This guest post comes to us from Hailey Andresen. Hailey is the founder of Household Mag. where she shares her life as a stylist, writer, food enthusiast, wife, mother and design lover living in Brooklyn, NY. This September she will be launching her online shop, Household Shop, stocked with goods for you and your household.
First and foremost, you rule for taking your babe on an airplane! I first flew with my son, Owen, when he was just three months old. To prepare, I made list after list of what to bring and asked everyone I could for their advice. Now with eight flights under our belt, all before he’s one, I can confidently say that I have mastered the art of traveling with him. Here are my top tips for making that first (or fifth!) flight with your newborn or infant as smooth as possible.
1. Leave the car seat at home. If you live in a city where you can take a taxi, Uber or car service with a car seat to the airport – do it! If not, hitch a ride with a friend or neighbor. On the other end, borrow a car seat wherever you are traveling.
2. Book an early morning flight. This lets you get a jump on the day so you can plan out feedings and naps while you’re in transit and / or on the plane. Keeping baby well fed and well rested is crucial for a successful trip (and minimal meltdowns).
3. Check your bag. I’ve traveled a few times with Owen on my own, and couple times with both he and my husband, Zack. I can’t imagine having had a bag either time. Check your luggage and simply carry on your diaper bag. Trust me, it’s worth the $25.
4. Wear your Solly Baby wrap. This is especially helpful when moving from the car through security and the airport, to your seats on the plane, and for using the restroom if you’re traveling alone. It also makes nap time on board a breeze – I just put him in the wrap and walk up and down the aisles for a few minutes until he falls asleep.
5. Dress yourself comfortably. Under my wrap I like to wear a button down (for easy breastfeeding access), typically with leggings (for comfort) and shoes that are easy to take on and off through security. Keep it simple and easy.
6. Dress your babe in footsie jammies. So you don’t have to wonder if their feet are covered and warm enough, or where their socks have gone. And it makes diaper changes on board much easier. Throw an extra set (or two) in your diaper bag in case of blowouts.
7. Have baby sucking during take off and landing. Either nursing or on a bottle or pacifier will help their ears to pop as you change altitude. Throughout the flight, too, feed on demand. This kept Owen calm and happy on all of our flights.
8. Bring two blankets. One to cover you and your baby, and one to drape over the carseat or arm rests on the plane. I’m not normally a germ freak, but this is the one instance where I go a little crazy. Plus, if it gets really cold as airplanes sometimes do, you’re prepared.
9. Get to the airport early. Rushing with a baby in tow when you’re on a tight timeline is extra stressful. Grab a coffee, bring yourself some healthy snacks and arrive ahead of time – especially if you have a long distance to travel.
10. Change babe’s diaper just before boarding. Or as close as you can get to that time. And get your bag organized so that grabbing diapers and wipes while flying is as easy as possible. I like to have my bag separated into a few areas – diapering, toys and feeding – so there’s no confusion.
11. Pack what you need. And only what you need. If you’re an over-packer, try packing a few days in advance to feed the urge. Then the day before you leave give yourself time to scrutinize and take out all the extra things that you can do without.