Traveling with an infant is nothing to be scared of, and really it is quite easy. As long as you are prepared, traveling cross country is a breeze and you will be wondering why you had any anxiety in the first place. If you are flying alone like Atticus and I do, you will want to know a few basic things.
The majority of airlines allow Infants to sit on your lap with no cost. I find it helpful to ask the gate agent if there are any extra seats open. If there is, ask to be sat next to an open seat. While it’s not difficult to nurse in one seat, it’s a lot easier if you have a little extra space.
When it comes to onboard packing, less is more. You are allowed one bag plus a diaper bag on most airlines. We used a weekender as our main carry-on and a smaller toiletry case as our diaper bag. Inside the diaper bag I packed 1 lightweight PJ, a small wet bag, wet wipes, changing pad, 6 diapers, butt cream, hand sanitizer, 2 pacifiers, 1 burp cloth, toy rattle, 5 oz bottle of pumped milk (in case of emergency), my wallet and phone. Instead of lugging my weekender bag to the small lavatory we just bring this toiletry style bag and I’m able to carry Atticus with no problem.
In my weekender bag I can pack all the comforts I desire, but I also make sure to bring another outfit for Atticus, a lightweight blanket (for the seat next to us or any laying down that needs to happen) 4 more diapers, extra wipes and a couple bottles of water for his “formula.” I know I know, it’s not nice to lie, but if you pack a couple 8 oz bottles of sealed water, security tests it and let’s you go on your way.
When it comes to your stroller, car seat and crib, it is all up to you. For this trip we used the Baby Cargo 300 series stroller. I will be reviewing this phenomenal travel stroller later in the week so check that out when you get a chance. The stroller is lightweight and can be gate checked. As far as a car seat goes, we ordered a car seat on Amazon prime using next day shipping. Since we knew we would be coming back to my mothers, it was worth it to buy a seat specifically for her house. In the event you are not traveling to family, most airlines will let you gate check your seat and stroller. If you are like me, and want to travel as light as possible, you may just consider renting one at your destination directly through your rental car company.
Most hotels offer cribs or playpen style beds, but if you are visiting family or in the event your hotel doesn’t, the Kidco Peapod is an affordable, lightweight (just over 1lbs) option that fits in even the smallest spaces. You should go read my review of it after you are done over here.
When it comes to passing through security, you will want to wear flats or some sort of shoe you can easily slip on/off. Make sure to have any toiletries bagged separately and you won’t have to fuss over getting your bag inspected. Security will make you fold your stroller and to make this easier, I suggest using your favorite baby carrier to get you through. I use a Beco butterfly which is a structured carrier that allows me to easily buckle Atticus in under 30 seconds. This also comes handy when boarding the airplane once you gate check your stroller.
Remember, Mommies with babies get to board right after First Class. Take this opportunity to settle into your seat and make sure baby is comfy. You will want to nurse upon take off and landing so your little ones ears don’t get stuffy due to pressure. If you don’t breastfeed, use a pacifier or bottle.
Now you are probably wondering how you pee when you are flying by yourself. Well, you either hold the baby out in front of you and practice squatting or you do what I do and strap your munchkin on using your carrier. Unfortunately the bathrooms aren’t very roomy so the changing tables are usually found above the toilet. I always use a changing pad and keep one hand on Atticus at all times since there is no strap and it can get bumpy.
In the event your darling baby decides the airplane is the perfect stage for its first operatic debut, just ride it out. Use shushing sounds and stay calm. Your baby will feed off of your energy and a panicked mom will have a panicked baby.
Oh and poopsplosions? Been there done that. That’s what that extra lightweight pj is for. Use lots of wipes and don’t be afraid to give baby a mini bath in the sink. That super poopy outfit can either be trashed or placed in the wet bag for the rest of your flight.
If there is anything I didn’t cover, feel free to comment and ask any questions you may have. Happy travels,
Purchase your diapers and wipes at your destination if you are not using cloth
Bring a structured baby carrier such as the Beco Butterfly