Yep, you read that right. After our last adventure with London in Maui (check out that post here), we caught the travel bug and popped over to Miami Beach to celebrate Grant’s 40th Birthday. Yes, Hawaii was supposed to be the big bang, but I decided we needed a little sunshine to ring in his 40th.
Traveling with London has been a blast. It’s been fun to watch him learn and discover new places, spaces and activities on each trip. Miami vs. Maui however, threw us some curveballs for sure! It wasn’t quite as easy as we thought.
While Maui was a longer flight (12 hrs without transit time), London was 3 months old, which made it much easier. He slept the entire flight, as well as through dinners, etc. It was literally a breeze. We couldn’t believe it! In addition, the atmosphere in Maui was so chill, as were we! London picked up that vibe immediately and ran with it…ok, not ran exactly, but you get the point.
Now, for Miami! Let’s just say, we met Party London for the first time, and he came out in full force. Now that he’s five months old (almost six!), he is very curious and alert! The lights, sounds, and noises and general party atmosphere that comes with the Miami adventure, had little London a wee bit over stimulated. Read on, as I break down our trip for you sharing, packing lists, challenges, wins, and everything in between. I’m writing this second part of my travel series posts, as our first trip was very much different than this one. My hope is that these posts help you plan your own adventure with your little one.
- Short sleeve & long sleeve onesies, to last the entire trip. I brought extra, as I knew they would be easily stained.
- 2 hoodies, as the air conditioning and flight could be chilly
- Burp clothes (a million)
- Blankets & swaddles
- Baby laundry detergent (SO glad I packed this. I used it often)
- Baby shampoo & plastic cup to help me clean him during his bath
- Sunglasses (which were great for photo ops, but didn’t stay on his face)
- Swim trunks, and rash guards
- Sunhat (this helped so much, keeping the sun out of his face)
- Baby sunscreen (used Neutrogena SPF 50. I didn’t love the texture of this. I found it difficult to rub in, and put up a fuss daily while I applied it. I will search for a different one next time. Blue Lizard is another one that came recommended to me).
- Stuffies (I brought a big one for the hotel, and a little one for the plane)
- Diapers – 1 sleeve
- Wipes – a large pack, and 3 small travel sized ones
- Breast Pump (I am currently breastfeeding, pumping, and supplementing with formula. I didn’t end up using the pump on the plane)
- Burp Clothes
- Diaper travel changing pad
- Diapers (I didn’t go through as many as I thought on the plane)
- Formula – a large container which we kept in our suitcase, as well as a plastic bag full, with the scoop to make bottles in transit
- Plastic Bags (for dirty diapers)
- Outfit changes (I definitely needed these!)
- Hoodie (in case the plane was cold & it was snowing on our layover in Denver
- Booties & socks (to keep his feet warm on the plane)
- Blanket & swaddle
- Lysol wipes & Purell (because…germs!)
- Bottled Water (to make his formula bottles, although I also breastfed on the plane)
- Munchkin Clear Diaper Disposal Bags – these were GOLDEN! Get them!
We planned for a 7am flight, same as our last trip since that worked well for us! The airports are fairly dead and everyone is so kind when you’re traveling with a munchkin. Lines and security were cake! Traveling back we chose a noon flight, which is usually his naptime. both were good options. Similar to last time, we brought our lighter weight travel stroller and car seat, which made it easier to transport. We checked both as we boarded the plane.
On the plane, our munchkin barely slept. The flight was 2.5 hrs, so it was still fairly easy. We definitely had to keep him occupied by bouncing, walking the aisles, making new friends, and playing. He wanted to check things out and see everything! I still tried to breastfeed him on the plane, but it didn’t work as well. Unfortunately my milk supply is diminishing, but it does still keep him soothed and calm, so that helped. We fed him on the way up, and as we landed to keep his ears from popping. If he was already sleeping, then I didn’t wake him during the landing and he was ok with that.
We stayed at the 1 Hotel Miami Beach, which we’ve stayed before, and it was pretty kid friendly. They provided a crib, made things fairly accommodating , and there was even a heated kids pool. The main pool had beds that we lounged on with London as well, which were fun!
We finally got London in the pool and he loved it! We got his feet wet first, and then his whole body. We didn’t bother bringing the float we had last time, as it’s too big for him. We held him in the water and didn’t go in deep. For a swimsuit, I used spf protected rashguards, Neutrogena baby sunscreen, and a hat. I didn’t love the rashguards as much, since it made diaper changes difficult. I would do swim trunks next time. There are swim diapers you can get as well. We made sure to sit in the shade, so the sun wasn’t in his face and he didn’t overheat. We walked him out to the pool in his stroller with the carseat, so he had a place to nap ( of course we were next to him, with an eye on him). We took that opportunity to have lunch (with BOTH hands). If you see in my photos, I always have to eat one handed with him).
Our beach time was limited as it was too sunny and much windier for him. I’d change him into his normal clothes and we’d walk by the water together. I still haven’t put his feet in the ocean. I’m worried about bacteria, but he did put his toes in the sand. He hated it!
This kid is a PARTY animal. He came alive in Miami. We booked late dinner reservations, since he always slept through dinner in Maui. Not this trip! Normally at home, he’d never be up past 8pm. He always falls asleep by then. We tried taking him out late, per usual, after he fell asleep, dressed him in his pjs to make the crib transfer easier. Each and every night he woke up during dinner with the music pumping and lights glowing everywhere. Born in NYC, the noise wouldn’t normally wake him, but it did in Miami. He wasn’t screaming at all, but he 100% loved it. There was nothing we could do. Each night we ate with London fully awake. He sat in my lap and we rolled with it. We definitely got some judging stares. To be honest, as much as that part was a bit exhausting, and we had hoped for our quiet date nights, it was also so much fun to watch him in awe of the lights, sounds, and excitement around him. I don’t regret it.
The adventure itself was a major win! In addition, we were able to take him on another beach vacay, but figured out ways of traveling that worked better for us, since we learned so much from our first trip. Traveling with London has allowed us to learn so much more about him, it’s helped us to grow and gain confidence as parents, and given us an abundance of family memories to keep in our back pockets.
It was challenging to deal with London at an older age, not knowing what to expect out of him this trip. Some of our original travel strategies had to be changed, since he threw us for a loop being so alert, excited, and on the move! Packing for the trip was still difficult for me, although our previous beach vacay gave me a good idea of what I needed. Getting him back on his normal sleep schedule right now, has been tricky as well. It will take a few days and some patience, but it’ll be back to normal in no time.
All in all, Grant’s birthday bash, and our 2nd family adventure was 100% worth it! We’d do it again in a heartbeat, and we had so much fun that we extended our stay. My piece of advice…the younger you travel with an infant, the easier! They don’t obviously react to as much, but the trip feels fairly seamless. Also the quieter, and more tranquil the destination, the easier. Take your longest and furthest trip first! Save the shorter ones for when they’re a bit older. It is so much fun to watch them emotionally react to everything and embrace their curiosity. So what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits!