I have to start this post by saying that my husband and I flew ALOT prior to having Emmy. Honestly, my experience and routine in flying helped me as I prepared for our first trip with a baby. My husband and I recently counted the number of flights that Emmy has been on since she was born… It was 23! We need to get her a frequent flyers mile number ASAP!
I am hoping that our experiences, success and mistakes can help you as you prepare to fly with your little one. I mostly fly with Emmy by myself, but these tips can definitely be used if you are flying as a family.
When I fly with Emmy, I take one carry-on rolling suitcase ( I always check it unless my husband is traveling with me), one backpack, my Ergo Baby 360, her stroller and her carseat. (Emmy is still in an infant car seat- we plan to switch her soon!) Most of our trips are to Georgia where our parents have an extra car seat base, and pack and play. We will be taking a trip to the Northwest and Hawaii in June, so stay posted for how we pack for that vacation.
In my carry-on size suitcase:
- My clothes, shoes, hair accessories (usually a straight iron or curling iron, never both) I wear my bulkiest items, my ankle boots have been great for transitioning from Wisconsin to Georgia, but I have worn light cold weather boots as well. I generally then pack my small ballet flats along with a pair of tennis shoes or Toms.
- Liquids (bath soap and lotion for Emmy, some hair products for me)
- I LOVE packing cubes. I don’t always use them for my stuff, but they have been amazing for Emmy’s stuff! I pick two smaller cubes and roll her tops in one, and pants in the other. I usually squeeze some socks and shoes in with the bottoms.
- I like to put her brush, tooth brush, bows, and anything else random in a small bag and I include this in my checked bag
- I like to tuck some diapers in the suitcase if I have room, but I don’t worry about it too much.
My Back-Pack (In the south I said “book-bag” but had to change when I moved to Wisconsin! I was confusing my kinders.)
- I have two gallon-size zip-loc bags.
- One with diaper changing materials: diapers, changing pad, and a small container of aquaphor) *I keep the wipes out of a bag because I use them so much!
- The second one I pack last because I want to grab it easily. This holds, snacks for baby and me, wipes, a couple toys, boogie wipes, tissues and extra paci’s
- I pack 5-10 diapers on the bottom of the bag. Just for worst case scenarios. I also roll up an extra shirt for me, and two extra outfits for Emmy. If I have room I add some leggings in case Emmy has an accident on me. (This has never happened… knock on wood!)
- If I have room, I include a book because this can entertain her for a bit on the flight.
- I like to bring a water bottle if possible, if not, I always buy one at the airport once we get through security, and this is another fun toy for Emmy to play with!
- My back-pack also includes essentials in case of a major delay that I wouldn’t want to buy (kids tylenol, along with the dispenser, nose frida and saline solution.) The liquids go in my quart size zip-loc along with my must-have liquids.
- I also like to pack my make-up in my back pack because I would be a mess if that was lost too!
- One sippy cup of almond milk for Emmy. I let her drink from my water bottle if needed. *I always let the TSA agents know I have a sippy cup of liquid.
- One Muslin blanket- nursing cover, cover when sleeping, or ball it up and use it support your arm when they sleep.
- If you have a younger baby, the monkey mat is amazing! It can hook onto your backpack as well. I used this when Emmy was sitting up or for tummy time prior to boarding!
- i-Pad: If you plan ahead, you can download some shows from amazon prime or netflix!
During the flight
I like to board first, I know some moms prefer to wait, and now that Emmy is walking we may end up doing this too! I like the extra time to get situated, especially when traveling alone. Ever since Emmy could sit up, I plopped her in my seat, then buckled her up so that I could unpack and wipe down the surrounding surfaces! I am not a big germaphobe, but airplanes/airports gross me out!
I hold off on bringing out the toys for as long as possible. We have been lucky that people sitting with us or nearby like to entertain Emmy and I fully support that! When I was nursing, I would nurse during take-off. If you are not nursing, try a paci, and if your child doesn’t take a paci, offer a bottle or sippy cup! The sucking can prevent their ears from popping.
The rest of the flight is pretty much me trying to entertain her. I offer snacks, I let her play with my water bottle, my phone, or watch shows on the iPad. When the flight attendants come around, I ask for a bag of pretzels and empty cup.. Both purely for Emmy’s entertainment- New, cheap toys!
She usually falls asleep about halfway through the flight and I always let her! If she is awake and antsy, I take advantage of the seat belt sign being off and I get up and walk her to the back of the plane and try to stand out of people’s way.
I hope that your flight is as stress-free! Everyone knows babies cry, if your child gets upset, try your best to stay calm. Get up and walk around, take a breath and just know this will be a small memory some day.
What are some travel tips that have helped you?