flight, but we managed to relax her by playing with a toy or showing and talking to her about the things around us. She also breast fed quite a bit and we gave her a bottle a couple of times. She doesn’t care for pacifiers, but if your little one does, definitely have that ready. I kept everything that I needed for my baby within reach. If you are traveling with a spouse or companion, have them sit next to you, so they can help as much as possible. It’s better than relying on a stranger to help. Even for short flights, you may need the help to grab something from your bag that is stored under the seat in front of you.
Here are the things I had in my backpack for the baby:
- two teethers
- three face towels
- gum massager
- twelve diapers and portable change pad
- baby wipes
- diaper cream
- breast feeding cover
- three rattles
- baby’s mirror
- tiny baby stuffed animal that plays music
- 18 oz of breast milk in a small cooler bag with ice pack
- four breast pads
- ear muffs/noise canceler
- one muslin blanket
- one set of extra clothes for baby
- Wet One wipes
I like to make sure that my baby is warm and covered. I dressed her in a long sleeved onesie and a pair of pants. She wore socks with a pair of Robeez, which I got for a really good price at DSW.
The moment we got on the plane, my husband wiped down the seats and the tray tables with Wet Ones wipes. It’s no joke, the airplanes are thilfy. As frequent travelers we have gotten used to wiping down everything, including the seat belts and arm rests.
I hate using the restroom inflight, but there are moments that it cannot be avoided and with a baby, you will have to change a diaper at least once. On a previous trip from Dallas to Vancouver, I only had to change the diaper once. From Dallas to Frankfurt, I had to change my baby 3 times. Thank God, it was always wet and not dirty! Fortunately, the change table in flight was actually well kept.
Let me share a few musts before you decided to embark on this trip. You must have the following to make it successful:
- More Patience
If you lack this, you will drive yourself and your spouse/companion crazy. Your baby can also sense your nerves. The more calm and relaxed you are about everything, the better the experience will be for you and everyone around you.
When your baby gets a little fussy, breast feed or give a bottle and if that doesn’t work pick him/her up and go for a walk. Talk you your baby with love and joy! Give a toy, read to him/her. Don’t worry about the people sitting around you. They will appreciate what you are going through and may even offer to help or give you tips. Be open, but remember you know your baby best. Do what you know will help relax your baby. Keep yourself hydrated, but if you don’t have anyone to help you with the baby, you might want to reconsider drinking too many liquids.
Lastly and perhaps most important, you are going to need to wear your baby. We got the Ergo 360 and love it! Going through security was easy without a stroller. We checked our stroller and car seat for free and we fit a few other essentials in the stroller bag too! Our little girl loves being in the carrier, facing outward, so that she can view what we see too.
As for the car ride to Munich, our baby slept most of the way. We stopped a couple of times to breastfeed and give comfort.
Do you have experience with traveling with a baby? I’d love to hear about it. If you have any specific questions, let me know that too. I’ll offer some suggestions.
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