Spring Break at Legoland with a Newborn and an Eight-Year-Old

· 8 min read

What better way to celebrate than a family trip to the magical world of Legoland in sunny San Diego! This year, our family of four, including our 8-year-old son and our 2.5-month-old daughter, embarked on this journey from Austin, Texas. Here are some tips and tricks we learned along the way to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

1. Packing Essentials

Traveling with a newborn requires a bit more planning. Essentials include a car seat, stroller, baby carrier, diaper bag, feeding supplies, clothing, a first aid kit.. etc.

If you're breastfeeding, you'll be glad to know that you can bring breast milk onto the plane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows you to carry a reasonable amount of breast milk in your carry-on bag. We found the Ceres chill bottle to be a lifesaver. It can keep your milk cold for up to 24 hours, ensuring your baby has access to fresh milk throughout the journey. Remember to pack it separately in a clear, plastic, zip-top bag and inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process. The officer will likely need to screen the breast milk separately from the rest of your belongings.

2. Traveling by Plane

We chose to fly from Austin to San Diego. When flying with a newborn, try to book a direct flight to minimize travel time. Feed your baby during takeoff and landing to help with ear pressure. Don't forget to bring a stroller and car seat. Most airlines will allow you to check these items at the gate.

A baby carrier can be a game-changer when navigating through the airport. I used the Ergobaby Embrace carrier, which is made of soft fabric and was very comfortable for my daughter. You can carry your baby through TSA without having to take them out of the carrier. This is a huge benefit, especially if your baby is sleeping. If you're using a stroller or car seat, you'll need to take your baby out for security checks, which can potentially wake them up.

Don't forget to bring a stroller and car seat. Most airlines will allow you to check these items at the gate. To protect these items from the rigors of air travel, consider using a car seat and/or stroller travel bag. These bags not only shield your gear from dirt, germs, and damage but also provide a little extra space for those last-minute items. Forgot to pack a few extra diapers or an additional set of clothes in your luggage? Just slip them into the travel bag! It's a handy hack that can save you in a pinch.

Another tip is to check at the gate if there are any empty seats on the plane. If there is, you might be able to bring your car seat onto the plane for your baby. This was the case for us. Our seats were initially in different rows, but we asked the staff at the gate check if we could sit together in the same row. They were able to lock a row for us that had an empty seat for the car seat. This made our flight much more comfortable and convenient.


3. Accommodation

We opted for the LEGOLAND California Hotel, a family-friendly hotel located right next to the Legoland gate. This hotel is a dream come true for little Lego enthusiasts, offering different themed rooms that kids can choose from. Our son was thrilled with the bunk bed in our room - a fun feature that added to the whole Lego experience.

One of the great advantages of staying at the LEGOLAND California Hotel is the option to add early access to your package. This allows you to enter Legoland an hour before the regular opening time, giving you a head start on the day's adventures.

The hotel also offers adventure activities for kids during the stay, ensuring that the fun continues even after you've left the park. It's these little touches that make the stay at the LEGOLAND California Hotel a memorable part of the whole Legoland experience.

Many hotels, including the LEGOLAND California Hotel, offer cribs or pack 'n plays, so check with your hotel beforehand to ensure they can accommodate your youngest family members.

One tip for dining at the hotel - make sure to reserve the restaurant for breakfast or dinner. The hotel restaurant can get busy, and the last thing you want after a long day of fun is to wait in line for a meal. A reservation ensures that you can enjoy your meals in a relaxed and comfortable setting.

4. Legoland Adventures

Legoland is a paradise for kids, especially for our 8-year-old Lego enthusiast. From interactive rides to building workshops, there's plenty to keep older kids entertained. For our newborn, the colorful sights and sounds were a sensory delight.

On the day we visited, there were no fast passes available. However, this didn't dampen our spirits or our fun. Our son particularly enjoyed the game booths, where my husband showcased his skills and won our son two giant stuffed toys. The joy on our son's face as he hugged his new prizes was priceless. He declared it one of his best trips ever!

Remember, the weather can be unpredictable. It rained during our visit, but we were prepared with light raincoats. Packing a light raincoat can ensure that a little rain doesn't put a damper on your fun.

5. Balancing Act and Taking Breaks

Traveling with a newborn and an older child can be a balancing act. While one parent is taking the older child on rides, the other can take care of the baby. Don't forget to take turns so each parent can enjoy some fun time with the older child.

Don't try to do everything in one day. Take breaks, feed the baby, and let them nap. Use this time to relax or take the older child to a nearby attraction.

Having an appropriate stroller for your baby to nap in is crucial. We used the UPPAbaby cruz with an insert snug that allowed the rumble seat to lie flat, providing comfort for our baby during nap times. However, if you're using an infant car seat, remember that babies shouldn't be in there for more than 2 hours at a time. Switch to a baby carrier when they're awake to give them a change of position.

Bringing along a white noise machine or a stroller cover can also be beneficial for helping your baby nap comfortably amidst the excitement of the park. These items can create a soothing environment that encourages sleep, ensuring your baby gets the rest they need during the day.

6. Enjoy the Journey

Remember, the goal is to create beautiful family memories. Be flexible, take lots of pictures, and most importantly, enjoy the journey!

Our spring break trip to Legoland was a memorable adventure. Despite the challenges of traveling with a newborn, the joy on our son's face and the new experiences for our little one made it all worthwhile. So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and create some Lego-sized memories!

If you're interested in the specific items we used during our trip, from the Ergobaby carrier to the UPPAbaby stroller, check out this blog where I go into detail about each product and why we found them so helpful.

Safe travels!

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