Before we did our first flight with Jack, I read a ton of blog posts full of tips and tricks for making it as seamless and fun as possible. And now that we have a few trips under our belt and have had a chance to try out a few strategies, I thought I might put together a little post with tips for traveling with a little one.
Have a takeoff and landing plan. If you’re still nursing, plan to do so when the plane takes off and lands to keep baby calm and prevent his ears from plugging up. Another option is to offer a pacifier, bottle or sippy cup. Jack doesn’t seem to be too bothered (I forgot to nurse him on landing once and he was totally fine), but overall I think it makes everything go smoother and it keeps them still while you’re stuck in your seat. Also, Jack tends to fall asleep quicker during takeoffs thanks to all of the loud white noise, so that’s a positive in my book ;)
Some new toys, and some favorite toys. Invest in a few new toys for the plane, but also bring some old favorites that your baby always enjoys playing with. Jack is a big fan of crinkle books, which are easy to pack and don’t make too much noise. He also loves chewing on straws and kitchen items, so I packed some of those things along with a couple new things I picked up at Buy Buy Baby.
Snacks, snacks, snacks. If your baby is old enough to be eating food, snacks can be your best friend and a very easy distraction. We stocked up on puffs, pouches and a few other age-appropriate snacks I found to keep him in good spirits.
Plan for sleep. Babies sleep a lot, so it’s important to have a game plan for getting them some rest on the trip. Ideally, we pick flights that take off around Jack’s nap time. But of course that’s impossible to make happen every time, so sometimes naps just need to happen on the fly when they seem sleepy. I let Jack sleep as much and whenever he wants when we’re flying! I always travel with my nursing cover and find that it also serves to block out distractions when Jack is napping on me. I’ve managed to nurse him to sleep on every flight we’ve taken and I think he sleeps more thanks to that cover. Also, though this isn’t related to the actual flight, we’ve brought our 4Moms Breeze with us for all of our trips and have been so pleased with it. It’s bigger than most pack and plays but WAY easier to set up and pack up.
Go hands-free. Now, this is probably more of a personal choice but in our experience, it is so much easier to travel without a stroller. We’ve brought our Solly Baby wraps (I usually travel with 2) on all of our trips so far, and now that Jack has outgrown them we’ll plan to bring our Ergobaby 360.
Choose the right seat. For us, bulkhead is where it’s at. There’s way more leg room and there’s space for little ones to sit on the floor or stand up and wiggle. Plus, then you’re close to the flight attendants’ station and can easily get any water or snacks you need during the flight to keep you going.
For the sake of cleanliness. When traveling, germs are just part of the mix and totally unavoidable. But there are things you can do to reduce exposure and keep yourself and baby as clean as possible. We rely on The Honest Company hand sanitizer spray for us, Babyganics sanitizing wipes for Jack and a Monkey Mat to create a clean space on the ground. Also, for early flights we like to keep Jack in his footie pajamas since they keep him covered up and thus less exposed to germs from the ground or strangers, but if it’s midday we tend to dress him in layers—a onesie, pants and socks (or moccasins) and a little hoodie in the diaper bag in case he gets cold on the plane.
What other tips do you have to make flying with a baby go more smoothly?