Hi friends! I recently took yet another trip across the country and brought my 9 month old with me. Dare I say, it was actually FUN!? I’ve been flying with babies for YEARS and there are few things I’ve learned along the way the I can’t wait to share with y’all!
There is nothing worse than chasing a busy toddler through an airport with 20lbs of crap in your purse. I know you’ll want to bring everything but the kitchen sink but try to limit it to what you’ll actually need on the flight! You don’t need the whole pack of diapers, bring at least 2, but my rule is typically 1 per hour of flying. So if it’s a 2 hour flight, I bring 2 just in case. A 4 hours flight? Bring 4. You’ll have to adjust if you have a long layover or multiple flights but diapers take up a lot of space so don’t pack too many! You an always buy more during your layover if you run out!
This also applies to toys. Bring 2 of their favorite toys but in general, babies will be preoccupied with all of the new faces around them and won’t spend too much time with toys! If your child is old enough for an iPad, defining download a movie or two and bring headphones for them! But babies don’t need much, they are happy just sitting on your lap and looking around!
Also, make sure you bring a pacifier clip so your toddler doesn’t throw their pacifier across the nasty plane!
Snacks…there should be 2!
(ok, that was a princess diaries reference. Did anyone get it?)
ANYWAYS. My rule of thumb is to bring at least 2 kinds of snacks for babies, if they are old enough to munch on real food! For my 9 month old I brought yogurt drops and puffs! You can also grab a bag of Veggie Straws or a muffin from the airport before your flight. But I don’t bring the whole container for a 2 hour flight! Put that in your checked bag if you’re bringing one and just pack enough for the trip to save space! I also brought pre-made formula so I wouldn’t have to worry about any mixing but I’ll talk about that in the next paragraph!
Help their little ears stay comfortable by doing this one trick:
This is big. HUGE. Have you ever been on a plane where a little baby cried the ENTIRE TIME and the mom couldn’t seem to soothe her? More than likely it’s because they had unwanted pressure in their ear and couldn’t “pop” it themselves. For us, we know how to release that pressure but babies don’t so we have to help them! It’s SO IMPORTANT that you either nurse or bottle feed them during take off and landing! the sucking and swallowing will release that pressure. If you only take one piece of advice today, THIS. IS. IT. I bring pre-mixed formula like this one so I can just pour it into the bottle as I’m getting situated on the plane and before landing! As long as the label doesn’t cover the bottom, and you can see the milk YOU’RE FINE to bring it through TSA! They will have to scan it but that’s perfectly safe! I brought this brand and it was perfect! I also threw in a few tubes of pre-portioned formula just in case someone was having a bad day and threw it out (because lets be honest, no one can predict what TSA will do). Pro tip: I always make sure to stop feeding my babies milk about an hour or more before take off so they don’t refuse the bottle!
Get an aisle seat
I know, this doesn’t sound fun to some people. (although I’m an aisle girl myself…) BUT the last thing you want is to be stuck by the window when your baby has a massive blowout and you can’t get past a sleeping (or grumpy) passenger! I try to book my seat on an aisle, close to a bathroom (the front of the plane is the easiest!) and in an aisle where the window seat isn’t taken yet! People are less likely to book a window seat if one of the other seats is already taken! I also make sure to get to the airport early and ask the airline employees if there are any rows completely empty, then you can stretch out and have some space! We did this on our way home from our trip and Live LOVED looking out the window!
Check the airline policies before you pack
I flew on an airline that would practically charge you extra for breathing oxygen. OK, not really. But every bag was extra, your seat was extra… you get the picture! BUT, if you had an infant with you, you could gate check a car seat, stroller AND bring a diaper bag free of charge!! They also make carseats that fold out INTO A STROLLER. You heard that right. Check it out here! This is what we brought. I got it last year during the Nordstrom sale (Which is happening in a couple weeks!) So put it in your cart but wait to purchase during the sale!
Since we were just traveling for one night I ONLY brought my LV Neverfull as my “personal item” (free) and packed it with a change of underwear, new shirt, toothbrush, deodorant, face wash, wallet, phone charger, and makeup! And then I packed Livie’s diaper bag (pro tip: get a diaper bag BACKPACK like this one. It will make your life so much easier!) with her diapers, wipes, snacks, 3 outfits, a blanket, pajamas, an extra pacifier and pacifier clip (essential for germ free traveling!) and any other essentials that she needed at the time! I also made sure to pack some baby safe cleansing wipes for the tray table! I’m normally not a crazy germ-free mama but you never know what’s on that plane!
If you’re traveling alone with your baby…
Take advantage of every opportunity! When they ask if anyone needs additional time to get on the plane, STAND UP AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT. If the flight attendant offers to hold your baby while you use the restroom, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT. (like I did on my flight) Pro tip: get in good with the flight attendants and they will bring you free snacks and drinks!
If you have a long layover…
Map out the airport before you get there! Figure out where the good restaurants are, if there is a play area, and where the quiet rooms are! This will help you stay stress free during your trip!
My Travel Outfit:
What I packed in my overnight bag )for one night at my parent’s house):
What’s in my overnight makeup bag for 1 night away:
What I packed in Livie’s overnight bag:
OK, did that help? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments if you have any tips or tricks for other mamas!!