I used to imagine what my life with little ones would be like. I thought they would just fit quietly into my life and I’d continue doing everything I wanted to. Whew, was I naive or what?! Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe in continuing to travel and go out with kids. I want my son with me on vacations and to see his face when he experiences new places. But, traveling with a child under 2 has its difficulties. Liam has now flown 2 round trip flights before 8 months old. Declan has been on 3 round trip flights before the age of 2. Having children should not stop you from traveling to new places. You just need to put some extra time into planning and maybe have a glass(or two) of bubbly.
Tips for flying with spirited babies
- Firstly, stay calm. It may seem intimidating but it’s going to be fine!
- Make this fun for them! It’s their trip too. Yes you’re thinking about getting through security and to your gate. Or…who in the world will be seated near you?! Worrying will not change a thing. But, taking the time to really get your little one involved can make a huge difference for them. Make up little games, explain to them what you’ll be doing next and find ways to get them more involved. This especially helps when they are toddlers.
- Pack their diaper bag with a few of their favorites. Whether it’s a book, toy, or possibly the iPad with their favorite show ready to go. This is the time for every distraction you’ve got. Also, I recommend stashing away a new toy or book to pull out at the exact moment they are considering a tantrum. It’ll put out the fire and keep them busy for awhile. If they are a bit older, have them help you pack their bag, picking out what they want to put in it.
- Aim for a window seat, especially if you are planning on nursing during takeoff and landing. I’ve done the whole nursing during take off thing and it works people. Sitting by the window gives you more privacy and less chance of bumping your elbow or baby into someone. Yes, that happened to me.
- Bring extra blankets, onesies, and pacifiers. If your child is at the age where they like to move, all the time, bring extra blankets for them to roll around on at the airport before the flight. For obvious reason you don’t want these to be the same blankets you cuddle them with on the flight! Onesies because hello blowouts.
- Check your stroller (and infant car seat) at the gate. If there are open seats on the flight usually they will let you bring your car seat on the airplane.
- If your baby is pretty young, bring your boppy. When we flew with Liam at two months, he slept cuddled on top of his boppy on my lap the entire flight back. It was amazing. The flight attendant gave me a mini bottle of sparkling wine for free because how good Liam was.
- Extra Formula/Breast milk. If your flight is delayed you don’t want to run out! You can bring as much formula/breastmilk as you want, it’s allowed through TSA.
- Mimosas. Once the beverage cart comes by order yourself some sparkling wine and orange juice. Sit back and relax. If you are more relaxed than your baby will be more relaxed. Plus, Vitamin C!
Do you moms out there have any other tips for flying with babies?