Written by: Alexandra Lotzgeselle
Well, we officially survived our first travel experience with a baby! I’m fairly sure my nerves and anxiety about the flight took a couple of years off my life, but we all made it to and from Maui safe and without a planeload of passengers cursing us. Not only was the travel fine, but the trip itself was as good as we could have hoped for. We went to Maui with my sister, her Aussie boyfriend Glenn, and my parents, so we had plenty of help and entertainment for the week. My husband and I have been to Maui several times before, but boy, traveling with a baby is a whole new animal!
A couple days before the trip, I started getting extremely nervous. Hudson started cutting his first tooth (after 3 months of teething!) and had started to be fussy and grumpy which is very unlike him. Luckily, when we woke him up bright and early the morning of our flight, his tooth had just cut through his gum, so we figured we dodged a bullet there. I had done a lot of research on flying with babies, so I was prepared with plenty of formula, bottles and water. You can essentially bring as much water, breastmilk, pre-made formula, etc. as you want, they just need everything put in a special device that scans the liquid through whatever packaging it’s in to ensure it isn’t anything suspicious. I was able to wear him in my Boba baby wrap which made going through security a breeze. Luckily, we had an early flight on a Friday so the security line wasn’t too long and we had plenty of time before our flight.
As difficult and unnerving as it is to travel with an infant, there is one perk- you get on the plane first. So we had a little extra time to sit down, breathe for a second, and try to get ourselves situated and comfortable. Now, Todd and I must have had some good karma saved up because, with only 2 empty seats on the entire plane, one of them ended up being in our row! We really couldn’t believe how lucky we got. Having the extra space really helped. Neither my husband nor myself are particularly small people and having a baby strapped to us meant we would have been even more squished. So the extra space was great.
Now, here comes the one thing I may be harshly judged on. We gave Hudson a little bit of baby Benadryl before we gave him his bottle for take off. I know a lot of people will gawk at this, but if my kid is screaming and crying, that certainly isn’t good for him, much less any of the other dozens of passengers. Giving him the bottle during takeoff kept him distracted enough to not worry about the other people and elevation changes so we didn’t have any fussing or crying. About an hour after takeoff Huds fell asleep and we got a little time to relax. The long and short of it is that the flight went fine. If Hudson started to get a little antsy, I just put him in the baby wrap and bounced around for a bit.
We finally landed later that morning, and could instantly breathe a big sigh of relief when we got into the perfect, humid Maui air. We picked up our rental car, did a Costco run, and then finally was able to make it to the condo and relax a little. The condo was perfect. We had a huge lanai (back patio), full kitchen, large living room, 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms which was necessary for 3 couples and a baby. Sharing a room with our baby who normally sleeps in his own room was a little difficult to get used to. He would wake up early and start talking to himself for a few minutes early in the morning before falling back asleep, but luckily he would sleep pretty soundly for the most part, so we didn’t have to tiptoe around when we went into our room.
Now, this trip, obviously because of Hudson, was far different than our previous trips to the island. Because we have been to Maui many times in the past, my husband and I rarely do any “touristy” type activities, but prefer to just lounge all day on our favorite beaches. Hudson had different ideas. We live a very structured and scheduled life at home, so being thrown off his schedule was a little challenging, but we made do. Instead of spending all day on the beach, we really were only able to spend a few hours there every morning before needing to take Hudson home for a nap. Boy did he love the beach though! Our beaches in San Diego are not exactly conducive for a 7 month old, but in Maui the water is basically like a calm bath, so we were able to wade around so Hudson could splash and play in the pristine water.
Having my family there is really what made the trip a true vacation. Hudson is the first baby in the family, and of course my parents first grandchild which means they’re completely obsessed with him. They were constantly offering to walk him around on the beach or restaurant if he got fussy, and even watched him one night so we could go on a date to belatedly celebrate our anniversary. It was also a very special treat for Hudson to have his grandparents, Aunt Kendall, and Uncle Glenn around him for a week straight. He gets a level of love and affection from all of them that really made the trip extra special. As an added bonus, Hudson officially cut his first tooth, and, mostly due to the added practice with his Uncle Glenn, officially mastered crawling. So saying it was an exciting week is certainly an understatement!
While taking a baby on a vacation that requires a flight nearly 6 hours long is not exactly a piece of cake, it was certainly well worth it. We were prepared for the worst but got as close to the best as we could have hoped for. Our flight home was extra long due to a delay of over an hour at take-off and nearly 30 minutes at landing, but luckily for us, Hudson kept it together…for the most part. The people seated around us were all very friendly and loved playing peek-a-boo with our smiley angel, and all the other kids on our flight spent most of the time screaming and crying, so it really made Hudson look even better behaved! When traveling with a baby or toddler, you have to accept beforehand that there will probably be some bumps along the journey, but the memories you’ll be able to share with your babies one day will all be worth it in the end!