Back in February I wrote a post about flying with a baby after traveling by myself with Emmalyne when she was 4 months old. Some of those tips are still awesome, but there are definitely new ones to add now that Emmie is older, and needs to be entertained, some new ones make the list. After flying solo with her again last month, and getting ready to head to the airport again today, I want to share my “revised” tips for flying with a baby … 10 month old edition.
1. Gate-check your stroller. This one is new to the list and particularly important if you have to change planes. In July I took the stroller through the airport with me on my way to Phoenix and gate checked it. Having a place to put Em when we were running through the Chicago airport to catch our next flight saved my life. I made the mistake of curb checking it on my way back to Savannah and had to carry Emmie on my run through the Baltimore airport. 18+ pound baby and running = NO FUN. Bring your stroller.
2. Pick up some new toys. This tip should always be on your “how to travel” radar. New toys are amazing. They don’t have to be expensive, just something your little one hasn’t played with yet. If you don’t want to get a new one, plan ahead and HIDE one of your baby’s favorite toys for a couple weeks before your trip and reintroduce it on the airplane.
3. Scout out the airplane early on. If your kid is like mine they will inevitably need a diaper change sometime mid-air. Southwest planes have changing tables in the front lavatory. Ask your flight attendant early so you know where to run. Bonus tip? Have a nicely scented plastic bag to dispose of stinky diapers. Your fellow passengers will thank you.
4. Give your little one something to suck on take-off/landing. Kids don’t know what it means to pop their ears and having something to suck helps relieve that pressure. I try to have a bottle ready for Emmie on the plane for this time. Or you could whip out a boob if you’re breastfeeding.
5. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. Emmie is an eating machine and the way to her heart is through her stomach. I pack PLENTY of munchies for her because in a bind she will be content chowing down. I got this handy snack tower from my friend Melanie and we LOVE it.
6. You can bring formula, milk, or baby food on the plane. There is just special screening that has to be done. I bring an extra bottle of pre-made formula because Emmie always seems to need one more bottle than normal while flying. Breastfeeding her on a 4 hour flight is near impossible without exposing myself to the world. It’s a wrestling match of epic proportions. While some of you might be ok with that, it makes me REALLY uncomfortable so formula it is.
7. Use the companion pass. If you’re flying alone this is my #1 tip for you. Your spouse can get a companion pass from the ticket counter to accompany you through security to your gate and hang out with you until you board. Your family or friends at your final destination can get a similar pass and be at the gate at the other end. After 12+ hours of traveling seeing a familiar face at the end who is DYING to hold your child is a God send. Seriously.
8. Have a personal mantra. Mine is “patience” and I repeat it to myself repeatedly through the day. Traveling with kiddos is exhausting, trying, and can be overwhelming. Have a mantra to help center yourself and stay calm. Mine became “mama needs a drink” at hour 10 though.
9. Choose an aisle seat. If you have the option do it. I have had to stand in the aisle a couple of times to soothe an annoyed baby. Once she could see the rest of the plane she was all smiles. Emmalyne could also stand in the aisle holding on to my seat when it wasn’t crowded. AND it makes an easy beeline for the bathroom (see tip 2).
10. Think about tiny tummies. If you’re child is a bit older think about starting them on probiotics or making provbiotics a regular part of their routine. Probiotics can help keep their tiny tummies regular so that everyone can enjoy their vacation more. Probiotics also help boost your little one’s natural defenses. Culturelle is the #1 recommended brand of probiotics for children and comes in a powder or chewable form. As soon as Emmie makes the weight requirement we are stocking up on these bad boys.
Just take a deep breath and find your inner peace. The trip will be over before you know it and there’s this weird sense of accomplishment when you survive 😉 See you guys in Phoenix!
What’s your favorite tip for flying with a baby? I am kind of scared what my tips will be for “flying with a toddler” when that time comes!
**Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post and provided with Culturelle samples. All opinions and ideas are my own.