Navigating airport security is a bit of a cluster with little ones. Since Christmas will soon be here and many of you may be traveling I thought I’d share my perspective on flying with babies. My family recently took a week long trip to Orlando, Florida with our 11 month old twins. This was our first experience flying with them and I have learned a lot about how to make the process easier.
Things to keep in your carry on bags:
- Change of clothes for mom and dad – if a baby has a blow out while they’re in your lap, you’ll need a change of clothes too.
- 2 extra outfits per baby
- Extra pacifiers
- Snacks – we used the 3 compartment formula holders for a variety of snacks (gold fish, corn Chex and Cheerios)
- Empty baby bottles and extra bottles of water (Make sure you take them out of your bag and put them in a separate bin when going through security. Tell them you have water for babies and they will allow you to take it through after testing the outside of the bottle.)
- Sippy cups if your babes are drinking water – it’s easy to get dehydrated while traveling.
- Books and small toys – preferably something they haven’t read or played with in a while.
- Changing pad for airport bathroom diaper changes.
- Gas drops. Our girl has a tendency to get gassy and squeals about it. So for the sake of the other passengers keep some on hand if your babes are prone to belly bubbles.
- Tylenol in case of unexpected teething pain.
- Have your travel partner or a family member drop you off curb side rather than parking in long term parking. My husband dropped us curbside and then took our car to long term parking and rode the shuttle to the terminal. It was easier for him to ride alone than it would be for us all to lug babies and luggage onto a shuttle bus.
- Take a stroller that will hold your infant carrier car seats (if you’re going to have to travel with car seats). We took the Baby Trend Snap n Go for easy airport transport and rented a double jogger stroller at our destination.
- Take wearable baby carriers. We used the Ergobaby carriers. As you near security strap those babies to your chest. Security will want the car seats and stroller to go through the x-ray machine so it’s easier to already have the babies out of the stroller when you get to that point.
- Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off because getting shoes on and off while baby wearing can be annoying.
- Put the babies back in their car seats/stroller while navigating to your gate.
- When you get to your gate, make bottles up and have them ready for takeoff because it’s is obnoxiously cramped on the plane to try to hold onto a baby and fix a bottle. We wanted our babies to have bottles for take of to aide with releasing pressure and easing ear popping.
- As soon as your flight starts boarding, get the babies back in their wearable carriers. Put your stroller and car seats into their “GATE CHECK” bags.
- Board as early as they let you. (We flew Southwest which we loved, but we didn’t check in ahead of time because we assumed we could board first with family boarding. With Southwest families board after zone A boards. If we checked in ahead of time we may have had the opportunity to load in group A.)
- Sit accross from the aisle from one another or in front of/behind each other (depending on the size of airplane). We were on a 757 and they have 3 seas together on either side of the aisle. There are only 4 oxygen masks for the 3 chair groupings so they won’t let you have 2 lap children in the same row.
- Keep your diaper bag with toys, snacks and bottles between your feet.
Happy traveling, Mommas! Stay calm and go with the flow. Things can go awry even when you’re prepared. Although it still helps to be mentally prepared!