A Simple Mom’s Tips for Flying with an Infant

travelLast month Naomi and I took a long flight to visit my family back home in Iowa and next week we will hop on another plane to go to a blogging conference in Indianapolis. I thought I’d share the limited experience I have with flying for any other moms who might be flying solo with their babe in the near future. AND I want to have this as a future reference for my own flying adventures with Naomi!

My biggest piece of advice before I get started is to RELAX, everything will be fine. I am a worrier. I was sick to my stomach with worry about my first flight with Naomi weeks before we actually boarded the plane. When we arrived at the airport, I had to remind myself to keep breathing.  And then the whole trip went smoothly…I had nothing to worry about.

With that said, I did make lots of preparations in advance to try to create an easy travel day. I am a minimalist mom, so I knew that I needed to make sure that I was taking everything I would need and nothing more.

1) Arrive early, but not too early. This always eases my flying nerves, yet getting there too early may cause your little one to get too fussy before flying. I thought that security was going to be a hassle with an infant, but the TSA agents were actually very helpful and even allowed me to keep Naomi in my carrier. This made my extra early arrival time unnecessary. Naomi and I walked around our terminal for a long time before we boarded!

2) Carry-on as little as possible. It’s totally worth it to spend the $25-30 to check your bag. My carry-on items were the contents of my backpack, my baby (duh!), and my baby carrier. When I checked in, I gate-checked my car seat for free (you’ll need to verify with your airline if they do that for you) and I didn’t have to pick it up again until I arrived at my destination. So the entire travel day, I was hands-free, which was amazing!

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3) The contents of my backpack:
Thirty-One Zipper Pouch (5 diapers, wipes, doTERRA essential oils roller bottles, 2 burp rags, travel size-diaper cream, onsie)
-Aden & Anias musselin swaddle blanket
-Small toy
-pacifier (opitonal…my baby doesn’t take take a paci, so not needed for me)
-Nursing cover
-Wet bag with change mat
-Copy of birth certificate, just in case (some airlines want proof of the baby’s identity)
-Water bottle
-Extra pair of socks
-Mommy’s iPad, iPhone and charger (to read or play a game is baby is sleeping)
-Mommy’s wallet
-Mommy’s snacks

4) Nurse or use pacifier with baby while on take off and landing. Hopefully this will also put your baby to sleep for a majority of the flight (if your infant is young enough). Naomi slept for most of 1 of our 4 flights, but the rest of the time she just played on my lap. Thankfully most of the passengers next to me in the flights were very friendly and loved entertaining Naomi. Along with that, be comfortable enough to ask for help when you need it. You’d be surprised at how helpful people can be.

5) If you have a long layover, walk around as much as you can. My layovers were about 2 hours long each time, so Naomi and I did a lot of strolling the terminal. It kept her occupied by staring at all the lights and through the windows and I was able to release some nervous energy. Because I only had my baby carrier and back pack, I could use the restroom without any issue. Naomi was able to stay attached to me while I went to the bathroom and then we also used that time to change her diaper.

6) If you have a blowout on the plane, ask the flight attendant for an extra hand. They are usually very helpful and willing to hold open a door, hold your diaper pouch, or put the changing tray down for you. Oh, and yes, there is a changing tray in those tiny bathrooms. They are right above the toilet.

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7) Pack minimally. I know everyone always says “you can never have enough burp rags, onsies, etc” but when traveling, you totally can have too much. My rule of thumb is bring what I absolutely need and if I run out, I’m never too far from a Target. With that said, here is my initial packing list for Naomi when we travel to Indianapolis (I will be gone Wednesday night through Sunday night):
-1 Summer Infant SwaddleMe wrap
-5 onsies
-3 pants
-2 “cuter” outfits
-1 cardigan or cooler weather top (we aren’t used to weather below 75 degrees!)
-3 socks
-3 burp rags
-California Baby body wash/shampoo
-doTerra Essential Oils
-package of Honest Co. diapers

8) If you are traveling to a location where you know people, ask them to provide any of the other items you usually have on hand. For instance, when I traveled home last month, my mom was able to acquire a stroller, a bumbo, a playmate, a rock-n-play to sleep in, and a bouncer through grandma friends and church friends. Since we are traveling to a hotel this time, we have called ahead to make sure that we can have a pack-n-play available for us so Naomi can have a place to sleep. I plan to forego the other little things we usually have because there will be about 300 other ladies who will love to hold Naomi if I need a break. 🙂

9) Be aware of the Time Change. That is the hardest to figure out! If you can, keep them on the same sleep schedule as they have back home. When I was home in Iowa, I was able to keep sleep time and wake time pretty similar with a 2 hour time difference. It helped that we were headed East…it would be harder if we we living on the East Coast and had to go West. Our trip to Indianapolis may be a little more tricky since we have a set schedule to go by. If you have any tricks for a 3 hour time difference when at a conference, I’d love to hear them! I’m also learning to just be flexible with her schedule and we will get back on track when we get home. It just may take awhile!

And my last travel tip is BE FLEXIBLE! Things will not go as planned. The more relaxed and flexible you are as the mommy, the greater the likelihood will be that your little one will stay calm too. I am blessed to have a very chill baby, so we had no meltdowns on the flights, but if you do-don’t feel bad and don’t get worked up about what people around you are thinking. You are the momma and you are doing a great job caring for your sweet one!

Okay! Those are my tips and suggestions! Do you have any travel advice? I’d love to hear it!

Comments

  1. Hi, Sarah! It was such a pleasure to meet you & Naomi on the flight from PHX to IND. Hoping your conference has been a wonderful learning experience and blessing for you both! Please give Naomi a hug from me–praying for your safe return to Tucson!
    Best regards,
    Dinah

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