Traveling by airplane with a baby is not for the faint of heart. You have to really LOVE traveling. And I do. Wholeheartedly. Whether I’m riding an elephant in Thailand with my wee ones or taking a rose petal bath in Morocco, its seduction has a hold on me.
Plus I’m married to Mark Werts, owner and founder of American Rag. When I said, “I do,” it wasn’t just to him, it was also to wandering the globe. His business demands it.
So, despite the birth of our twins, we had to keep traipsing across continents – babies in hand.
While exploring other countries can expose you and your baby to great beauty and wonder, getting there can uncover unexpected problems…
It’s pretty much inevitable that your little dumplin’ will take a giant poop at the airport. Don’t know why this happens. Guessing they’re nervous about the flight… but perhaps it’s the excitement of travel that gets their bowels going.
There’s also that moment where you will realize you forgot something (you really need)…. then something breaks right when you’re about to board the plane.
Needless to say, things can go wrong.
But traveling by airplane with a baby can, and should, be fun. You’re exposing them to a wider perspective of the world – it’s never too early.
And you’re sharing moments together that’ll stay in your memory – and your heart – forever.
So, to keep globe-trotting with your little one a good time, I’ve made a list of my best tips to make traveling by airplane easier. If you don’t have twins that will certainly help, too. 🙂
1) Put Together a Detailed Packing List
Now… PACKING. I know. It’s a daunting task, and you’ll pretty much always think you’re missing something. But let’s make sure we prevent an actual mishap, shall we?
After all, taking a trip without enough butt paste (if you’re like most parents, you have a very specific kind you use) or your baby’s favorite toy would be a serious faux pas.
You have to have a detailed, well thought out list. There are many lists out there. I love the one from parenting.com because it divides everything into categories such as clothing, feeding, toiletries, etc.
But after countless trips abroad, I’ve created a one of my own. It works like a charm every time. I’ve included it below for your reference. If you’d prefer an editable version, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first column is Shipping Ahead. You don’t want to drag luggage, car seats, AND your baby/babies through the airport. We always use Luggage Forward. But there are tons of forwarding companies out there.
Next one? You guessed it! Carry On. It’s probably the most important because it’s the stuff you’ll need to get you through the flight – like a nursing cover up or a changing pad.
The last column covers the stuff you’ll need for the first week in case the luggage forwarder didn’t get there on time. Always good to be prepared.
My list is for long trips, so you may want to modify it if your trip is short.
Whatever list you choose to use, I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. Just delete the things you don’t need.
2) Get on the Plane Like a Boss
When you have a baby, waiting to get on the plane is not a ton of fun. Many airports offer a VIP service. But if the one you’re going to doesn’t, you can find a local company such as Airport Butler who will take you and your baby/babies through an express check-in line and get you guys on the airplane within short period of time.They can also lend a hand with whatever you need to make the process an easy one.
3) Spare Your Arm
You can hold your baby in your lap until they’re two years old. But take it from me, your arm can go quite numb doing this.
It’s best to put them in a car seat and spring for a ticket. It’s also safer since there can be turbulence.
If you do choose to hold your baby, an infant flight vest is a good move because it secures your baby to your lap so they don’t go flying during a bumpy flight. You can check in the car seat for free as baggage. (mightymoms.club)
4) Prepare for a Peaceful Take Off
Your baby will more than likely cry when taking off and landing. It’s completely understandable. The rumbling of the plane is a bit off-putting. Plus there’s the intense pressure on the ears.
To take the edge off – for both of you – give them something to suck on such as a pacifier or bottle.
5) Use a Swaddle Sack
Swaddle sacks are a must on your packing list. Babies move around – a lot! – when they sleep.
Swaddle sacks allow them to keep those little legs going.
And then there’s the fact that the airplane is always cold. The sack keeps them comfy, cozy, and quiet.
Make your plane ride easier. Bring one.
6) Pack a Change of Clothes for YOU and Your Baby
If your baby has an accident on the plane it will likely soil your clothes too. Poopy attire tends to be frowned upon – and it smells.
Make sure you have at least one set of change of clothes for your baby, and ONE SET FOR YOU! We so often forget about ourselves.
Do you travel with your little one/s? Which item on my list do you think is a total must for making traveling with a baby by airplane easier? Anything I missed?
Would love to hear from you in the comments below!