Traveling to Hawaii with a baby

Beach, Sand, Waves, Family: all the view in the world I could ask for right here 🙂

My husband and I have been an avid travelers for years now. We love traveling, beaches, historical sites, adventures, you name it. I take great pride in being able to plan trips (single handed most of the times) and honestly planning trips give me that energy and rush that I crave. I am in my element when I get to organize events, checking off action items and lists, and making sure everything goes smoothly prior to the trip so that the travel day is relaxing.

However, since being pregnant (bad morning sickness) and after our little one was born, we put a little break on our travels. After all, traveling with a baby requires a lot of planning, a lot more than finding a great destination.

We recently traveled to Maui with our 9 month old daughter. When I first started planning for the trip, I researched quite a bit on Google :). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a site that gave me comprehensive details that satisfied my needs, they didn’t have the specifics that I was looking for. I was basically looking for a prescription on here what you need when traveling with a baby to Hawaii. Since our travel, a lot of my friends with little kids have reached out to me asking to share tips on traveling to Hawaii i.e. planning, packing, activities, etc. I thought doing a post would really help a lot of other parents who really want to travel but are scared by the thought of planning. This post is meant to be simple and to the point so if you have any additional questions please comment below and I would be more than happy to respond. Enjoy your travels!

What are some tips for traveling with a baby

  1. Book your flights so that it aligns with your LO’s nap time. Depending on where you’re flying from, it takes anywhere from 6-20 hours. If your flight is longer than 6 hours then it doesn’t really matter when you fly. However, if it is 6-9 hours it’s best to get a flight where your baby can right after take-off.
  2. Similar to the above point, it’s best if you can feed (bottle or breastmilk) during flight take-off and landing. The ear pressure change, because of the rapid change in altitude, can really irritate the babies and they may cry throughout the flight. So, feeding them right during take-off will help. I know, I know, you can’t just make up an ideal scenario that works perfectly for the baby. So then what do you do? Give him/her water to suck on or give them half the milk during their regular time and the other half during take-off or landing.
  3. Kids can entertain themselves on the flight for hours. Don’t keep them constricted. Instead, let them explore, while being cognizant of the people around you. Babies are cute, esp, when they are yours BUT other passengers may not quite feel that way. Be respectful of others’ space but also don’t be that ultra-cautious parent that doesn’t want to be one of those parents on the flight. You don’t need to take a lot of toys, may be a book or two, some snacks, let them play on the floor (when it’s safe), let them say hi to people. This will definitely relieve you of the unnecessary stress.
  4. Last but not the least, try to get them to take their regular naps. Whether that means you rock them to sleep or carry them on a carrier. By now, we all probably know this, babies are the happiest when they are well rested.
  5. If this is your first visit to Hawaii, just set your expectations right, you will definitely not get to do everything and anything as you would’ve imagined. If you baby has a schedule you have to work around that and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You just have to plan smart 🙂 and you can see that on the next post. You’ll still get to enjoy the place and it will be very family focused for sure.
  6. Travel light! Instead of going through the hassle of taking the car seat and stroller (worrying if it will make it in one piece), just rent. It’s such a peace of mind. It’s not expensive to rent at all. We got ours from Maui Vacation Equipment. They send you instructions on where to pick up, which is right by the airport and also close to Target in case you need to buy anything immediately.
  7. Most importantly, stay at a place that is convenient and accessible. Whether you choose to do Airbnb or stay at one of the resorts, find an area that is not too far from attractions on your list, the beaches and the city center should you need anything immediately. Remember Hawaii is an island and anything and everything is very expensive compared to the mainland. If your LO is already eating solids then I would recommend getting a place with a kitchenette. You also don’t need to take a lot of food from here as you can get them at Target.
  8. I’ve heard and read that some people find baby sitting through the hotels so that parents can have a night out. I personally didn’t do this but if you are comfortable with such an arrangement I think it’s absolutely worth it! We traveled with my mom so one of the nights we asked my mom to put the baby to sleep while we went on our date night and it was just what we needed, our cozy just US time. We get so busy with daily lives and baby activities that it’s so so important to find that time for ourselves.

