When your family and your in-laws live on the other side of the country or in a different country like mine do, you fly A LOT! My three-year-old has been on 35 flights and my five-month-old has already been on four.
I know it can be stressful traveling with kids, especially a newborn, but if you are prepared and packed and get to the airport with enough time (always more than you think when travelling with kids) then I usually find it always goes smoother than I think it will. Here are some tips and tricks I have picked up-in-the-air:
Do you know that almost all airlines let you check a stroller, car seat (and base) for free
and you can bring your diaper bag as an additional carry-on for no additional cost as well?! You can choose to check your stroller/car seat at the ticketing counter or use it to get through the airport and then check it at the gate. If you check them at the ticketing counter they will be at the baggage claim when you land but if you gate check they will be there when you step off the plane.
It is up to you, I prefer to check my car seat and stroller at the ticket counter if I am just travelling with a newborn so there is less to lug through the airport and them through security and just wear the baby in a carrier; but if you have more kids with you it might be easier to have them be in the stroller through the airport and then gate check it. I also recommend putting your car seat in some type of protective bag
as it can take some abuse on the flight. Sometimes the airline provides them, if not you can usually get a bag from the brand of your car seat or stroller, like the Baby Jogger Carry Bag
I love wearing my baby through the airport, I am hands free at the ticket counter and security and we are both comfortable. I can also still roll my own carry on. You do not have to take the baby out of the carrier at security
(like you would if they are in the car seat) but if you wear or hold a baby through the scanner they will always perform a little hand test that only takes a couple seconds. Beware of the carriers with metal rings though
-I have seen many sleeping babies that have to be woken up and taken out if there is a medal ring on the sling. The Ergo 360
carrier are my top picks for carriers and the Happy Baby Wrap
is an amazing and comfortable wrap option!
BREAST MILK or FORMULA
Make sure the baby is sucking something on take-off and landing
, whether it be a pacifier, your breast or a bottle it will help their ears to pop and adjust to the pressure. If the baby is sleeping, you don't need to wake them up to suck on something (I learned that the hard way). You are allowed to bring a bottle (or multiple) of formula or breast milk for the baby even if it is over the 3.5 oz liquid allowance
(same with medicine and diaper cream), although they will usually do a quick litmus test before you are good to go. The Mixie Bottle is perfect for short flights, and if you are formula feeding make sure to bring 24 hours worth of extra formula just in case of a delayed/cancelled flight or other emergency. You may also bring your breast pump and pumped milk with you in your carry on or diaper bag - the official TSA guidelines can be found here
A GREAT DIAPER BAG
I recommend a great diaper bag when travelling with lots of easy to reach
pockets, a changing pad and an easy to carry strap or backpack feature. The Petunia Pickle Bottom Pathway Pack
or Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared are both perfect options! I love all of the room and easy access pockets in both of these bags, plus the comfortable carry options with the woven straps on the PPB Pathway Pack and the memory foam filled cross body strap on the Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared. Remember you can bring a diaper bag in addition to your carry on for free
. Inside the diaper bag you of course need diapers, wipes and I suggest a change of clothes. I normally like zip-up sleepers like Tea Collection's pajamas
but while flying I like button up sleepers so that you don't have to have their whole body exposed while it could be cold
. This Kickee Pants Footie
sleeper is my favorite for newborns because it is the softest fabric in the world and so cute. You should also pack a nursing cover if you want (I adore the Covered Goods
ones), hand sanitizer, zip lock bags to put dirty diapers or soiled clothing, a blanket like this adorable Little Unicorn bamboo swaddle
, burp cloths
and some snacks and entertainment for yourself. Newborns don't usually need too many toys or books, but I have found a box of tic-tacs in my diaper bag can do double duty as mints and shaking toy for a distraction.
DON'T STRESS MUCH
Since both of my babies have been colicky, I was so terrified to fly with them as newborns; but the plane is an amazing white noise machine and hopefully your newborn will sleep for a good amount of the flight. Even if the baby is screaming, I have found that most people are very patient and helpful with children
and have I personally have been shown such kindness from strangers while traveling. Get to the airport earlier than you normally would, make sure you use the checklist printable
below to be prepared and you will be at your destination before you know it!
Click HERE to download the free printable checklist!