TOP FIVE TIPS FOR FLYING WITH BABY

When Phil and I originally booked our plane tickets back east for Thanksgiving, we had no idea what to expect. We knew Naiya would be just shy of three months old by that time and we were worried she would cry the whole flight and disrupt the passengers around us. We’ve all sat near screaming babies on flights and the thought of being “those” people with the crying baby felt so nerve-racking! Then Phil and I realized there is no time like the present to practice traveling with Naiya.  As avid travelers, we figured it would be helpful to make sure we felt confident about flying with her as early as possible so that we would know almost any trip would be possible with her in the future. 

Packing for our trip initially felt so daunting.  It’s hard to believe how much a baby needs for travel–especially when you live in Los Angeles, are traveling into a more wintery environment and you’re a serial over-packer like me!  I started out by laying out tons of outfits, burp cloths, diapers, carriers and everything in between a couple days before our flight. Thankfully, my hubby is amazing at helping me to pair things down.  He came into the room multiple times to remind me that we were going to be moving around a lot once we landed (we had plans to go to Manhattan for a few nights, upstate to Poughkeepsie and then also Albany to see family). He reminded me how important it would be to pack as little as possible.

When we finally made it out of the house to catch our flight, we had a stroller packed away in a travel bag, a carseat also in a travel bag (ready to be checked), a large suitcase with clothes and toiletries for us, a carry-on suitcase and two backpacks. This ended up looking like a lot when it was all lined up at the airport but I honestly don’t know what else we could have taken out. Our goal next time is to pair everything down even more but this time, just getting to the airport on time with everything we needed felt like such an accomplishment!

Naiya ended up doing so well on the flight! I carried her in my boba carrier before boarding the plane to soothe her.  After that, I nursed her for take-off and landing so that her ears wouldn’t hurt with the change in altitude. Whenever she would get fussy sitting down (which definitely did happen every couple of hours), Phil or I would get up and walk the aisles with her.  Thankfully (and surprisingly!), she ended up sleeping for most of the flight.  I think she really loved the sound of the white noise on the plane–it relaxed her right away. 

Once we landed in New York, we  took our first taxi ride with Naiya.  We were worried about how this would work with all of our luggage and with having to install her carseat so quickly but we did it!  We had no idea prior to this trip that Naiya’s carseat could be attached to any car without its base. We quickly learned how to do this by watching YouTube tutorials before we left LA this proved to be extremely helpful. So thankful we didn’t have to lug along the carseat’s base for the trip–we definitely didn’t have room for it (or the time to install it). 

All-in-all, here are our top five tips that really helped us throughout our trip for traveling with a baby under three months:

1) GET A HEAD START: We actually started packing a couple days ahead of time so that we could make sure we weren’t rushing at the end.  It’s so much better to plan your baby’s outfits and necessities ahead of time so that you don’t end up forgetting anything and you don’t feel as stressed out.

2) BASICS ARE BEST: I packed a bunch of these adorable cotton onesies by LovedBaby in all different colors because I’ve found that basics are really helpful for travel. They’re so easy to throw on and I love that they’re one piece!  You don’t have to worry about finding shirts, pants and socks to match because these onesies are a one-stop-shop.  They’re also great for layering in the winter. I brought a couple of fancier outfits for Naiya as well but I knew exactly where those were in our suitcase so they were easy to find.  

3) ORGANIZATION IS KEY: These organization cubes are amazing for travel with a baby. I put all of Naiya’s clothes and accessories in these and it was so much easier to pull everything out at once in each location we traveled to (especially since we end up changing her outfit so many times a day!). Phil and I used them for our clothes and toiletries too and they were a life-saver! 

4) CHECK PLEASE: Check as much luggage as you can so you’re not stuck with it at the airport. A lot of parents around us brought their strollers and carseats into the airport so that they could check them at the gate and I’m sure this is also a great option.  That said, we personally found it easier to check ours beforehand so that we could claim it on the other side and focus solely on carrying Naiya. Naiya was also much happier out of her carseat before the long flight. Phil and I also bought special travel bags for our stroller and carseat. Since checking these items are free, we ended up adding some of our clothing and other necessities to these bags which ended up being very helpful.

5) FEEDING IS KEY: Nurse or bottle feed your baby during takeoff and landing. A bunch of moms gave me this tip before our trip and it was a lifesaver! This not only helped acclimate Naiya’s ears to the altitude on the plane–it also really calmed her and put her to sleep. If you are bottle-feeding, make sure that you bring enough formula on the plane. It’s also smart to fill 2-3 bottles beforehand depending on how long your flight is so that they’re ready to go.  It was helpful to learn before our trip that our bottles could come with us.  You have to put them through the airport scanner on their own so that they can be screened and you’re good to go!


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