There are a lot of tips about traveling with babies, but the four tips below were the ones that I said, “Oh my goodness, I have to remember to tell people these!” during my trip. I hope they help make your travels more smooth and peaceful!
Decide in advance how you will handle security procedures. The airport I departed from had backscatter scanners set up, but they weren’t sending anyone through them. I had a few moments of panic before I realized that, as I tried to quickly decide something I had thought about often in an abstract way. Which would I rather endure – revealing photos and exposure to poorly controlled levels of radiation, or some stranger’s hands all over mine and my child’s body? Waiting in line is not the place for such decisions, so decide before your trip what your preference is.
At the Airport
Bring a baby carrier that both you and baby enjoy using. For us, that was one of my ring slings. I took it off while passing through security, but it was invaluable while getting around in the airport. Holding on to a squirmy, almost 20 lb. six month old, plus a diaper bag and heavy purse would have been a daunting task. As it was, we walked around easily, got meals, and I even used the restroom! My son doesn’t enjoy being in the sling while I’m sitting, and he doesn’t like to nurse in it, so we didn’t use it on the plane, but I was still so thankful for it!
At the Gate
Prepare for play time! If you have any extra time between flights, and you have a mobile baby, try giving them some time to wiggle. I packed a large receiving blanket in my purse. While we waited for our planes, I laid it out, put my son down with a toy or two, and let him play. He had a great time, and it made him much more content when it was time to sit on my lap on the plane.
On the Plane
Situate everything for easy access. It took me several flights to figure this out. As soon as you are in your seat. pull the things you expect to need during the flight out of your bags, and put them in the back pocket of the seat in front of you. Things like your gum, book, nursing cover, etc. This way, if your baby falls asleep nursing during take off, you don’t risk waking him up just to get too something.
I hope you enjoy many travels with your crunchy baby! Do you have any sanity boosting tips you would share from previous travels?