Two weeks ago I took Kenley to Colorado for my grandma's 80th birthday. This trip marked Kenley's first time on an airplane and marked my frist time flying with a baby. You should know that I am a very nervous flyer. I haven't always been, in fact up until a couple of years ago I absolutely loved to fly and would actually laugh during turbulence. Now when I feel a bump I am certain I will be crashing to my death. Irrational and ridiculous? YES.
To say that I was nervous and stressed out about this flight would be a HUGE understatement! Before leaving for this trip I had a million questions running through my head in regards to surviving the flight and making traveling with a baby as easy as humanly possible.
How much earlier than usual do you recommend getting to the airport?
What should I carry on?
What baby gear do I need to bring?
How do we make sure Kenley's not "that baby"?
After surviving two flights with a 10-month-old (who was an absolute perfect angel on both flights BTW), I have some tips and tricks that worked for us.
- Research the airline's baby / small child policies ahead of time. Each airlines does it a little different so be sure to double check what the rules & regulations are. We flew Southwest and they were INCREDIBLE. They allow you to check a car seat & stroller FOR FREE along with TWO bags. So I was able to bring our suitcase, pack n play, car seat and stroller for $0.00! I was required to bring a copy of Kenley's birth certificate to prove she was under 2 years old, but that was it.
- If you can afford it, get your baby their own seat! Unfortunately this was not in our budget, BUT we were lucky enough to have a spare seat next to us on the way there and it was amazing! Kenley was able to have her own space to move around and play and it made the flight so much easier.
- Bring snacks, lots and lots of snacks. I don't know if this is true for every kid but NOTHING keeps Kenley's attention longer than food. I brought two bottles (one for take off and one for landing) along with a bunch of little finger snacks and a squeezie bag of apple sauce.
- Pack only what you need for the flight. I brought a couple of diapers and food in our carry on for the flight and bought everything else once we landed. It was so much easier than trying to squeeze a ton of baby stuff into our suitcase.
- Bring a new toy. I grabbed a couple of new toys before the trip and didn't let Kenley see them until we got on the plane. I don't know about your kid, but mine is entertained significantly more by something she's never seen.
- When in doubt, turn to Mickey Mouse. Kenley is OBSESSED with Mickey Mouse, like screeches with glee when she sees him obsessed, so I made sure to have a bunch of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse shows downloaded to the iPad along with some new Mickey books for us to read.
- Try and be calm. This one was FOR SURE the hardest for me. But as with anything else, if you're calm your baby is calm. Kids cry. Kids throw fits. A plane is no exception. No one wants to be the lady with the screaming kid, but you can't help it. Just do what you can and try not to worry about everyone else.
Do those of you who have flown with your babies have anything to add?