We’ve taken three trips on an airplane with E since she’s been born. In case your math skills aren’t up to par, that’s six flights :). The first one she was 10 weeks old, the second trip she was 4 months and this last one she was almost 5. We’ll be flying home for Thanksgiving and she’ll just be over 6 months for that one.
sorry for all the crappy iphone pics in this post – it’s much easier to take pics with your phone while you are traveling
I’ve had several requests for tips on traveling with a little one, so I figured I would share my 5 tips with you in a 5 on Friday post!
I’m going to give my tips assuming you are flying alone. It’s obviously MUCH easier if you fly with someone else, but since 2 of my 3 trips have been alone, I feel like I’ve mastered it!
ONE. Check your bags/car seat/stroller.
If you are traveling alone and are holding you baby and diaper bag, trust me when I say you don’t want to try to put your carry-on up in the overhead compartment of the plane. It’s not an easy task. It’s so much easier just having your baby and the diaper bag. I also think it’s much easier to carry the baby in Baby Bjorn (or the like) rather than go through the airport with the stroller. When you go through security you have to break down the stroller so it can go through the x-ray machine, and that is hard to do when you’re by yourself. I’ve done it, but it’s SO much easier just to check the stroller and car seat at the beginning.
TWO. Cover you car seat and stroller.
With our Uppababy Vista I bought the traveling case and for our car seat I cover it in a travel bag. Both bags have come back with grease and small tears on them, but the car seat and stroller are still in perfect condition. I HIGHLY recommend getting cheap-o travel bags at the very least, just to keep the stroller and car seat clean.
THREE. Feed for take off and landing.
The change in elevation can hurt the baby’s ears, but sucking/swallowing can help pop their ears (TWSS). I have not had a problem once (knock on wood) with E’s ears while we were flying. I feed her for every take-off and landing if she’s up and if she’s asleep I just leave her alone and let her sleep.
FOUR. Think about the schedule.
If it can be avoided, you don’t want to be traveling to the airport during feeding time. For example, E eats between 4:30-5p every day, so planning a 6pm flight isn’t ideal since we would leave for the airport around 4. We would be getting to the airport right as she gets hungry so she would probably be screaming as we navigate through the airport and get through security. Not ideal. As I mentioned above, feeding during take-off is where it’s at, so if E eats at 4:30 I would have a 7:00p flight so I could feed her and then leave at 5. Plus she eats again at 7, so I will be feeding her right as we take off. Perfect planning!
FIVE. Book an isle seat at the front of the plane and board last.
Being able to get off the plane right away, versus sitting at the back of the plane, is HUGE. It’s also nice to have an isle seat so if you need to get up to walk around or change the baby. Trying to climb over two peoples’ laps while holding a baby and having 2 inches to shimmy out is not easy! I also think you should board last (especially if you check your bag and don’t have to worry about the overhead bin being full). It’s better to be able to walk around for the extra 20 minutes while everyone else boards, rather than being confined to your seat. If you’re traveling with someone else, have them board early to get everything stored and set-up (especially if you don’t check your bag), then you and the baby board last.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Feel free to leave your tips in the comments too!