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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Flying (& traveling) with a baby

Ford was exactly 6.5 weeks old when we took him on his first plane ride to Indianapolis, tagging along with mama to the Influence Conference. Part of me thought we were absolutely nuts for traveling with him so young but then again it seemed like a great time to travel with him when he is still small, cuddling, and will sleep anywhere. I was anxious the days leading up to our trip and dreading the fact that we didn't have a direct flight but honestly, the flights were the easiest part of our trip! Thankfully my sister has flown with Embry quite a few times and gave me some tips and I wanted to share my thoughts on making a flight with a newborn/baby successful.

  • Bring a carrier! We brought the ergo and because it's hands free, it was awesome. Ford was due for a nap right before our first flight so I popped him in there and he fell asleep instantly. Unfortunately you have to take baby out of all carriers, car seats, and strollers to go through security and for take off/landing but he made a great transition.

  • Bring a copy or phone photo of baby's birth certificate to verify that they are under the age of 2, unless you bought them their own seat. We weren't asked for proof on the way to Indy but had to show it on the way back. 
  • Bring your stroller and carseat to gatecheck. Children under 2 grant you the permission to gatecheck items for free (we flew Southwest so bags fly free anyway). We were able to stroll around the airport with our stroller and carseat and take it directly to your gate. We checked in with the flight attendents before the flight to get tags.
  • Ask if the flight is full. If there are empty seats, you can take your carseat actually on the plane. We were able to do this 3 of the 4 flights we took and it was PERFECT! Our 2nd flight to get to Indy was late and we were able to put Ford in his jammies and to bed in his carseat. He slept through the whole flight and ride to the hotel.
  • Preboard and sit in the back. It is louder in the back so if your baby screams, it is muffled by the plane sounds. You are also closer to the bathrooms.
  • Pack extra diapers. If you think your baby will go through 5 diapers, bring 10! You never know if your bags will get stuck or if the altitude will cause extra poops. Be prepared to change diapers in the tiniest of bathrooms too.
  • Pack 2-3 extra outfits. A friend of mine packed 2 backup outfits that her sweet baby pooped through and she had to wrap her in a sweater for the rest of the flight. We did end up having 1 blowout on the way there and I was prepared with 4 extra sets. 
Ford was really interested in the couple across from us haha

  • Pack warm clothes for baby. Remember airplanes are cold, pack socks, footies, or extra blankets to keep them warm.
  • For nursing moms, pack a travel nursing pillow. I have a cheap pillow I got for "free" from here that I keep in the car and decided to bring along with us. This was INCREDIBLY helpful for nursing and also just laying Ford on my lap. 
  • Nurse, nurse, nurse. We nursed on take off and landings and in between. Ford was going through a growth spurt that weekend so he didn't mind it at all. The suckling helps baby's ears from getting clogged and nursing helps pacify an upset baby.
  • Bring pacis. Ford doesn't take a paci on his own but if you hold it in his mouth he will kind of knaw/suck on it and if baby doesn't want to nurse during takeoff/landing, the paci will help their ears. 
  • We did not bring a pack and play and assumed Ford would sleep in the crib provided by the hotel. Well... those things aren't made for short people. I couldn't reach inside the crib because the rails were too tall. And the crib sheets I brought didn't fit. Ford ended up sleeping in his stroller laid back or his carrier the whole weekend. Just keep this in mind if your baby requires certain sleeping conditions
  • Pack your sound machine. We have this one and it is the best thing ever invented. 
  • If you feel like you've packed enough, pack a little more. Although we were in a city where we could easily go buy diapers or clothes, I wanted to be stocked and prepared. I brought a sleeve of 75 Costco diapers and we used all about about 20. Pack extra jammies in case of blowouts (but hotel soap DOES get out poop stains!). I am glad I packed an array of outfits because we were expecting cold and it was actually pretty warm and nice.
Honestly it wasn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be. Ford did great besides being extra needy during a "leap" but he was pretty adaptable. Ford is going on another flight in a few weeks so hoping for the best!


Unknown said...

This is good to have! I'm due the first week of December, and am supposed to fly with my babe in February and am somewhat (very) nervous! I'll bookmark this for when it gets closer to time. :)

Cara said...

What a sweetie. I'm glad that he was so good the whole trip. I can't even imagine flying with a baby. I fly often for work and it still frazzles me most of the time, so I'd imagine having to think about all of that on top of your own packing needs it a lot to handle.

Unknown said...

Great tips!! Christian pooped a ton during our flight too but I didn't know it was because of the altitude! So interesting.

Carly said...

Love this, we are flying across the country a few months after our little one arrives.....bookmarking this page!


Webb Things said...

Great info! I almost flew to Tx when J was a few months old.. But instead I flew my mom here and we made the road trip. Easier for a momma full of anxiety, and I would have been doing it all alone..
I do want to fly with J before he is 2 (since they ride free!) lol
You'll never truly know what to expect until you just do it!

Veronika said...

you are brave to travel with him so little! I think I would be too stressed to do it. I didn't even take harper out of our house for the first two months other than to go to her pediatrician and for walks outside. But I work at a children's hospital which makes me extra paranoid!

We will be traveling with her in may so thanks for these tips :)

Lindsay @ Pursuit of Pink said...

Yay!!! Sounds like you were well prepared for the trip. Great tips there lady. I didn't even realize that hotels provided cribs, we have always taken the pack and play for Kendall. But good to know they aren't good for short people. And we have that same sound machine and absolutely love it too! Do you leave it on all night or set the timer?

Celeste said...

Love this! Arsen is so incredibly nervous to travel (fly) with G...I'll be pinning this in case a trip comes up and he needs some convincing. You make it sound easy!

Unknown said...

I know you are so busy with your little one (which I love seeing all the pictures, you are almost giving me baby fever), but I am having a giveaway for the opening of my etsy shop!!! You could win a dress for Embry!!

Tausha Wierlo said...

we are flying in a few weeks - and I am terrifed! We will be out of town for 2 weeks so I feel like I need to bring EVERYTHING. Thanks for your tips Ruthie!

Brooke (FBX Adventures - In Parenting) said...

I flew with Bug at 8 weeks, was delayed for 10 hours and rerouted through an additional city! Bring extra bottles too if you don't nurse. You can also bring (at least on United I could) an additional carry on.

I didn't bring the carseat/stroller...wish I would have!!

Pandorah's Box said...

Even though I don't have a baby, I found this to be really helpful! If I ever do have one and have to go on an airplane, I am referring back to this list!

Pandorah's Box said...

Even though I don't have a baby, I found this to be really helpful! If I ever do have one and have to go on an airplane, I am referring back to this list!

Unknown said...

Super helpful!! So many things I wouldn't think of. Sharing this with all traveling mama friends and keeping this post on speed dial for our trips to FL and AZ after babe comes!

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