The thought of flying with baby can be super stressful! And with the holiday’s here there is a pretty big chance you are going to be traveling by plane. Keeping them in a small confined area for a long period of time is tricky but it’s possible. Sometimes it takes a lot of little things to keep them occupied, trying one thing for a bit and then switching to the next. Here is a list of some tips I found helpful when we have flown.
1. Wear your baby
Use your stroller to carry the luggage. It frees up your hands, makes the airport easy to get through and baby is happy to be close to you. The first time we flew with Sebastian I went back and forth with whether or not I wanted to do this. I ended up doing it and it was definitely one of the best decisions I had made for the trip. It made life a ton easier, he was happy to see all the commotion, happy to be close to mommy and I could easily maneuver around the airport pushing our carryon luggage in the stroller. Plus you can just gate check your stroller (it keeps it from getting destroyed as well)
2. Bring a bottle AND your nursing cover
It is recommended that baby be sucking on something during take off and landing to help with the pressure in their ears. Be ready to nurse on demand and have a bottle handy in case they would rather that. Don’t worry about it passing security, they allow you to take baby bottles and baby food on the flight with you. They will put the bottle under a scanner just to make sure you aren’t hiding any explosives in it 🙂 Snacks for a toddler are helpful as well. It’s another thing to help keep them occupied for a bit.
3. Bring some toys/movie
Every time with fly with the babies we make sure to have their favorite movie downloaded on the iPad. This is a life saver, even if it only holds their attention for a short time. Thankfully our boys zone out for a little bit to their favorite shows/movies, so I make sure I have a good selection ready. Toys can be a little tricky, you don’t have much space and they can easily get lost. For babies, Link Toys are your best bet. They are all connected to each other and can connect to you, they make noise and are great to chew on. For toddlers, little toy cars (Little People make some super cute, inexpensive ones) or a coloring book are good traveling buddies. Crayola makes these super cool markers called Color Wonder Markers (Crayola Color Wonder Disney Preschool Coloring Pad) – they ONLY color on the books and pages that they come with and leave no mess on hands, faces, tables or lap. They are a life saver for long periods of entertainment without a mess 🙂
4. Dress in Layers
It gets stuffy and drafty in a plane. It’s best for your comfort and your little one’s comfort to have layers, ones you can take off and put on. The goal is to have baby comfortable at all times so they are less likely to get upset.
5. Invest in a car seat travel bag
Unless the destination you are going to is going to have a car seat, it means you need to bring yours. I’ve heard horror stories of car seats getting destroyed on flights, so I did a lot of research and found car seat travel bags. They keep your car seat protected a little more than just a garbage bag or putting them on the plane with no protection. They are DEFINITELY worth the small investment.
6. Try to book flights around nap time if possible
Or schedule nap time with your flight. I do my best to keep the kids awake as long as possible so that once we get all settled in the airplane and it gets moving, baby drifts off to sleep. A sleeping baby on a flight is the best baby on a flight 🙂 Bring their pacifier, favorite blanket and if they will let you, snuggle them in and put on their favorite movie. Hopefully they will be out shortly and sleep for a couple hours if you’re lucky.
Hopefully all of those things will help ease your mind and give you a game plan as you travel during the holidays with your littles. Have you flown before with your babies? What helped you the most on the plane ride with them? Did you have good experiences or bad ones? I’d love to hear what works for you, I’m always looking for ways to make flying with kids easier 🙂