For my 30th birthday I wanted to do something exciting and go on vacation, but as a new mom I was not exactly sure how I was going to pull it off. But being an experienced traveler to the Grand Luxxe in Nuevo Vallarta, I thought this would be a perfect place to celebrate with my husband, 2 month old baby AJ, and my friends! I even enlisted my friend with a one year old to come as well. I have been visiting the Vida Resorts in Nuevo Vallarta for 15 years and have never had a problem, but this was the first time traveling with a newborn. Here are some tips and advice I can share from my experience to help you prepare for traveling with your new baby.
1. Get a passport for the baby
That’s right, you have to get a passport for an infant! We also had to pay a $7 immigration fee for the baby when leaving Mexico. We flew Alaskan Airlines and we paid the fees when checking into our flight, but we did not have pay for an additional ticket since we held him on our lap.
When applying for the newborn’s passport you must submit two 2×2 inch photos of the infant with his eyes open. This was a small problem since baby AJ too young to have his eyes open all the time let alone sit up by himself. Likewise you can not be seen holding him in the picture. To resolve this we downloaded a passport photo app and laid baby AJ on our bed. After several tries we were able to take a passable photo and printed it at our local Walgreens.
In addition to passport photos, applications must include the original birth certificate and both parents must be present at the time of submission. If for some reason one of the parents is unable to attend, a notarized letter from the absent present can be submitted.
Infant passports cost $60 and are good for 5 years. Allow 6 weeks for delivery. Click here for applications and any additional information.
2. Leave the carrier at home.
The resort is huge and it is too hot to carry a baby in a carrier. I brought my Ergo and never used it. I bought a cheap umbrella stroller with the intent to leave it in Mexico, but ended up taking it home because baby AJ loved it so much! We rolled him around in it everywhere. Surprisingly, the motion of the stroller plus the heat soothed AJ and put him to sleep.
While there are lots of strollers on the market, look for the lightest possible with the biggest shade. Make sure that it is easy to fold up for easy storage on taxis and at the airport.
3. Baby goods are counted as a free check-in luggage.
While we prefer to travel light, one of the conveniences of staying at the Grand Luxxe is having the comforts of home. Car seats, pack-in-plays, strollers, and anything your baby can’t live without are all considered a free check-in on Alaskan Airlines and most of the major air carriers. Go ahead and bring what you need since the condos are very spacious and the last thing you want on your vacation is an unhappy infant. As an additional travel tip you can stuff some of your extra clothing or souvenirs in with the baby gear if your bags are overflowing.
4. Don’t forget your breast pump if you’re nursing
Free up your time and enjoy your vacation without have to breast feed. With all of my family and friends around offering to babysit it was great chance for me to relax and enjoy my holiday without worrying about feeding baby AJ. But don’t fear if you do forget to bring your breast pump. They are available at Walmart, Costco, and local pharmacies in addition to nearly anything else you may have forgotten to pack.
5. Bring Desitin for sun exposure
Since sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months, we had to be creative with protecting our baby, especially since his skin is very fair. The pediatrician recommended zinc oxide on exposed areas, as long as they were not close to the eyes or mouth. I know Desitin is for diaper rash, but it is basically zinc oxide and it worked! Destin is safe and tested for infant’s skin. The baby AJ’s legs got a little pink one day and we put Desitin on them at night and the redness was gone by morning. I also used Neutrogena Pure and Free baby sunscreen on myself since I was in constant contact with AJ.
6. Use SPF clothing
We bought as much SPF clothing as possible. Having clothing with sun protection was essental for baby AJ’s fair skin. Look for clothes that are made with UV resistance especially a hat. There are many styles to choose from but make sure it has a wide brim with protection for his neck and ears. We also recommend infant rash guards and trunks for UV protection for looking good and staying comfortable by the pool.
7. Bring a SPF umbrella
Having an umbrella was a great for going to the pool and beach. Make sure to get an umbrella with SPF protections and look for one that can attach to the stroller and is adjustable. AJ could stay cool and shaded everywhere we went and it was easy to adjust and take apart making getting in to elevators, taxis, and airports a breeze.
8. The more family and friends, the better!
For the first two months of life, my baby wanted to be held ALL THE TIME! Having multiple sets of hands to hold my baby was a huge help for me. Not only was I able to take a break and enjoy my vacation it was a great way for my parents and friends to spend time with baby AJ. It’s not often that I get a chance to have so many babysitters!