I have a lot of experience on this topic because of the fact that my husband and I are about 1400 miles away from all of our friends and family. We’ve been traveling by plane with our son since he was 7 weeks old. This week Thursday we will be making yet another trip to Michigan to celebrate his first birthday. While packing and preparing I decided to share some of the most important things I’ve learned by trial and error with everyone.
- Whenever possible have someone you’re going to visit purchase all of the diapers, wipes, and food that you’re going to need for the young one. It’s so much easier and lighter to not have to haul a huge 36 pack of diapers across the country.
- Think about the weather where you’re going. We’re coming from Texas where it’s still 95 degrees on a daily basis. Most of the clothes that we have for him are summer clothes so I had to go through stashes of “winter” clothes to make sure that we’ll have him properly dressed for fall.
- If you’re going somewhere with a washing machine take advantage of it! You don’t need 20 shirts, 20 pants, 10 jackets, and 50 pairs of socks when you’re going to be able to wash what gets dirty.
- Wrap any baby lotions and diaper rash creams in plastic before putting them into the suitcase. I forgot about this the first time and learned the hard way.
- Your baby isn’t going to need every single toy that you have for him / her. Just pack their few favorite ones. I don’t know about your children but mine will make a toy out of just about anything so picking and choosing just a few lightweight ones really saves space and weight.
- Baby clothes are obviously tiny! Take advantage of that by rolling them up as small as you can get them. The less luggage the better.
- If possible, plan flight times around nap time or bed time. The ideal baby on a plane is a baby who is asleep. It makes life easier for you and everyone around you.
- If you schedule a flight that isn’t full they allow you to bring the carseat onto the plane which means your arms aren’t going to fall asleep because you have 20 plus pounds laying on them. This doesn’t happen very often but I’ve found that when we have flights after 6 pm there are less people on them.
- You can bring the stroller AND carseat through the entire airport and check it at the gate. Just in case there is an empty seat I always keep the carseat with us.
- Bring lots of drinks and snacks for the little one. A baby who is drinking and eating is a baby who isn’t crying.
- If you can’t get your baby to sleep and the flight allows it, it helps to walk a little bit with them to help them settle down. They get as impatient as you do just sitting in one place for hours at a time.
- Try to sit in the isle seat. It makes it easier to move and one less thing to bother your neighbors about.
- Change that diaper right before takeoff. I know you can’t always plan out poops but the worst thing ever is trying to change a diaper in an airplane bathroom.
- Bottles / Sippy’s on take off and landing really do help. It’s the swallowing action that helps to pop their ears.
- Have your angry looks ready. If people are getting pissed off that your child is upset just shoot them “the look.” I mean come on, how do you explain to a baby why their ears are hurting?!