April 11, 2018

10 Tips for Flying With a Baby

When we lived in Pennsylvania flying to Missouri was always a difficult task. There were never direct flights to Kansas City, so our travel days were always long and exhausting. At 15 months old, our daughter has taken more flights than half of our family. Here are my tops tips for stress-free traveling with a baby!
If you know anything about me then you know I am an over-preparer. I need to know every single situation that can and will arise so that I can plan for it. When we took our daughter on her first flight, I wanted to make sure that I was prepared for anything that could happen. Thankfully, all of that preparing led to a very stress-free first flight! Fast forward 6 flights later and we have flying with a baby down to a science.

1. Bring a copy of your baby's birth certificate
If your baby is under 2 years of age, he/she does not need a ticket, but they do need a boarding verification document. You have to go to the ticketing counter to get a boarding pass before you can take your baby through security. I vividly remember being behind a woman in the Denver airport who didn't have a copy of her baby's birth certificate and they wouldn't let her through security. There is absolutely nothing they can do for you if you cannot prove that your child belongs to you. 

2. Check your car seat
Depending on where you're going it might be easier to take your car seat with you. If you're renting a car at your destination, you can also rent a car seat. I'm really paranoid about my baby being in a rented car seat, so we've always taken ours with us. We have a Britax car seat, so we bought the Britax travel bag to put it in and have never had anything break. It can either be worn as a backpack or has wheels so that you can roll it like a suitcase. 
*Southwest Airlines allows you to check a car seat in addition to their regular free baggage allowance. 

3. Wear your baby
Invest in a good baby carrier so that you can wear your baby through the airport. We have an Ergobaby 360, and I absolutely love it. It allows me to be hands-free in the airport without killing my back. You can wear your baby through security which makes getting through a complete breeze. TSA will just want to swab your hands, but it's no big deal.

4. Bring a backpack diaper bag
When wearing your baby through the airport, it's easier to use a backpack diaper bag versus a traditional diaper bag so that you can remain hands-free. You don't even have to have a "real" backpack diaper bag. I use my favorite Herschel backpack, and it works just the same. 

5. Take your stroller 
You can gate check your stroller for free on pretty much any airline. Your stroller not only serves as a place for your baby to hang out but also a place to store your carry on bags while in the airport. 

6. Take your milk/formula
If you are nursing, you are allowed to take a cooler with breast milk. Let TSA know that you have breast milk and they'll test a little to make sure its nothing hazardous. I've taken breast milk with us several times and never had a problem getting it through security. If you are formula feeding, you are allowed to take formula and water through. They are deemed "medically necessary" liquids.

7. Feed your baby during take off and landing
Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding, feed your baby during take-off and landing. It will help soothe them and protect their ears against the change in pressure. 

8. Take ziplocs or a wet bag with you
Our daughter was the queen of blowouts at inappropriate times. The last thing you want to have happen is for your baby to blow out while in the air and then have to shove his/her poopy outfit back into your diaper bag. This Skip Hop wet bag lives in our diaper bag for such occasions. 

9. Take extra outfits
Not just for baby. My husband and I each pack an extra shirt in our carry on just in case. Babies spit up, throw up and, poop all over you at a moments notice but aren't they so cute?

10. Take toys that attach to rings
The Bright Starts rings are life savers. Not only does our daughter like to play with them by themselves but they're also useful for keeping toys off the ground. Airplanes are cramped as it is so searching for a dropped toy with a baby on your lap is not fun. 

I hope these tips help make traveling with your baby easy-breezy!
Cheers!
Mandy

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your artical! I will be traveling with my little soon and i had no clue what all i should bring for him!

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    1. It can be so overwhelming the first time! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  2. I literally just got back from a trip yesterday with my twelve week old and let me tell you, I could have used this list last week haha. Luckily I followed most of these but I didn’t wear the baby. Of course, after the first flight EVERYONE said it was so much easier (especially because I was traveling alone) and they are right because trying to get everything through security while holding the baby was tough. Also, I’ll say that feeding the baby during take off was probably the most helpful because there was no crying at all!

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    1. Isn't it SUCH a relief when your baby doesn't cry on the plane!? Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  3. These are such great tips (and backpack diaper bag is my absolute #1!) We live in Germany and travel often, so making sure we're as efficient as possible is totally key!

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    1. I am total backpack diaper bag convert! It makes life so much easier!! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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