Earlier in April, Roman and I went on two back to back trips and we barely made it back in one sleepy piece. Traveling with a 9 week old is no joke y’all! ESPECIALLY when you’re flying without your husband! Which is how we traveled for 1 of the 2 trips.
Before I had my little babe, I was that passenger, giving the parents with children an annoyed glare anytime their baby fussed or their kids wouldn’t stop making noise. Now I’m that parent, praying that I don’t make anyone mad and get those looks myself. So weeks before our flight I tried to my best to prepare. I found myself reading flying with a baby tips, learning all the airline & TSA rules for children, looking up the weather patterns in Ohio & Minnesota (and with that, buy Roman some warmer clothes), and finally booking the most convenient flights for everyone. Unfortunately from the moment my travel day began I learned that you can only plan so much when when you’re flying with an infant.
Below are what I found to be the most essential items while flying with an infant, as well as some tips I found useful from my own experience.
Skip the stroller + Ticket Counter check your carseat
When I first started writing this post I was in Ohio thinking about how well I did traveling on the way to my parents with Roman’s stroller. Well after two flights to get us back home, I can say I will never travel alone with a stroller again! On our second trip to Minnesota, I only used a baby carrier and it was TEN TIMES EASIER! No more struggle trying to get into the family restroom with your stroller, or trying to fold it before you get on the plane with a line of impatient people behind you. If you’re traveling with another person, bring it! Otherwise, just skip the stroller.
Ticket Counter check your carseat! After our two round trips this is a must! Did you know that all airlines are required to allow you to bring one carseat per child free of charge? Even Spirit Airlines 😉 We have an Uppababy Mesa carseat, and before my trip I bought the carseat travel bag and I’m so glad I did. It kept Roman’s seat safe and comes with a great warranty if anything were to get damaged. Plus if you check it at the Ticket Counter it’s one less thing you have to carry around!
Tip: If you must travel with a stroller, bring a trash bag with you to wrap around the seat/cushion part of the stroller. This helps protect it from rain, dirt, and germs while it goes in and out of under the plane.
Bring your baby’s Birth Certificate
When flying with an infant or “lap child’ you need to call the airline and give them a heads up. They will then put your child on your boarding pass. When you check in at the Ticket Counter you must bring your baby’s birth certificate, or so I read. I packed Roman’s and a large envelope that could easily slide into my laptop case for safe keeping. Although everyone insists you need this, I was only ever asked once out of the four times I checked into a flight, for them to look at it. But it’s better to be safe than sorry so just bring it!
Don’t worry about
being overly organized before Security
On our first trip the security line was a little tricky for me since I was alone. Once again I was so nervous to be the person receiving dirty looks, by holding up the line so I tried to be as organized as possible with my stuff. Well let me tell you, the organization of your diaper bag or any carry on bag you bring is going to go down the drain once you go through security.
Before Roman, I was just use to rushing to take my electronics out. Now I need to take ALL my feeding supplies out (pump, pump parts, formula, & breast milk) for them to inspect on top of my computer. Getting all that out plus getting Roman out to go through the metal detector was definitely a challenge. If you have any formula or breast milk with you they have to check it. Hopefully y’all will be fortunate enough to get TSA employees that aren’t messing around and can get that done quickly! Once I grabbed all our stuff off the belt, I then was able to take the time to organize my stuff and be better prepared for all of our long travel days.
Tip: Go ahead and take your baby wipes out, I never did this and my bag always got stopped because of it!
Bring a Baby Carrier
I read this over and over again but I insisted on pushing Roman in his stroller. Well I figured out everyone was right and the stroller was not worth it, at least while he’s a little guy. When I traveled to Ohio, I wore my Solly Wrap carrier. Maybe I’m someone who just can’t figure out the whole wrap thing, but Roman screamed
E V E R Y time I put him in it. I still love the Solly Wrap but it probably wasn’t the best idea to wear it while traveling alone. So on our second trip I wore our Ergo Baby carrier, and it was AMAZING. I’m not sure if it was more comfortable for him but he was definitely content in that thing! Cue the singing angles because there was no screaming! Whichever style carrier you prefer, know that you have to take your baby out during take off and landing, but having two free hands through an airport is worth it!
Tip: Have your carrier fitted to your body before you travel. This way you’re not messing with the straps, trying to get the right fit, while on the shuttle or at the airport
- If your baby is formula fed, bring the premixed bottles of formula on the plane with you. They are way easier than messing with water and powder + they save space in your bag!
- Change your baby’s diaper 10 minutes before they start boarding the plane. Trying to change your baby’s diaper in the tiny aircraft bathrooms is not fun!
- Dress yourself and your baby in layers, those carriers can get hot for you both!