What to pack for Maui/Hawaii: Baby

There used to be a time when I used to have my own luggage with everything and anything I could possibly need for a trip. Same thing with my husband. However, this time the story was a little different. My husband and I packed 1 suitcase with our must haves that we took as a carry on and then we had 1 luggage with all the baby stuff that we checked in. Because this was a slightly longer trip for us, we wanted to be doubly sure we packed everything we thought we would need for our daughter. Although a lot was packed, not everything was required. Below is a list of what we think is useful:

  1. Diaper (day and night) & wipes
  2. Aquaphor
  3. Snacks for the flight
  4. Pack some lentils and rice if you plan to cook there. You can also buy it in stores, but could be a bit of drive from where you’re staying.
  5. Swim suits
  6. Infant Sunscreen (a must!)
  7. Flap hat (if you baby keeps on a hat ever)
  8. Ergo Baby (baby carrier)
  9. Baby float (our LO absolutely loved this)
  10. If you plan to hike or walk a lot I would recommend Osprey Baby Carrier. You can also check this in as a car seat which btw is free of charge
  11. Pack light onesies and also dresses and or shorts for the baby. It can get a little chilly, in the evenings, depending on the month you’re traveling.
  12. Lastly, pack their lovey. Our daughter is obsessed with her blanket and she soothes herself with her little blankie. This will be handy especially during the flight and bed time.

And even if you forget anything it’s absolutely alright! You’ll realize how resourceful you can be during such time. Don’t sweat it 🙂

Where to Eat in Maui, Hawaii

Planning activities while carrying and infant can be challenging. As my husband and I have been to Maui before, we were ok with not doing some of the ‘must dos’ in Maui. We, instead, chose to keep it relaxing with a few activities. Below are my top 5 activities we did this trip:

  1. Maui Pineapple Plantation Tour: We really enjoyed this tour. Our daughter was asleep on the Ergobaby during this tour and we were in a slow moving tram. The area is fun with pond and pineapples and great scenery .
  2. Lahaina Banyan Tree and the surrounding Lahaina area: this can be a bit touristy but, I mean, we were tourists. We also stopped by our favorite Ululani Shave Ice which was just about 10 min or so walk.
  3. Our first few nights were at the Courtyard by Marriott in Wailea. While this area is lovely, all it has is resorts and restaurants. We felt like it wasn’t very accessible. The hotel also did not have a private beach which made it a bit difficult for us to enjoy. However, we did get a date night at the Ka’ana Kitchen where we did the bitters and bites. This was such a great experience, although a bit expensive, I think we definitely deserved to splurge :D. We were lucky that my mom was there to babysit for the night.
  4. We also made sure to check off some of the restaurants that were on my list and were delicious. Star Noodle: probably the best garlic noodles I’ve ever had. Coconuts Fish Cafe: we really liked their fish tacos and my mom enjoyed the kids portion mahi mahi ;). Monkeypod Kitchen had the best and the strongest Mai Tais of all the ones we had so far. Last but not the least, our fav, Foodland from where we got our bottomless supply of Poke. You MUST make a stop at Foodland to grab the variety of poke served the right way!
  5. Finally, hanging out at the hotel pool and the beach. Our second of the trip, we stayed at the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka’anapali which was so much better in terms of everything! There were quite a few families there but not too crowded. We spend days at the pool sipping Mai Tai and hanging at the beach with our baby girl playing in sand. On the morning that we were checking out, we wanted to get some pictures at the beach. It started raining a bit and all of a sudden I see double rainbows!! Rainbows make me SO HAPPY and there were TWO!! We got a few pictures and that was just the perfect ribbon on our trip 🙂

I hope this helps you get started with the trip planning. Please do share any other helpful suggestions, tips or hacks you use when traveling with an infant.

Happy & safe travels!

XO, Naya

Baby Registry Must Haves

Ah you’re about 32+ weeks and getting excited for your baby shower. Who doesn’t love being celebrated? The feeling of being showered with love and being around your loved ones is all I wanted for my baby shower. Getting gifts for others is always challenging! However, when it comes to picking gifts for yourself, it’s always an exciting time. Well baby shower isn’t quite picking gifts for yourself (sort of is, though) the process of finalizing baby shower gift registry is laborious to say the least. It’s an art you see:

  1. You need to categorize the items you need
  2. Then you need to start identifying all the different brands of products you want
  3. Then you need to research these products for benefits, safety and ease of use
  4. Decide whether to go with Amazon baby registry, Target, or mix it up?
  5. Lastly, you’ll need time, a lot of time to narrow down your gift registry

It requires a lot of patience which is a good practice for what’s to come soon 🙂 I spend numerous hours researching and was finally able to come up with my registry (message me if you would like a link to it). I did however realize that there were certain items I could have done away with. With that said, here’s my suggestion on what you really need for baby shower gift registry:

What are some of the must haves for baby shower, gift registry?

