Traveling with a Baby to Chicago – What you need to know!

14 October |

White Luggage \\ Black Jeans \\ Striped Long Sleeve Shirt \\ Gucci Loafers \\ Uppababy Vista Stroller \\ Diaper Bag \\ Stroller Travel Case \\ Uppababy Ganoosh Cover

We went to Chicago this weekend to watch Chris run the Chicago marathon! He entered in the lottery for a spot last year and has been training ever since he got him confirmation. I’m hoping he will write a blog post about his training and what gear he used (we’ve gotten a lot of requests for one), so stay tuned for that! 

Wanted to share a few details on what we took for Collins and how we travel with her when we fly – granted we are not pros but are happy to share what’s worked for us. 

We rented a car at the airport and decided to rent a car seat from the car rental company. If we were going to drive a lot, we probably would have brought our own but we knew we would be doing a ton of walking so having ours wasn’t a huge deal. We decided to bring the uppababy vista stroller instead of the Doona because she has outgrown the Doona. We probably could have made it work because she still within the up to 35lbs weight limit but I just don’t love the Doona for a stroller. We did like the Doona for travel and have flown on two different trips with it when she was younger. I believe it works best up to a certain height and because she is so long, it’s not the best car seat / stroller for her anymore. I also prefer the uppababy vista because it’s incredibly easy to navigate and there is a lot of storage on the bottom of it. This was a key deciding factor because I knew we would be walking a ton as we watched Chris so having storage under the stroller was a NEED for me.

At the hotel, we asked for a crib/pack n play with our reservation. Best case scenario is having a large room or suite so we can set up her crib in a different area from where we sleep. For this trip, we had a junior suite and thankfully the closet was big enough for us to set the crib up in there. You wouldn’t normally think this is a big deal but putting a baby to sleep at 7:30 then having to whisper in the dark until you are ready to go to bed isn’t ideal. We also have the SlumberPod and have used that a few times when we travel. It’s basically a tent that you build around the pack n play that blacks out the space she is sleeping. If you travel a lot and don’t have a separate spot for crib, this is a great investment. 

I’ll be honest, Collins is not a fan of sleeping in a pack n play. The last few times we have traveled with her where she sleeps in a pack n play, she is up several times in the night. If I had to guess I would say it’s because she sleeps on an amazing crib mattress at home (the NewtonBaby mattress) so downgrading to a flimsy pack n play isn’t ideal. We did just order a Chicco pack n play that sits on the ground so there isn’t as much wiggling as she moves at night. I’ll keep you posted as to if that helps. 

Since the temps in Chicago were much cooler than what we were used to in Atlanta, we used a few cold weather accessories for her stroller. My mother in law gifted us a lot of the uppababy accessories when we got the stroller system so we had everything we needed for the cooler temps. The best accessories was the uppababy ganoosh. It’s basically a sleeping bag that attaches to the stroller and zips up around her. It was very easy to install and kept her warm the whole time we out and about. We also had the uppababy travel bag and used that to gate check her stroller. This bag is an additional cost but with protect your stroller and is covered by the uppababy warranty if the airline breaks the stroller somehow. Definitely worth the cost to me. 

I polled by followers on Instagram about how to dress Collins for the cold weather (mostly 30-50 degree temps) and everyone said layering is best! We put her in a footed onesie (we love these and these) with a fleece jacket and fleece hat. She was in the stroller under the ganoosh pretty much the whole time we were watching Chris run so we didn’t put a second layer of pants or any shoes on her. I made sure I had extra blankets and another set of clothes just in case the temperatures dropped. 

Pajama Top \\ Pajama Bottoms \\ Uggs Slippers \\ Amazon Leggings \\ Black Puffer Jacket \\ Walmart Black Long Jacket \\ White Hoodie \\ Nike Shoes \\ Gucci Sunglasses \\ Collins’ Onesie \\ Collins’ Hat \\ Faux Suede Jacket \\ High Rise Jeans \\ Blouse \\ Booties

I think that answers all the main questions I was seeing in my direct messages this weekend. If I missed something you are curious about, ask me in the comments below! 

Also, if you are going to Chicago and want some recommendations for where to eat, this post has several suggestions in the comments! 

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  1. My daughter ran the Chicago marathon and our family went to watch her. We are from Boston. The weather was really cool but it was so much fun! Congratulations to Chris!!

  2. We have the nuna pipa carseat too. Have you traveled with that yet? If so, what carseat bag do you use/how do you pack and take?