TOP TEN TIPS FOR FLYING WITH A BABY & TODDLER
- CURBSIDE CHECK-IN. Curbside Check-In for all of your luggage. Worth it! You can also check your car seat if you will not be using it on the plane for free-and it doesn’t count as an extra piece of luggage. SCORE.
- GATE-CHECK STROLLER. When bringing a stroller make sure that it is cleaned out and doesn’t have any toys, lovies, or food that will accidentally get misplaced when you have to disassemble it and gate check it before boarding. Make sure if you are going to gate-check your stroller that you get it tagged correctly at the desk in the terminal.
- REASONABLE QUANTITIES. Baby medicine, snacks and bottles can all be brought in “reasonable” quantities with you on the plane. When my toddler was a baby I always brought 8 ounces more than I thought I would use… which when we were delayed at the airport for over four hours once was completely necessary. Now that Em is exclusively breastfed I don’t worry about bringing a bottle and just use the multi-purpose Aden & Anais swaddle blanket to cover-up. No muss, no fuss. And you don’t need to bring a fancy cover-up that only has one purpose. We now just bring two empty water bottles that I fill up after we go through security.
- FAMILY SECURITY LINE. See if they have a Family Security screen line at your airport ahead of time. Phoenix has one and it is a life-saver! There is literally no line and the TSA officials are used to handling all of the goodies that come with flying with a baby.
- WEAR YOUR BABY. Wear your baby through the security check point. You will still have to remove your shoes and put everything on the belt-BUT- you can keep your baby all snuggled up as you go through the metal detector. This is incredibly helpful! With Em in the Ergo and my toddler holding my hand I can fold our City-Mini Double Stroller with the other hand. Multi-tasking at its finest.
- BRING AN ARSENAL. My list of necessary things? Two books-that they love- textural toys- one “new” toy(one that they have loved but has been meticulously hidden from them for a week)-two-three snacks- cooler full of milk if bottle feeding- five diapers per child-wipes- one swaddle blanket- three small wet bags for accidents-one complete change of clothes for per child-baby medicine(essential as a Food Allergy Parent-along with our double Epi-Pen Pack).
- LET THEM RUN. Or find a spot where you can watch the planes take-off. My Toddler loves when I point to all of the cars, trucks, people, planes outside and talk about what they are doing. Research if there is a “play area” at either your terminal or the main airport. Research is key! .
- BATHROOM BEFORE BOARDING. Use the restroom before boarding and make sure they board with a new diaper. Southwest has only one changing table and it is in the front of the plane. Check where the diaper changing table is on your plane before boarding as that may sway where you want to sit.
- WINDOW SEAT. Let the toddler take the window seat if you have a row to yourself, if not choose the aisle so that you can get up and make your way to the bathroom or rock your littlest to sleep in the aisle.
- SIT IN THE BACK. Sit in the back of the plane with all of the other parents. Helps to have a little morale boost and people that give you the look of ,”Been there, done that! I know what you are going through”. Plus the white noise from the engines makes a great sleep aide! Oh and if you have a squirmy little one, sit in the very last row. That way they can climb up the chair without “bothering” the people behind them and there are less witnesses to you pulling your hair out.
I am constantly working on figuring out things to make my(our) life easier with traveling with little ones.
Do you fly with your baby or toddler?
Do you have any tips or suggestions of things that worked well for you? Please share!