Updated: Dec 12, 2020
Traveling has its own challenges when accompanying a baby or a toddler. We have 5 tried and tested tips to make it easy on you.
Tip#1 - Plan for large items
Strollers, car seats, food, medicines, diapers…..the luggage for a baby starts to add up quick. It is easy to plan for all the needs without breaking your bank on airlines extra luggage fees. With large items like car seat, stroller, crib etc. consider renting these items at the destination. We will soon have a post with the best sites to rent from. If you are particular about the car seat, make sure to check it in. Keeping the stroller is highly recommended as it makes it easy with the baby when you have to move around at the airport. You can request to gate check-in the stroller and it will be ready for you at the gate when you reach the destination. However, some airlines will ask you to collect the stroller at the baggage claim. Make sure to confirm with the airline. At times, the flight attendant will help you stow away the stroller on the plane too, but don’t depend on it. If possible, book a seat for your toddler even though most airlines do not require you to book one for toddlers under 2 years. If travelling with infant, request for a crib and the right seating as soon as possible. Airlines have minimum number of cribs and they are often given on first come basis.
Tip#2 - What’s in the luggage
When travelling with a baby it is important to plan what goes In the carry-on vs the checked in baggage. Pack in the carry-on luggage at least double the amount of food your baby or toddler will need. In case of delays or spills, at least food will not be one of your worries. Keep all the medicines you and the baby will need in the carry-on. TSA guidelines do not apply to children’s medicines and breast milk. If you are planning to take the car seat, check it in. It will be one less thing for you to carry around. In case you are travelling across multiple time zones, remember that babies and young kids have a harder time adjusting to the jet lag. Pack their favorite snacks for the midnight hunger pangs.
Tip#3 - Before boarding the plane
Visit the bathroom before boarding the plane. You and the baby can freshen up before the long flight. Change the diaper, and apply a fresh coat of the diaper cream. If travelling with a toddler, let them run around and tire themselves before boarding. Buy their favorite meal and keep it with you. Take advantage of pre-boarding to situate yourself comfortably. Make sure to get the best spot for your carryon so that you can get to it easily during the flight while keeping an eye on the baby.
Tip#4 - After boarding
Babies or toddlers have the hardest time during take off and landing. Keep some lollipops or suckers handy for toddlers. Sucking on the sugar will help with those popping ears and similarly the milk bottle can be a savior for babies. Feed that favorite meal to your toddler right after the plane takes off. A full tummy is sure shot way to get a tired toddler to take a nap.
Tip#5 - Haters will hate
You may try every trick in the book but it is likely that your baby may find the plane journey hard and will cry. Do what you need to do for the baby. Haters will hate, pay no attention. Know that there are several moms and dads on the plane who understand your plight and are silently supporting you.