Little Miss Oakley (6.5 weeks as I am writing this) went on 55 flights while she was inside of me and as of this weekend, she went on her first 4 flights while being earth side! I have never claimed to be an expert in parenting, all I can share is my own experience! It was extremely nerve wracking flying with her for the first time- what if she cries the entire time and everyone is angry with us that's on the flight? What if she poops through her outfits? What if she is miserable the entire time? And then what about the hotel- will she sleep, are we going to ruin all of the sleep progress she has made, what is cries thee entire time and everyone at th hotels hates us? All of these, and more, anxious thoughts ran through my head as soon as we booked our trip to go to our manufacturer in Nashville. I researched, asked friends and family, and called TSA and the airlines. I then had a packing list longer than my own for everything she needed! I also put up a Q and A on my instagram today about questions anyone had so I will additionally cover those as well! Luckily- she slept 3 of our 4 flights and the other one she was content to just look around, have a bottle, and giggle at her contrast cards!
Flying and Airport Tips
- The number one thing anyone will tell you in terms of flying with a baby- make sure they are either on a boob, have a bottle in their mouth, or are sucking on a pacifier for take off and landing to help with their ear pressure
- If you are formula feeding and need hot water to mix, you can ask any coffee shop and they will give you some for free. You can also ask on board as well
- Family restrooms are a lifesaver when it comes to changing your baby. All major airpots have family restroom indicators on their website and I highly recommend having a PLAN on where those are as soon as you land so you can change baby in a more comfortable setting
- Take advantage of pre-boarding. This is something I never thought I would say as I like standing and staying off the plane as long as I can but with a baby, it's best to get situated without a million people waiting in line behind you
- Utilize gate checking your stroller but I do recommend bringing a cover for it as they aren't the nicest when it comes to handling such precious items
- Make sure to bring a copy of baby's birth certificate! TSA said you "may" need it to prove your child's age
- If you feel comfortable, you can rent a car seat from all major car rental companies- just denote it ahead of time on your reservation
- I was able to call ahead to ask for room at the end of the hallway to mitigate the number of rooms that were around us, just in case she had a rough night. Just exercising some common courtesy to those around us in the hotel
- Most hotels will offer a crib rental, free of charge
- Aim for an apartment style hotel or one with a suite if you aren't going to co-sleep. We only co-sleep while traveling and when she gets old, the non-bedroom area is a great place for the crib to go (or even the bathroom to keep it dark and to utilize the fan for the white noise)
- Keep it as close to home as possible- we packed everything we usually use for her nap time routine and night time routine (which is outlined below)
- Utilize the hot water feature in the keurig for washing bottles and for mixing formula. If there isn't a coffee machine in the room, ask the front desk for a kettle of hot water to utilize so you don't have to make nine trips a day down to the lobby for hot water
- Download a white noise app ahead of time and get baby comfortable using that before you travel
If you have an iPhone, use the checkmark feature of your notes app. This will allow you to reuse the same list over and over and add to / subtract from with ease for future trips
- Car seat base
- Diaper bag
- Car seat / stroller
- Travel car seat protector
- Diaper changing protector (mine came with my diaper bag)
- Gripe Water
- Burp cloths
- Outfits- pack double for blowouts
- Solly wrap (can wear baby through TSA)
- Carrier (cannot wear baby through TSA)
- Bed sleeper
- Boogie mist
- Electronic snot sucker
- Noise cancelling headphones (did not use on this trip)
- Contrast cards (for in flight entertainment)
- Tylenol- children's (in case)
- Eczema lotion
- Bottle cleaning brush
- Plastic bags for any blowout clothes
- Q: How did she sleep without the SNOO?
- A: She did great! Definitely not as great as with it but I still gave her an A+. We will rent the SNOO for holidays to stay at my mom's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Q: Can you use Owlet while traveling?
- A: You can but you would have to reconnect the base with the hotel's WIFI
- Q: What about diaper changing on a flight?
- A: With a longer flight, we definitely would have had to change her on the airplane but with anything shorter than 90 minutes- just make sure to change baby right before you board
- Q: Did you carry her through the airport or use a stroller?
- A: We did both actually! For our outbound flight, we used the stroller and gate checked before each flight. This was convenient until it took an extra 15 minutes to get the stroller after everyone de-planed. Our inbound flight we carried her and it was very nice to not have to find an elevator every time we needed to go up and down in the airport but it was a little more difficult to carry / wear her through the airport. Pros and cons to each and we decided that any layover longer than an hour, we will keep the stroller with us and not check it
- Q: Is it worth paying for the middle seat to have the row to yourself?
- A: By the time you pay for three seats- you may as well just fly first and have the extra room! Until she is 2, she flies for free in your lap as is
- Q: Did you pack diapers or have them shipped?
- A: We packed them in our checked bag but if we were going for an extended period of time, we would have them shipped