This month we took Ellie on her second trip out to CA, but this time we needed to take a crib and car seat. This added a new complication, but I think we made it work…
My first recommendation, instead of a Pack ‘n Play, get a Babybjorn Travel Crib, which our family got for us from our registry a year ago. Yes, I know, it has a higher price tag. But, I have experienced this crib and a few Pack ‘n Plays and I can honestly say it is worth the higher price tag. It is lighter, ridiculously simple to setup and take down, and FITS IN A SUITCASE!
I took the crib out of it’s case and put it straight into our large suitcase. It fit perfectly in either of our two big suitcases that we own. The cool thing is, there is still tons of room in the suitcase to put your baby’s stuff. In the middle where the legs cross, there are four decent sized pockets to stuff things you’re bringing. There was also room along the two shorter sides. Our suitcases also have a big outer pocket we put to use.
Between the suitcase, a backpack diaper bag for the plane, umbrella stroller, and her car seat, that was all we needed for her. My husband and I shared our second big suitcase. Both big suitcases were checked at the ticket counters (luckily they were free with Rob’s status). The umbrella stroller and car seat were checked at the gate. I didn’t like the idea of the car seat getting too banged up by checking it earlier, although it was kind of annoying to have to keep it with us.
Can my husband cart luggage or what?!
We did not bring the base of our car seat with us, so we learned how to install it with the seat belt. It actually ends up being really easy, BUT….
- It’s hard to get a baby into it if the seat belt is already across.
- It’s easy to forget to attach the seat belt once you get the baby in the 5-point harness because you are so used to the seat being in a base at home that you forget this new last step. Very embarrassed to say I did that twice!
Last piece of advice, do not bring a nice stroller. The abuse a stroller takes even when only checking it at the gate is crazy, bring a cheap umbrella stroller, instead.