We are just settling in after a whirlwind(?) trip to Vegas. Most people go to Vegas to celebrate their 21st birthday, Bebu celebrated her 5 month bday in style. Why Vegas? ‘Coz my brother & his wife stay there. And it seemed like a perfect spot for the entire family to congregate since my parents are visiting. I read a dozen blogs/articles to prepare for this trip (links at the end).
We spent 8 days in Henderson/Vegas. Of which 3 days/2 nights we stayed at the Cosmopolitan. The rest of the trip we kicked back at my brother’s place. And boy, did bebu have fun at my brother’s place! So much attention and pampering. We celebrated her 5 month bday there. And her aunt & uncle got her a cake, new clothes. And she learned to flip over onto her tummy there. Yayy for new milestones!!
Talking about milestones, this was a huge trip for us too. Bebu’s first airplane trip. First stay away from home. We generally don’t travel much besides our annual trip back home. I remember pre-bebu Z & I drove to Vegas. A trip that involved 10 hrs of driving. No stops. Not anymore. This trip involved a lot of planning. Some worked. Some didn’t. I made a list of things that did, and others that didn’t.
Check-in essentials/ Flying:
- Birth certificate to get a BVD (boarding verified document)
- Carseat + base (if you plan to get your own) – we gate checked ours. Most of the articles we read mentioned getting it onboard so that you could use it incase there’s an extra seat. That ways the baby can sit in her carseat.
- Stroller (make sure you remember to remove all the blankets etc from the storage area before your security check)
- Arrive atleast 1.5-2 hours before your flight leaves. It goes a long way in keeping everyone sane. No rushing between security and your gate
- Get a blanket if you plan to nurse. Bottle feeding means you have to warm the bottle, sterilize it. Too many things to juggle
Don’t forget to remove the icepack/cooler for the milk bottles from your carryon luggage (doh!)
Things I could’ve/should’ve done:
I missed the tip where people on the internets (!!) suggested wearing the baby in a carrier while zipping through security. I wish we had done this. It would’ve been so much better for bebu & us. Also, if you have the baby in the carrier, don’t wear jackets as suggested in Science of Mom article mentioned below.
Also, I cannot stress the importance of arriving on the airport with plenty of time to spare. On our trip back we had to rush and were the last people to board. If you are coming with a carseat, that needs a window seat since the aisles cannot be blocked. A kind gentleman gave up his window seat. Bad news: it was in the last row. Our carseat didn’t fit in there.
Staying away from home
Things we got from home:
- Pack & Play
Things we bought there:
When we were staying at the hotel, we asked for a crib. I know a lot of people frown about that. But we checked the crib. It looked sturdy and clean. We did use our sheets on top of it. And guess what, the baby was fine. We were staying in a double room and one bedroom was further away from the living/sitting room and the other bedroom. So we stayed in that one. Best part was having a door that helped us to make sure that we were able to stick to her routine and also relax with the others.
For her playtime at home, we just used 2 yoga mats and put a thick sheet on top of it. Voila.. End result, we had a mobile baby by the end of our trip.
Our hotel room didn’t have a microwave. What the whaaa!! So heating the bottles was tricky. We ended up using the hot water in the bathroom to heat the bottle. And that took forever! So if you are stuck in a similar situation, make sure you have a warm bottle before the baby wakes up. ‘Coz all hell will break loose if you aren’t ready!! (Just kidding! No, really..)
Things I could’ve/should’ve done:
Bebu is 5 months. She was fine with sleeping on a makeshift bed when we were at home. The Pack & Play was too much trouble for us. Since she’s too big for the bassinet and doesn’t sit up on her own, getting her in and out of that when she’s asleep was back breaking, literally. So for the last 3 days, we just folded that thing.
I missed having the monitor. I wanted to pack it, but I thought it was an overkill. In hindsight, I should’ve carried it. We ended up improvising. Z would call my phone, and his phone would be by the crib and I would have my phone on mute with the speaker on. Not ideal. But thanks to AT&T and free mobile to mobile calls, it was free. And it worked.
Things we got from home:
This was the biggest gotcha for us. Vegas was H-O-T! Everyone suggested to get a carrier and ditch the stroller when you were out. Guess what? With the temp hitting 107 degree everyday, the carrier wasn’t even an option. So we ended up using the stroller+carseat combo. We had to make sure that we avoided taking her out when it was super hot. So we spent most of the day indoors.
Also, this trip she finally started using her pacifier. This was one thing off her initial baby shopping list that I had. The one thing that she absolutely hated. But she loves it now. That’s what made car trips easier when she got a bit antsy. Welcome to the family girfu. (Yes, I’ve a name for her pacifier..)
This trip also marked the first time when we went out on a date. Z & I had a dinner date at Sage in Aria. This restaurant was on my list for quite some time now. And the dinner did not disappoint. Ah-mazing! My parents, Z & I also went for a show, while bebu’s uncle & aunt graciously offered to babysit her. Bebu has them tightly wrapped around her finger 🙂 We saw Ka at MGM. If you haven’t ever been to one of these shows, you totally should. It’s an experience!
That’s it. That marks the end of our traveling to Vegas with a baby edition. Hopefully this makes it easier the next time we travel with Bebu.
Few resources that offered good tips & advice (in random order):
1. Chezerbey – Flying with baby
2. Momsicle – Travel tips
3. The ultimate goto guide – Have Baby Will Travel
4. Tips for smoother travel from Science of Mom