Jeff and I love traveling and we always told ourselves that we wouldn’t stop after we had a baby. So we haven’t. So far Liam’s been on 23 flights and he’s only 16 months old, that’s including 3 International trips and 1 very long trek to Thailand. Long gone are the days of a relaxing flight, watching a movie while sipping a glass of wine and eating an Alaska Airlines cheese platter (who’s with me?!) Now it’s spilt wine, thrown toys and even complete meltdowns. Traveling with a baby is never really easy but below are some tips that I’ve found to be really helpful.
- Make sure your diaper bag is fully stocked with everything you need. Bottles, nippes, lots of diapers, at least 2 change of clothes, wipes, spare pacifiers, toys… you get the point. Check it twice, I like to make a checklist just so I don’t forget anything. I know this is an obvious one but being prepared is so important.
- Don’t try to tweak their sleep schedule. The first (and last) time we tried to do this was before our long flight to Thailand last January. We thought, “if we keep him awake now, he’ll sleep longer on the plane!” We couldn’t have been more wrong! He just got overtired and inconsolable. So, let your little one nap when they want to nap and even if they stay awake the entire flight…at least they will be rested and and happy.
- Get an umbrella stroller. Ditch your big bulky stroller and get a easy to fold umbrella stroller. This will make your life so much easier when getting on and off the plane and through security. We have the Summer Infant 3D Lite Stroller (Linked here) and we absolutely love it. One thing I made sure when picking an umbrella stroller was it needed to recline for the times Liam wanted to nap in the stroller. And if you follow my IG stories, you’ve probably seen him napping in it multiple times. Boy loves his naps!
- Check your luggage. It’s worth the extra $25. The less stuff you have to haul around, the better and easier.
- Book the front end of the plane. It’s less noisy and turbulent.
- Call ahead and book a bassinet if you’re flying Internationally. All airlines have them you just have to request one ahead of time.
- Give them something to suck on during take off and landing. Nurse, a bottle, a pacifier, anything that will keep them sucking, this forces them to swallow and helps keep the ears open—works like a charm for us! Liam hasn’t had any issues with his ears (knock on wood) on any of the flights we’ve been on.
- Wear them through check in and security – Wether you’re traveling alone or with your partner its nice to have both hands empty, especially when going through security.
Don’t board the plane early – Families traveling with small children are welcome to board the plane early, but please remember that it takes at least 30 minutes for everyone to board the plane and that’s an extra 30 minutes you’ll be in a cramped seat holding your child.
- Relax – Try not to stress out about your baby crying. If you’ve done all that you can do and your baby still cries, accept that there’s nothing you can do about it and stressing out will not help. In fact, the baby will likely pick up on your anxiety and the situation will escalate. If you stay calm, your baby will be more likely to remain calm. Babies feed off of our energy.
Q. Do you get Liam a seat?
A. No, we’re taking full advantage of free travel for Liam until the age of 2. Though at this age it would be easier if he had his own seat.
Q. How to you change him on a flight?
A. Every plane will have at least one bathroom with a changing station. It’s tight, but it works.
Q. How to keep him entertained now that he’s so mobile?
A. I make sure let him run wild at the airport before we board the flight. This helps him get some energy out. We also pack an iPad (Yes, we’re those parents) loaded with his favorite, The Wiggles. We also pack some good snacks that keep him entertained for at least 20 minutes. Lollipops were his favorite this last flight we were on.
Q. Do you get to the airport earlier now that you have a baby?
A. Yes! We try and be there about 2.5 hours before, this way were not rushing. Running through an airport just causes pointless stress, especially with a child.
Q. Aisle or window seat?
A. Window all the way. Window seats seem to be a little roomier with elbow room and any extra space makes a huge difference. Plus if he falls asleep, people and carts going by wont wake him.
Q. Do you pack a carseat?
A. No, we’ve never packed one. All rental car places and shuttle companies will have car seats. You just have to request one in advance.
Happy traveling mamas! Hope these tips help you on any upcoming trips you may have.
Thanks for stopping by!