Friday, March 23, 2012

Travel learnings with an older infant

Our travel experience with an almost 12 month old was educational for us as parents! I had traveled by myself with Hadley when she was six months old and that had been a breeze as she was very portable. At six months she loved being toted in her infant seat, riding in her stroller and being strapped in her Ergo carrier. Now that she's army crawling and rolling around everywhere it's much more difficult to be on the go with her since she wants to do her own baby things. She still loves stroller rides but isn't as fond of riding in the Ergo carrier for extended amounts of time-- except on the plane where that carrier was a lifesaver!! Now that she rides in a Diono RXT car seat we couldn't have her fall asleep and bring her inside as we had before with the infant seat so all of our activities had to be planned around nap times to ensure a happy baby. Something that was easier this time was less feedings although she was eating solids this time which was more complicated than I'd imagined away from home. She ate lots of Ella's Kitchen squeeze packs plus a bit of whatever we had at meals and she did great but with only two teeth her options are pretty limited so we can't wait for a fuller set of chompers to give us a broader range of munchies for her.
The best items that we took with us this time were the Ergo carrier (only for the plane) and the MamaDoo mattress topper for the pack n play to make a thick and comfortable place for her to sleep. I'm also very happy that we brought our Diono RXT car seat instead of our lighter Britax Roundabout 50 since the Diono is so much easier and compact to sit beside. Since we drove to Longboat Key from Orlando, it was nice to be able to comfortably ride beside her.
I wish we would have taken our Uppababy Vista instead of the Baby Jogger City Mini since we missed the super extension of the UV shade on the Uppababy in the intense Florida sun.
Taking a young baby (under 9 months) to Disney World would be easier than taking a more active older baby since there were few places for her to get out and definitely no where for her to crawl/roll. We went to Epcot and it was so much fun for us but had my grandparents meet us there later in the afternoon so that we could all be there for dinner and a few rides together without the baby being "chained" to her stroller all day long. That was special to our situation though since my grandparents have annual passes to WDW so they can come/go as try please while regular tickets are $90 per adult and $86 for children 3-9. **This makes it easier for me to understand why soapy people there had seemingly unentertained little ones along since the price for a child 3 or older could be cost prohibitive for multiple child families on any type of budget on a multiple day Disney vacation. We think that Hadley will enjoy Magic Kingdom when she's closer to 3 or 4 since kids really need some semblance to stamina in order to make it a whole day in the park and obviously you're not going to pay those ticket prices if you don't plan to stay all day.
Overall we had a ton of fun but for future reference I wanted to make sure we recorded all of our notes! :)

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