Traveling with Carmen: Kenisha’s Story

Walking to the terminal wit stroller and suitcasesKenisha Brown, a Group parent from La Leche League of Springfield, Virginia, wrote to us about her impressive travel experience with her daughter, Carmen. We hope you’ll enjoy her story and the tips she has to share.

“Carmen is seven months old and has been on ten flights so far! Most of our travel together has been for my work, but a few of the trips were for fun! Before Carmen was born, I traveled a ton. In fact, I looked at my hotel account activity from the year before becoming a mother, and I had 182 nights total from past bookings. Twenty or so of those were from fun trips, and the rest were all for work.

Luckily, I can set my own work schedule so I will not be traveling as much now that Carmen is here, but I still plan to travel two to three times a quarter. I am exclusively breastfeeding, so until she is fully weaned Carmen will come with me on every trip. I have not taken any trips without her yet. We recently went to California from Virginia, which was the longest flight for her. and she did great.”

Kenisha nursing her baby girlOf course, there have been some changes to Kenisha’s travel experiences before her baby compared to now with her daughter.

“The biggest change is making sure I have enough time. I prefer to get to my gate right as we are boarding, rather than sit around for a long period of time. With that goal in mind, I give myself more time to nurse and stop for diaper change if needed.”

Kenisha also offered some airport and baby gear tips.

“Take advantage of all the spaces made for you. Every airport I have been to has nursing/pumping rooms or lactation pods. They have outlets, enough space for your stroller and bags, and a place to change diapers. After I was done nursing, my husband did a diaper change and played with Carmen while I pumped the side that she did not nurse on. I don’t mind nursing in public, but it’s nice to have the option for privacy and a place where Carmen is not easily distracted while nursing.

My diaper bag comes with me everywhere. All the essentials and more can fit in my bag. I keep a travel play mat or blanket for floor play in the airport. That keeps her on a clean surface and you can easily wash it later. Also, TOYS! Anything travel friendly that will keep her entertained is a must!”

Carmen watching the planes while waiting to be boardedSometimes extra support is helpful, too.

“Carmen was almost five months old when I had my first work trip. My mother-in-law came with me since my husband could not attend that trip. I was away for a few hours at a time during the day. I left pumped bottles, diapers, and wipes, along with the stroller for walks and getting around in the hotel. When my husband is able to come with us, he enjoys the daddy-daughter time they get while I’m away during the day. “

As far as keeping baby Carmen close, calm, and nursing often, Kenisha said offering to nurse frequently is key for them.

“I always nurse her when she wakes up and offer mini nursing sessions throughout the day when we travel. Following her cues is key. When we are on the plane, she naps in the baby carrier. My husband or I can relax and have both arms free which is awesome. So far, our hotels have provided travel cribs, so we just bring her sleep sack and sound machine for nighttime sleep. I try to mimic her home routine whenever I can to help her adjust.”

Finally, we asked Kenisha what encouragement she would offer to other parents who need or want to travel with their babies.

Kenisha nursing her baby girl Sunset reflected in window“If you like to travel or want to visit places, do not use your baby as an excuse not to go. It’s not as bad as you think. Society puts so much pressure on parents when traveling with kids, but I have found people to be more understanding. If you do receive some judgmental looks, remind yourself of the great memories that are in the making and ignore any negativity.

If others offer their help, don’t be afraid to accept it. Countless people have lifted the car seat on the conveyor belt at security for me, held doors, helped me retrieve lost items. Especially if you are traveling alone with your baby, you do not have to do it all yourself. Embrace the kindness others want to give you!”

Have you traveled with your little one? Tell us about it! Send your stories to Kylie at [email protected]

For more information about traveling with your babies, visit:

Please send your story ideas to Kylie at [email protected].

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