Posted in Blog, Featured, Life as a mom, Rebecca, Travel with a baby

Tips for day of travel with baby

The big day has arrived, you are flying for the first time with your baby! There should be some honorary degree or award given out to Moms that survive this experience. 🙂 After your first flight, you will be a Pro at this. For now, here are our tips….

In the airport

– You’ll want to get to the airport pretty early. How early depends on a lot of factors. Just remember that the earlier you get there, the better chances you have of getting better seats (if you don’t already have them assigned)

– I always found it was best to get checked in and head straight to security. Not only do you never know how long the lines are going to be, you also don’t know how long it will take you to get through with baby and all your stuff. If you’re organized, it shouldn’t be too bad.

– Before hitting the lines at security, my husband and I would step aside and just spend a few minutes getting organized. Know where your liquids are and don’t forget to get them out. I’ve forgotten a few times which meant they saw them on x-ray and pulled me aside to get everything checked. Apparently I was suspicious because I didn’t declare them.

– After security, you’ll have to reorganize a bit again. My personal preference is to get to the gate as soon as possible after going through security….for a few reasons.

  1. you can find open seats close to the door that you’ll be boarding at. Or just open seats anywhere. It stinks to get to the gate and either have to sit on the floor or stand for an hour with all your stuff.
  2. you can talk to the agent again about getting an open seat next to you
  3. you can get the gate check ticket for the stroller and/or car seat you brought

– Remember you get to board first (YES! my favorite part) because you have a small infant. One thing I learned is that they don’t give you much extra time so when you first hear it announced, get your stuff and go. At least the First class passengers are boarding right after you so you still have a few minutes to get situated.

– When my son was only a few months old and we flew to Colorado, the first thing I did was wipe down the trays, armrests, and seats with sanitizing wipes. I was spraying and wiping like crazy. Now that he’s older, I don’t worry as much. I’d still do it if I was flying with an infant though.

 

Entertainment on board

– Some flights have tvs in the headrest of the seat in front of you. This can provide some entertainment for babies.

– Bring with you some small but interesting toys that are brand new to your child. I heard a tip from another Mom that I loved. Wrap each toy in paper and tape. They will have so much fun just trying to unwrap them, then play with their “new” toy. This worked great for one trip we took.

– Books are great. Touchy feely books. Books that have flaps they can lift. Books with wheels are also fun for boys.

– If you are brave, you can bring stickers and something for them to put the stickers on besides the armrests. 🙂

– Don’t bring anything that can roll down the aisles of the plane such as balls or round crayons. Also, stay away from toys that make noise. Those will annoy other passengers the fastest!

– Toys with lights (but no sound) are great.

– Portable DVD player or Ipod touch, or Ipad. Even if you aren’t allowing your baby to watch any TV yet at home, on an airplane trip this can be a lifesaver if you are at the end of your rope.


Food

– If you are breastfeeding with an older baby, it might be a good idea to pump some milk beforehand, as you might have the same problem that we did: a very distracted baby who didn’t want to nurse!
– To make in-flight nursing easier, bring your Boppy cover without the pillow. You can stuff it with coats or complimentary pillows to create a familiar feeding cushion which would otherwise have been far too large to carry.

– If your baby is on solids, make sure you bring plenty of food. Jars of babyfood are good, but you have to bring a spoon and then deal with carrying that.

Love this baby food!

– Here is my favorite pick for baby food and traveling, Plum organics, makes these containers that the baby can hold (or you). You take the top off and they just suck it out of the top. They are SO convenient. Usually a bit pricey, but you can find great deals on Amazon.

– On the takeoff and landing, either give your baby a bottle/pacifier to suck on or breastfeed them. This helps their ears adjust to the elevation changes.

– Bringing snacks your baby can touch and play with are good too. They provide him with something to eat as well as entertainment. I recommend little baggies instead of snack traps. When you are done, you can use them for trash bags and they take up less space.

– When they pass out the snack mix or peanut bag, my son would play with this for probably 30 minutes. He loved the crackling sound the bag made.


Potty

– Oh, yes. The subject of flying at high altitudes and the notorious blowouts. No they are not a myth. Yes, they do happen and they can also happen more than once. Bring many diapers and bring multiple changes of clothes. An extra shirt for you might not be a bad idea either. Bring some plastic bags or ziplocs you can put clothes in just in case they get nasty.

– If you are doing cloth, I’d highly recommend doing disposables at least during the time you fly. If your baby goes through 3 diapers on the plane, that’s a lot of dirty stuff to cart around.

– Make sure you use the restroom before you board and if you are on the plane already, before you take off. One time I had to hold it seemingly forever. My son fell asleep on takeoff and took an extra long nap. I had just assumed he wouldn’t sleep and thought I could go once we got in the air. Silly me.


Sleep

– Let your kids play as much as possible and as active as possible before you board. Yes, this even means letting them crawl around on the dirty airport carpet. Let them try to get out as much energy as possible.

– If you timed your flight to be during baby’s nap time, it’s a good chance that they will sleep. On the other hand, it’s not the “getting to sleep” that we’ve struggled with, it was staying asleep. I have a light sleeper and like I said above, he’d wake up multiple times when there was an announcement on the speaker.

– You might have better luck having a happy baby if you time your flight to be in between nap times. It’s all kind of dependant upon what temperament your baby is and you know them best.

– Even if it was warm out, we always brought a blanket or two and our jackets. This always gave us a nice little bed on our laps we could make for our son. Or if you have a seat for your baby, it’s nice to have something to lay down that is soft. Most airlines don’t hand out pillows or blankets anymore.

– If they DO offer pillows, try to grab two, one for under your arm to hold your little ones head on the armrest and the other one for on your lap so you can prop her up while hopefully you’ll both sleep. You should be able to get some sleep from sheer exhaustion.

– If you’re worried about people next to you and the fact they might want to try and sleep, you can bring ear plugs to hand out. I have heard of many Moms doing this and people were always kind of surprised but grateful.

I hope these tips help you on your day of travel. Most importantly, remember that in your mind you are probably expecting the worst, but I promise it won’t be that bad! You will get through it!!

 

 

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  1. I recently travelled with my 4 month old but took a foldaway bouncer in addition to a carrier. This meant we didn’t have to cart the pram to the beach. I truly recconend it.

    Daisy

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