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Oh The Places We Will Go

  • Writer's pictureTot's Big Adventure

Smooth Sailing with Baby: A Guide to Cruising with Your Infant Under 1 Year

I know what you are thinking. How am I supposed to take a baby in the middle of the ocean with no access to additional supplies or the comfort of my own space? Well it’s completely doable. Cruising with your infant can be surprisingly easy. We took our newly 6 month old on his first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We are big cruise people and we were anxious to get back out on the open sea after having our baby. Your infant has to be 6 months (and for some itineraries even older) to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise. We had a great time and made memories to last a life time. We even have our next cruise booked already. Here are some tips that helped us on our 5 night Western Caribbean Cruise.

Go with family or friends

I have to admit, it made it so much easier to have my parents there to help with the baby. My husband and I were still able to do activities like going to the spa, shows, and casino together that would have been solo activities if it weren’t for my parents helping to watch our kiddo. However, there are still plenty of activities you can bring your baby along to if going with family or friends is not an option. We brought our baby to several shows and activities on board and he did great. They also have a children’s play space that we visited on several occasions.

Talk to (and Tip) your stateroom attendant as soon as you get on board

Giving your attendant a nice tip at the beginning usually assures they will pay extra attention to you and your stateroom. They quickly provided a small pack n play and ice for our milk cooler. We requested they keep the ice bucket filled so we could keep my pumped breast milk cold throughout the cruise. The cooler in the room will most likely not provide the proper temperature you need to keep your milk from going bad. They also kept our room pristinely clean. It was so nice to come back to a clean room almost every time we left the room. Since the staterooms are small and yours will be filled with baby essentials, it’s always a nice feeling when things are clean.

Pack as light as you can

I know you will be tempted to bring a million suitcases and overpack. However, the rooms are small and there is no place to put your bags besides in the very small closet or under the bed. You will want to avoid clutter when having an additional pack n play and a stroller in the room. I calculated the estimated number of diapers, clothes, burp cloths, baby food, toys, and medications my baby might need. I added a couple extra just in case we ran out. Realistically if your baby goes through 5 diapers in a day, they won’t all of a sudden need 10 a day. This fortunately worked out great as I did not run out of anything and packed both me and the baby’s things in 1 suitcase and 1 carry on size bag.

Bring travel friendly baby essentials

Bringing small easily movable and packable items are very important. A small travel stroller is a must. Our Nuna travel stroller folded up and did not take up too much space in our room. It also easily maneuvered the small hallways, elevators, and gangway. I am a breastfeeding and pumping mom so I brought my Elvie Electric Handsfree pump, bottles, and small collapsible cooler to store in our room. We also brought our baby carrier and Boppy pillow since our little one wasn’t quite sitting up on his own yet. Try to avoid bringing anything big and bulky. I did bring a small container to wash bottles and pump parts in as well as my collapsible drying rack. These take up space but will make your life easier. I also brought several gallon size freezer bags to keep the clean items in and other ones to store the dirty ones in.

Research the Ports of Call and Excursions Ahead of Time

It is very helpful to already have your excursions booked before you step on the boat. Before our child, we never booked our excursions in advance. We always just got off the boat and explored. I wouldn’t completely recommend this with a little one unless you have been to that place before and are fully confident in where and what you are doing. It is also great to study where you are going and the goals you have for each port. One of our excursions was canceled last minute so we had to think on our feet. The research we did ahead of time allowed us to just pivot and do something different without much stress in the moment. Remember to always be flexible while traveling with your little one. They may be extra cranky one day and you may have to chose different plans then the original ones you had. All that really matters is that you are together as a family enjoying yourself a on vacation!

Go with the flow and have fun

This will be your baby’s first time on a boat with lots of people. Take the pressure off by going with the flow as much as you can. Have a plan, but remember things can change quickly and you may have to pick different plans. Try to stay as close to your baby’s feeding and nap schedule as possible. We paid attention to our son’s wake windows and it prevented us from having a super cranky and tired baby. Bring some small easily packable games to play in the room while your baby naps or catch some Zzzz’s yourself.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise as a family. This is just the beginning of our kiddo’s adventures at sea. We cannot wait for our next one later this year!

Family cruising

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