So the past couple days - it seems this topic has come up more than usual, flying
with a babe. First (totally embarassing, but I love) in the sitcom Up All
Night where the leading couple decides to embark on a flight with their infant baby girl. And then, not even 24 hours later with two amazing CSO mom's. Now granted they are planning trans-atlantic flights and mine have been just to Chicago and the Lou, but none the less - I did do them alone, both of them. And that presents enough stresses in and of itself.
But stresses aside, because really - I hate to burst bubbles, it's not so bad. In fact, put your psyche in the right perspective and you will have a ball watching your little one discover a plane for the first time or 'people watching' with you as you wait to board. OR my ultimate favorite - falling asleep before the plane takes off giving me the aboslute pleasure of cuddling for just over an hour - LOVE!
So, the reason I am writing this tid-bit - is to relieve any pre-flight stresses. Here are some checklist do's before the flight day:
1 - purchase tickets (duh) and be sure to either look on the website or check with the airline for infant flight restrictions.
2 - call your airline (if you decide to lap baby instead of buying a seperate seat) and let them know you will be flying with a lap infant. They can only place you in specific aisles and they will conveniently flag your ticket so if a seat opens up, they will put you in an aisle with just you, baby and open seat for a bit more room.
3 - after getting a list of your airlines restrictions, it's time to go through the necessities baby will need while traveling.
This is always the tough part, because as mom's have it - we tend to over-pack. But this can be done, in an organized fashion that simply fits into one single
diaper bag. For most airlines, the diaper bag becomes one of your carry-ons, but once you add the babe, you realize quickly anymore baggage (i.e. purse) that you would normally bring, becomes too much. So I packed my necessities - wallet, phone, gum, and snack - this is very important, I will address that later - into the diaper bag. Since we have been wearing Soren, I carried him with our ERGObaby Carrier (absolutely the MOST comfortable carrier I have yet to find), and didn't have a problem. It even has a super convenient pouch in the front for your wallet, gum, phone and ticket.
How to dress. This one is probably pretty obvious - comfortable. You are going to be running around with your little one and stand the possibility of being spit up on, grabbed (so no shirt that tears easily), food spilled on, breast milk leaking and/or formula spilled. So nothing you care too much about and that will match the shirt you SHOULD be carrying in the diaper bag in case this happens. Now if you are traveling with two parents - all the better. That gives you an extra set of arms to hold your loved one AND an extra bag for packing things you will need.
But to prevent from over packing, I would try to keep baby's things to baby's bag.
So what do I put in that bag and how? Here you go:
Bathing Supplies (all supplies are travel size, 4oz or less) - pack into a 1-quart zip-
1. Baby All in one Shampoo
2. Baby Lotion
3. Anti-bacterial hand wash
4. a few cue-tips
5. a few cotton balls (put cue-tips and cotton balls in a seperate zip-lock to keep them dry)
6. Toothpaste & Toothbrush (for baby and parent(s))
First Aid - pack into a 1-quart zip-lock
2. Polysporin (or neosporin for some) 3. Baby Tylenol (Little Fevers)
4. Baby Saline (Little Noses)
Diaper Supplies - pack diaper cream, Aquafor and powder into a 1-quart zip-lock. For the other items I had a slightly bigger bag than the 1 qaurts that came with
the diaper bag for Soren's covers and extra clothes.
1. Diapers for every 1-2 hours you travel depending on how your baby eliminates on a normal basis. This is tough - Soren slows down quite a bit when we travel, so I went through about 4 cloth diapers total when at the airport. If bringing cloth or even with disposables, I recommend using the scented or oder eater diaper bags for the dirty dipes.
2. Wipes (I know, duh - but I almost forgot mine since I make his at home!!)
3. Diaper cream we use badger balm - good for baby's bottom and small!
5. Powder (if you use it)
6. Diaper changing cloth we use JJ Cole which also holds our wipes
7. For cloth diapers - at least 2 extra covers
Making traveling comfortable
1. Change of shirt for parents (depending on how long the flight and if you have a partner and extra bag - maybe even an extra outfit)
2. at least 2 changes of clothes for baby
3. Baby's blanket (Soren does have a favorite)
4. As usual when packing for yourself and baby - think layers, you never know what temps your going to run into
1. 2-3 of baby's favorite books/toys 2. Pacifier (if you are using)
3. Teething toys (Sophie, rings, etc...)
I highlight this one, because a well fed, rested babe is a happy one. Same with the parents.
1. Be sure to pack food (if baby is on solids) for at least every two hours with a variety of snacks. I used the Ella's and Peter Rabbits and Packed 3. They are super small and easy to carry. I also packed Soren's Munchie Mug, which is priceless. Sometimes it had oats, sometimes raisins or sometimes whole-wheat bunnies. Once even a peanut butter sandwhich!
2. Pack snacks for parents - you will get hungry and need your energy too! I packed at least two Cliff bars for myself and bought myself water once in side the gates. Oh! and gum - because bad breath and ears popping is never fun.
3. Drink for baby. I packed water for Soren. Between that and nursing - it was plenty of liquids. So one sippy cup, in an outside pocket - easy to grab.
So packing all of it up. The reason for the clear zip-locks: At security you have to
take out ALL the liquid items, which includes your first-aid, creams, etc.... So to make it easy on you, especially when traveling alone, all you have to do is take out your zip-locks, put them in a tray and stuff them back in when your done.
They DO test baby's liquids (in our case water). It's just a PH stick, so no worries. Then your security. Take off not just your metal items and shoes - but babies too. I don't feel comforatble about the x-rays, so Soren and I went through the
standard ones. And the second time traveling - he walked through on his own (ADORBS!!). Once your through security, just have fun with your baby - show them around, experience this together with levity, knowing you haven't forgotten anything and you are traveling with your most loved one - most likely getting ready to make new memories with other loved ones.
When on the plane - RELAX. Baby picks up on your vibes, so just have a good time. They want to tear apart the plane magazine - so be it! It's free anyway!
Read the couple books you brought along, break out a snack or offer some milk. I always bring Soren's two favorite books at the time and some teethers (sophie, teething ring, etc...). Below are a few links that made traveling a blast for us. I hope some of this helps. Enjoy your little ones - they don't stay that way for long!
Flying with Kids
Delta Children's Baggage Allowance with Links to other Infant flight Restrictions