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How Far I’ll Go
I feel like this is very appropriate to write about as I currently make my checklist and scramble to get things together for my family’s upcoming trip. This time around it will be a 4 hour car-ride following a 2 hour plane-ride but lucky for us, this isn’t our first go-round traveling with baby.
My 15 month old daughter has been traveling since she was 2 months old. She has flown at least 10 times and has went on many, many road trips. I hate staying in one place for too long and I made a promise to myself that having a baby would not change that, so travel we go!
Most of the time it is just me and my daughter but this time around, I have daddy to help (YAY). However, these tips will also be helpful for moms or dads traveling alone with their little ones. I’m here to reassure you, it can be done.
I have to say every time I travel with my daughter alone, I get super anxious because each time she’s a little bit older and needs a little bit more of everything. However, each time we travel she’s better than the time before! I have to say, I believe traveling with her from the start has a lot to do with that.
For the sake of time, this post will cover traveling by plane with your little one. If you’re anything like me and it’s your first time flying with your baby, these tips will hopefully help ease your anxiety.
Packing Your Diaper Bag
Figure out the things you actually need, not the things you think you’ll need. My first time flying with my daughter I definitely overpacked and as a result I had way too many things to worry about keeping track of.
Here is what my list looks like when packing my carry-on bag (assuming you are also checking a bag with your other things):
1. Sippy Cup/Bottle of Milk – You’re allowed to go through security with breast milk/regular milk or formula, TSA usually has to screen it.
2. Diapers/Wipes/Changing Pad – Bring a good amount as flight delays and cancellations do happen!
3. Extra Change of Clothes for Baby – You might want to throw an extra shirt in there for yourself in case your baby has a weak stomach on the flight.
4. Blanket – Airplanes are always cold!
5. Book/Favorite Toy/iPad – You need to keep that baby entertained somehow!
6. Snacks – I typically pack goldfish, graham crackers and baby food pouches.
7. Pacifier – I’m aware not all babies take paci’s but this is supposed to help ease the ear popping. If you breastfeed, I recommend latching baby on to feed during take-off.
8. Wallet & IDs – Obviously you won’t be going anywhere without these.
9. Phone/iPad Charger – Don’t get caught slipping with a dead phone.
At the Airport
Once you are finally all packed and it’s the day of your trip, you want to make sure you get to the airport at least two hours before your departure. Traveling with baby through the airport is not hard but it can take longer.
Here’s some tips to make getting through the airport easier:
1. Bring your stroller – You do not want to carry a baby through an entire airport, trust me. I recommend a travel system so the carseat clicks into the stroller, this will make life so much easier. You can bring your stroller and carseat through security.
2. Don’t forget to take out all liquids and put them in the bin when going through security. Somehow I always forget a pouch of baby food or a cup of juice and they end up needing to go through my bag, so just remember the first time.
3. Talk with a Flight Agent – Once you get to your gate, I recommend asking if the flight is full. Since I don’t pay for my daughter to have her own seat, I like to see if I can be moved to an empty row. Extra room can definitely help with keeping you and baby comfortable on the duration of the flight. Plus, have you ever tried to breastfeed a big baby sitting right next to a stranger?
4. Use Gate Check – You’ll need to gate check your stroller before boarding the plane. I also gate check my carseat because I’ve noticed my gate checked things are usually handled a little more carefully than my counter-checked ones. What I like to do to keep my stroller and carseat from getting wet and dirty is to put them in these large clear bags.
I hope after reading this, you feel a little less stressed and a little more prepared for what to expect while traveling with your baby.
If you’ve traveled before with your little one, tell me what travel tips you recommend or what you wish you would have known beforehand.
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