Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to Travel with Twins

When my TH and I needed to attend a party in the Bay Area, we decided for a 30 hour trip we better fly. With two nine month old boys we were feeling a bit anxious, but this Thriving Mommy never backs down from a challenge. With days to go before we took off, I started packing in an effort to get organized. It was going to be a short trip and therefore I wanted to travel light. Aside from checking the carseats (the stroller was staying behind thank goodness) we were going to carry on our luggage. One rolling suitcase for the four of us and one massive Vera Bradley diaper bag. 

Clothes and toiletries were easy, it was the diaper bag I really needed to think about. What would the boys want/need while in the air? I had to anticipate and plan for it all. The last thing I wanted was screaming babies on an airplane. While I know it happens, I always feel terrible for the mommy and baby. I was praying that wouldn't be me this time and therefore,I was determined to do everything in my power to make this flight as pleasurable as possible for all the passengers...including myself!

I put the supplies we wouldn't need at the bottom of the bag (extra diapers, wipes, blankets, hats, socks....). I needed to be able to reach into that Mary Poppins bag at a moments notice. Of course I had my disposable diapers (sorry cloth, no can do on a plane), wipes and changing pad, those were obvious. I then packed all their top choice toys of the moment, sippy cups with water and their favorite "snacktivity" - organic teethers.  Not only do they love to eat those but they could play with the wrappers for HOURS.  I was feeling pretty good about my diaper grab bag. Now, we had to plan for our arrival to the airport and the most important piece of the puzzle, what I was going to wear.   

Please forgive that one screaming baby back there, he wasn't a fan of my quick photo shoot...
Knowing that the change in pressure can be hard on a baby's ears I wanted to be able to help my Littles as much as they needed. Since they have never been pacifier babies and don't take a bottle unless away from me, I was ready to supply the good stuff...leche de mama. Now, there is NO SHAME in my tandem game so I wasn't even slightly concerned or embarrassed about pulling my shirt down to breastfeed on the plane. I was prepared to be flying up the state of California, well, topless. To accessorize, I grabbed my Mama & Little teething necklace, a perfect travel statement piece.

When the our travel day finally arrived, I was packed, dressed and ready to go. My TH and I grabbed our Beco carriers and hit the hour and a half early just to be safe.  We decided to valet to save ourselves some stress and it was worth the $30 for sure. I mean we were going to have to overnight park anyway, why not just kick down an additional $10 for ease?! With the babies strapped on, we each grabbed a carseat and my TH rolled that luggage all the way to the check in desk. With tickets in hand, no one could resist passing us right through security with those two gorgeous boys!

Once on the plane, I cozied in a window seat, placed the diaper bag in perfect reach in front of my seat and ordered a water. I always have to hydrate!

Before the plane took off both babies were wanting some mommy love.  I was happy to oblige and scooped them onto my lap. Little did I know, two babies are not allowed on one lap during take off. Uh oh...Ok, plan B. My TH scooted closer to me, took a baby and leaned into me as my tube top came down and babies went on. Soon we were going up, up and away!  To my amazement they didn't make a peep. They enjoyed their in flight beverage as much as everyone else and before we had even hit 20,000 feet I had two sleeping babies....whoooo hoooo!!!!

Clarke stayed sleeping and cuddled with daddy
While J.R. preferred to stay close to mommy
About half way through the flight the boys woke up and were ready to play. No problem! This Thriving Mommy was prepared with snacks, toys and all sorts of random stuff to play with. They were giggling and having a grand ole' time. When it was time to descend, back on mommy they went for a quiet and enjoyable landing. 

All in all, it was a surprisingly lovely trip.  No screaming babies, no frustrated passengers and no stressed out parents. I was so thrilled at how well it all went, I can honestly say I am not dreading our next trip!

Here are some tips for travel for all you Thriving Mommies traveling with one or two babies:
  1. Pack ahead. Don't wait until the last minute. Get everything laid out and organized far in advance so you aren't rushed and forget something vital.
  2. Always bring your baby carrier.  There is nothing more important than being hands free.
  3. Travel light. Only bring what you need and buy the rest when you get to your destination. Having to chase children while schlepping tons of bags is a recipe for disaster. 
  4. Dress the part. For you nursing moms, be ready to whip out those bad boys on a dime. Nothing calms a baby more than mommy's milk machines.
  5. Bring snacks. If you have babies 6 months or older that have been exploring solids, bring them. My boys I always have teething crackers, organic O's and some bread. They love to hold their food while eating and if it keeps them happy, then who am I to say no?
  6. Give yourself plenty of time. When traveling you should always allow ample time to get where you are going. This gets even more important when traveling with babies. You can never anticipate a blow out or barf party, so be ready to deal with that and still not miss your flight.
  7. Stay calm and don't forget to laugh. Getting all stressed out is only going to stress out your baby. Stay calm and laugh along the way. Even if it is a nightmare, it will make for a funny story later. 

Bread party while waiting for our flight....that J.R. Peanut LOVES his bread.
Clarke says, "Yuuuuuum, this sourdough is delicioso!"

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