Big ticket items:

  1. Bassinet/Crib: We really like our Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. Pros: The Swivel feature is quite nifty when you need your baby to be closer to you. I also highly recommend adding Graco Pack and Play to your gift registry. Baby can just hang in here while you eat or do other chores. We also used this as our LO temporary crib when she started rolling over.
  2. Car Seat: ours is a Chicco Infant Seat; however, I think I would recommend Britax Pros: runs wider, good side impact, consistently ranks high and ease of use
  3. Baby changing pad: we absolutely love our Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad. Pros: keep track through App on your phone, smooth and soft surface, easy to clean, does not get cold or warm and most importantly you can weigh your baby (before and after feed). This is especially useful if we want to know just how much breastmilk your baby is getting. I may have been paranoid about it. Con: sometimes the weight may be off if you have things around it (kinda annoying)
  4. Stroller: We had the Chicco Keyfit Caddy but soon realized that we needed something more sturdy which can be used for up to 2 years and may be more if we choose to have more babies. So, we switched to Uppababy Vista. Ok yes, this one is expensive but we thought it was well worth our investment because our baby is so much more comfortable in this. Pros: comes with a bassinet which we used for road trips. The stroller is so much sturdier and also very easy to maneuver. Cons: It is kinda bulky and takes up a bit more space than Chicco.
  5. Baby Monitor: We have a small place yet we found it extremely helpful to have the Infant Optics Baby Monitor. Pros: easy to assemble, has good coverage. Cons: does not show correct temp of the room, signal can be weak (out of coverage), battery life could be improved.
  6. Activity Gym: our LO really enjoyed being on her little gym. I would definitely recommend getting one of these
  7. Sound Machine: I’m sure you can just use a laptop or a phone for sound but that may not be convenient. We continue to use our Hatch Baby Rest sound machine. Pros: can control volume, sound, color through app on your phone.

What does a baby need?

Baby Essentials:

  1. Sleep Swaddle: in the first few weeks (up to 3 months) babies loved to be swaddled. Our LO broke out of SwaddleMe swaddles within the first month. So we ended up using Miracle Blanket Swaddle quite a bit. This one definitely seemed to work a lot more and I would highly recommend it. Last but not the least my very favorite is Halo Sleepsack. We slowly progressed from swaddle to sleepsack to now early walkers. We’ve been quite loyal to Halo so far 🙂
  2. Baby Hygiene: I don’t know how but babies tend to create a lot of booger. The Fridababy Nasal Aspirator is a weird but genius idea by Fridababy. It’s so much easy to suck the booger this way than having to use that suction bulb which omg ugh just get Frida. I would also get the Frida nail filers. Trust me, clipping nails in early weeks is quite nerve racking.
  3. Bath time: Keep it simple. I like the Aveeno products but go with what suits your baby. We also got a tiny bathtub but if you have a big enough sink I think you should be able to use a large bucket. We really like her big baby bath tub
  4. Aquaphor: this is a MUST. Order multiples. It will help your baby not get rashes. We apply this generously on our LO’s tush before putting her to sleep and it helps her sleep through the night. Obviously, this is before you move on to night diapers but we continue to use it.
  5. Pacifier: this is a hit or a miss. Some babies can’t be without a pacifier, others hate it. In the early months we got our LO used to this; however, after 5 months we weaned her off.
  6. Baby Carriers: I too was skeptical about some of these baby carriers. However, once I actually put in the effort to learn to use them, they came in very handy! My two favorites are Solly Baby Wrap and Ergobaby. Please do take time to watch the instruction videos on YouTube and you’ll find yourself using these everywhere you go.

These are just a few of the absolute musts (besides diapers, wipes, bottles) from my gift registry. I hope this helps you get started with you baby shower gift registry!

Good luck!

Xo, Naya