As you may have seen on my recent Instagram posts, we survived our first vacation via plane with baby. It almost was a disaster thanks to my little one catching an ear infection and being very fussy the whole time unbeknownst to us. We assumed it was just the effects of traveling to a new place, not to mention the Florida heat, but now I know to bring a thermometer with us. We came home to a fever of 104.3 and a rushed trip to urgent care. Now we know. This has inspired us to provide some travel tips of our own. More specifically, tips for travelling with a baby.
I made this list in part because I want to refer back to it the next time I travel and also because some of you asked me to write a post on it. I wish I had this list before I took this trip, but lucky for you, you can print out this list, check it off and pack without stress like I did. Hopefully the rest of your trip goes smoother (and healthier) than mine.
In addition to packing for your little one, here are some tips I gathered from other moms, my own experience and even the off-duty pilot that sat in front of us on the way down.
MY 10 TRAVEL TIPS FOR FLYING WITH A BABY:
1) If you’re flying with an infant on your lap (check with airline, but most are free under age two) book a window seat and if flying with partner, the aisle as well.
In an ideal world, no one will sit next to you, but being married to a teacher and always flying during busy travel times, we don’t get so lucky. Most people are happy to take the aisle and give you the middle seat. With the window seat you get more privacy and a wall to rest against. You also have control over the window shade, which is necessary for naps. Politely ask your neighbors to shut theirs as well—for everyone’s sake!
2) Try to book your tickets around when you typically give your baby a bottle / nurse so it will help with their ears during take off and landing.
We split the bottle for our 3 hour flight so we had enough for take off and landing. Make sure to wait until you’re actually taking off because there may be traffic at the runway. The advice from the pilot was to start giving the bottle again about 30-40 before landing so they aren’t affected by that initial drop. If you can’t give a bottle or nurse, water or a pacifier will do as well.
3) Book your ticket for a morning flight when babies are less cranky / fussy.
Nap times are ideal times to fly obviously. Night time / red eye flights are the worst. Not only will you not get sleep but neither will your neighbors!
4) Minimize your diaper bag and pack a changing pad station like one from Skiphop for less cumbersome diaper changes.
If you don’t have one, then a changing pad and small bag with diapers and diaper cream, as well as some ziplock bags / plastic bags for dirty diapers and clothes will do. We were lucky that our plane had a changing table in the bathroom, but if not, you can change in the seat or ask the flight attendant if you can in their area—that’s when the bag comes in handy!
5) Pick up some new toys / books right before you travel.
This may not last long but we grabbed some new books before our trip and it helped entertain our little one for a while. We’re not doing screens until age two, so we went through a lot of toys in our carry on. The new toys were the most exciting of course. If all else fails the plane itself is very interesting to them. The pamphlets in the seat back compartment entertained for a bit before take off.
6) Buy two large bottles of water in the airport.
If you’re nursing, you’ll need lots of water because planes are dehydrating. If you’re baby is taking formula, it’s handy for mixing a bottle on the plane, filling a sippy cup and helping you get through! The flight attendants coming around will not supply enough water you will likely need.
7) Take advantage of boarding first and don’t rush to get off the plane.
Someone told me that they found it best to board last with their little one to get the energy out more in the airport before being confined, but for me this was horrible advice. We were so lucky to nab the overhead space and settle in before everyone else. Just make sure you leave plenty of time at the airport because it really shortens your time there. Make sure ask the gate for a pink tag to check your stroller before boarding too. Wear your baby in a carrier if possible as boarding to free your hands for loading in (if you’re lucky they’ll take a snooze too!).
8) Organize and consolidate before you go.
Pre-portion formula and snacks with a container like one from Beaba so you can leave the larger canisters and containers in your checked bags. Bring one diaper per hour on the plane. You never know!
9) Dress yourself AND the baby in layers.
We ended up overheating on the plane a bit and when we got to our destination so I’m so glad we all wore tees and something over it. I especially loved traveling with this mom-friendly blazer that was cozy yet polished. A scarf also doubled to keep me warm and as a blanket for when my little guy napped on the plane. Also don’t forget to pack additional pieces in your carry on like shorts / sandals for when you arrive at your destination (like I did here). Be prepared to change into them if your little one has an accident!
10) Try to enjoy your vacation and don’t let the stress of travel get in the way.
We definitely were on edge with how stressful getting through the airport to catch our flight was, as well as remembering everything. If I were to do it all over again, I’d try to even enjoy the journey more and snap at my hubby less. After all, we were heading somewhere fun with our baby. I will say TSA pre-check helped our sanity quite a bit!
If you want my cozy & chic blazer from Teat & Cosset you can get 25% off on it until 3/15 with the exclusive code just for my followers: BLAZER25
My classic but modern Daniel Wellington watch was perfect for making sure we got everywhere on time! My followers can get 15% off on danielwellington.com with the code LIZTEICH
H&M TOP (similar) // Teat & Cosset BLAZER (c/o) // J. Brand SHORTS // WhoWhatWear x Target SANDALS // Ray-Ban SUNGLASSES // vintage BAG (similar) // Gap BELT // Daniel Wellington WATCH (c/o)