I love to travel. My husband loves to travel. Our kids love to travel. We love sharing new places with our kids 13 & 9…and now a 5 month old! Traveling gets so much easier as our kiddos get older and then having a new addition, it gets…a little more…interesting! Our 5 month old has all ready been on a 10 road trip to Redding, California, to our other favorite church away from home, Bethel Church in Redding, and he just finished up his first flight to Maui, Hawaii! Airline travel with babies doesn’t have to be stressful, preparation is the key, though!
About a week before we headed to Maui for a 7 days, I decided that I didn’t know everything and should maybe take a few minutes to read up on some helpful tips about traveling with babies! I am so stinking glad I did! I learned some serious tips that really helped me…and on my trip I had a few of my own that really helped me.
I wanted to share some of those tips and tricks with you, so that if you are flying with your baby, you can have a pretty darn amazing flight like we did! Our flight was not perfect…all babies cry sometimes, so crying a few times on a flight isn’t awful.
Throw all of your expectations of a perfect baby out the window! You can just assume right now that your baby will cry some on your flight. As you prepare for your flight, have in mind a few quick tools that can help to calm a crying baby.
Here are some of my best tips for flying with baby:
- The Binky/Pacifier Clip: I never had even thought about using one of these before my research for our flight and this was the best $5 I could have spent! I loved that Elijah could play with his binky and drop it, but it didn’t get lost down in the depths of under the seats on the plane. Have you ever tried to find ANYTHING under those seats? Especially in the critical moment right before baby falls asleep and is fussy…you want that thing locked onto something so it doesn’t get lost!
- Pack 10+ binkys, and spread them out among your carry on items. If you guys are like us, those things are like GOLD. So spending the extra $10 for an extra stash of pacifiers is well worth the money. Like I said before, in those critical moments while baby is falling asleep, these things can calm baby down in no time, or if you don’t have one, it could be bad news…for you and those around you one the plane. 🙂 When you are packing your bags, add a few to each one so that they are easily accessible at all times.
- Baby Bjorn or other front baby carrier. Having a front packing baby carrier was such a life saver! We brought our car seat and stroller (Hawaiian airlines lets you take those for FREE!!!!) and we used them in the airport to get around. At our gate, I got baby into his Baby Bjorn and he was sooo ready to greet everyone with his big smile, and I was able to be hands free…and while carrying a bag and another backpack, this was VERY helpful! It also was very helpful during the flight to be able to feel like a human….my baby slept great in the carrier while front facing and facing myself. I would never travel without one of these!!
- Backpack Diaper Bag! Oh my. We just used a backpack that we all ready had with many different zippers and compartments. This helped with knowing where food always was or where the bottle was kept, or where the binkys were. I was able to navigate the airport and boarding the plane was a piece of cake with this. I also used this as my purse, so I kept all of my purse essentials (gum, my phone and wallet, lipstick) in the front pouch, so I always knew where the were. That helped because my husband also knew where everything was, he didn’t have to get frustrated while digging around in a critical moment!:)
- Baby Food Pouches & Bottles pre-filled. I had no idea that you were allowed to bring (a reasonable amount of) baby food, formula and water for bottles through security until researching before my trip. YOU CAN TOO!! 🙂 I decided to get some baby food pouches for the plane (we just started eating solids about 2 weeks ago) and I am so glad I did! It kept baby very happy during take off and landing (times that can put pressure on their sweet little ear drums) and it was a wonderful diversion in the middle of a 6 hr flight. I would also recommend bringing a plastic bib and a spoon…neither of those made it into my backpack…and it was a mess…but baby was happy and that was all that I cared about at the time! 🙂 Wipes took care of the mess. 🙂 That brings us to our next tip.
- BRING TONS OF BABY WIPES! I had wipes stowed away in all of our bags. That way they were close in case of spit up, food messes or rear explosions. I brought way more than I needed and that was fine with me.
- Pack extra easy outfits for baby. Pack extra onesies as well as zipper sleeper pjs. I am glad I brought the lightweight ones because baby’s feet are covered, but they don’t get super hot while being in the front carrier. Tuck a few away in some pockets and you are good to go!
- Lightweight blanket for baby. I would recommend a lightweight blanket (light cotton or muslin) for baby. I used mine to cover his face up while he was drifting off to sleep…he loves people, so paying attention to what is happening around is very interesting to him! Blocking out all the people and creating some shade on his face was my goal (this was when he was out of the carrier or facing me). I also wore a cotton stretchy jersey lightweight jacket that I used for a blanket for him when I needed to. He liked the extra covers sometimes…other times he hated it! Having the option was helpful though.
- RINGS!!! (and other toys) Our 5 month old baby is teething right now so having these textured rings were a perfect easily packable toy that he chewed on for hours. The nice thing about them is that if they are lost or dropped, they are cheap and easy to clean!
- Patience. Baby is out of his or her element, lots of strangers are around and their whole environment is all new. I recommend taking an extra dose of GABA (read about this amazing supplement that has done incredible things for me here) aka chill pill, and enjoying the ride. Pack some extra patience for your spouse as well! When I get panicked, I tend to take it out on him and this time we were a great team!
What are the travel tips you have picked up about traveling with babies, kids or family? I would love to hear about them in the comments!! Happy Traveling!