At this point, London is kind of in between the baby stage and toddler stage. But she is definitely a pro in traveling, having gone on 8 flights in her first year of life! My family lives in Florida, so we try to make a trip every other month or so. While it definitely brings its challenges, flying with a baby is do-able and shouldn’t stop you from taking part in these experiences. I thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve figured out along the way, in case you have a trip coming up yourself!
1. Have a designated “travel stroller”
This will definitely come in handy while you’re navigating the airport. (If your baby is small enough to wear in a carrier, even better!) Most airlines will allow you to bring a stroller all the way to the gate, and then they’ll check it for you before take-off. As soon as you get off the flight, the stroller will be waiting for you outside the plane. I can’t tell you how much easier this makes my life when my arms are tired from juggling my child, carry on bag, and 10,000 snacks. Side note: if you can, get a cheap stroller that you wouldn’t mind getting a little beat up. It will be checked at the bottom of the plane, along with everyone’s luggage. And most airlines will tell you they aren’t responsible for any damage that might be done.
2. Bring something for their ears
This can be a pacifier, bottle, sippy cup, or even the boob if they’re still nursing! The changes in the air pressure will affect them the same way it does to you, but they’re a little less tolerant. I recommend having one of the above ready during take-off and landing, so that they will be as comfortable as possible.
3. Late flights are easier
If you can snag that red-eye, do it! Not only will you save a few bucks, but I’ve found that babies will generally sleep the entire flight, if it happens to be after their bed time. As long as you bring a blanket to keep them comfortable, this will be the easiest flight to manage. Side note: these flights tend to be less crowded, so ask the flight attendant if there is an empty row you can move to. The extra room will be helpful!
4. Keep them busy
If the red-eye doesn’t work for you and your baby will be awake during your flight, bring enough things to keep them entertained. For us, this is lots of snacks, books, small toys that don’t make a lot of noise, etc. Keep them in your bag and pull them out when your little one starts to get fussy. They’ll be intrigued and you’ll feel like Mary Poppins!
5. Always carry sanitizing wipes
I know, this sounds like common sense. But airports are filled with so many germs and having a sick baby is worse than having a baby that cries on a plane. I keep a pack of Lysol wipes with me and wipe everything down I know London will be touching, from the seat to the folding tray. Yes, I know germs are helpful in building immunity, but we can do that after we get have successfully made it through this flight. One challenge at a time.