GGNJ ... Travel advice, well, here is a C&P of big post that I wrote back in May, when H was seven months old and we were in Costa Rica. We do a lot of travel, whenever we can. It's a big priority for us, so I like talking and thinking and planning about it. To provide a bit of context, the original question was about traveling with a stroller, in Europe. But some of the tips might translate! Your adventure sounds fun!
No stroller advice here either, as I type this mid-holiday in Costa Rica with our seven month old and three year old. We've never brought a stroller while traveling.
I love my Ergo, and also am using a short-ish wrap for an African-style back carry and sling. My seven month old naps and nurses happily in the Ergo and wrap, although 90% of the time he's in a back carry in the Ergo. The three year old has also been in the Ergo and African back carry a few times on this trip too.
- perfect your superman toss or whatever way you have of getting the baby onto your back easily. If you look awkward, strangers will try to help, and that just makes it worse. I've been wearing DS in a back carry in the Ergo since he was about four months old, but he's on the bigger end of the scale. Wore him in a woven wrap in a back carry from birth, when I had a spotter around.
- if it's hot, be sure to take an extra layer off of baby when wearing her, as she'll get hotter being worn (but I still would rather wear baby than push a stroller)
- get a couple of sun hats with straps, they stay on better in a back carry. And get your companion to make sure the baby is hatted, or check in shop windows.
-decide well beforehand whether or not you're going to start solids before traveling. We did, and thank goodness. DS is eating tonnes! I can't stand store bought baby food or purees, so I'm thrilled that he's eating what we are. Mostly beans, carrots, chayote, rice, fish, bananas, papaya, chicken, yucca, avocado, rice cakes, etc. you might want to bring a baby food grinder. We didn't. But I think I'm a bit braver than most when it comes to letting my babies nosh on food (he also eats eggs and toast and cheese and seafood and peanut butter ... Gasp!). Plus I don't mind giving him ABC food (already been chewed by me) too, which some people think is gross.
- Only bring a couple of small familiar toys from home. We brought his Sophie & his beloved toy truck, and use lots of regular items and friendly strangers and new sights to delight him while traveling.
- get comfy nursing in public. You won't want the hassle of finding discreet corners or dealing with covering up.
- bring a cloth swim diaper. You won't want to pay for sposie swim diapers, or have to find them on short notice. Our DS loves swimming, and it's a great distraction when he's fussy or tired. Bringing him into the hotel shower or tub does the same trick too.
- that said, I recommend sposies for traveling, except for swims dipes. We use cloth at home, but not on the road. Good quality sposies. We brought four packs of 7th Generation. Keeps his bum happy, but takes up a lot of luggage real estate.
- beware of diaper rash. You'll be busy and distracted and might not change her as often as at home. If you're particular about cream, bring your fave. We didn't, but haven't had rashes with either of our kids, even here in the super hot humidity.
- do you use bottles? If so, maybe shift her to a sippy cup before you go. Easier to wash, and less fussy.
- nap her on the go. She'll figure it out, i promise. Don't try to work around a schedule while in transit. She'll settle into it after a day or so. The only time I think about naps is with regards to planes. I keep my kids awake as long as possible beforehand so that they'll nap during the flight.
- start wearing her all the time now, so that you'll be stronger in all the right places when you go.
- think about the car seat issue. Using rental cars or cabs while there? Are you okay with going in cabs without a car seat? We've never done it, but we tend to get a rental when we travel, and install our own car seats that we bring with us.
- think about sleeping. Do you cosleep? If so, be sure to book rooms with a big enough bed. We have two littles who sleep with us, so we book two doubles minimum, preferably two queens. With one child, a queen was sufficient. If you'll want a crib, be sure that your accommodations have those, as I doubt you'll want to haul that along too.
- we get on the plane last, to minimize our time on board before we take off. Love that. You can also send your companion ahead to organize your seats. I like sending DP ahead for that.
- bring her birth certificate, and don't forget health insurance for her too.
- people will love up your baby and will touch her. Be okay with that, or have a practiced line to fend them off if you don't go in for that kind of thing. We've had more Costa Ricans hold him and coo at him than anywhere else we've been, including home, I bet it's the same in some European countries, the ones who tend to love up babies anyway.
- a funny tip ... When you carry your baby all the time, it's good to get used to putting her down too. Get used to doing a visual sweep of the area, keeping an eye out for hazards and cleanliness. For example, Costa Rica is a very clean country, so I've put him down to sit in grocery stores, shops, banks, hotel lobbies, ice cream stores, sidewalks, airports, zoos, exhibits, museums, restaurants, etc. Did it with his sister too at that age. Putting her down gives you and her a break. Gives her a chance to stretch and move and see new things and make new friends.
- don't bother with a high chair. Most places have them, and if not, most places have a grandma or auntie-type who are happy to hold the baby while you eat.
Phew ... That's a lot!
Now, back to our travels!
Have fun planning your trip!
ps. You better hope she doesn't crawl before you leave, but sitting up is perfect! Especially for when you want to put her down.