15 Tips for Traveling with a Baby

12.10.2015

me// top, jeans, booties
simon//bonnet, mocs, similar onesie, linen jumper (made by me)
As you may have noticed, if you're a regular reader of the blog/IG, for the past few years Marcus and I have been on the search for our dream location to settle down for good (or at least for the next several years). We want somewhere with mild seasons (i.e. NOT Rexburg's eternally windy cold winters and NOT Phoenix's blistering summers), somewhere we can have quite a bit of land, a friendly community, somewhere with lots of sunny days for me and lots of cloudy days for Marcus (are we demanding so much?! haha). OH! And it would be lovely if it was somewhere not terribly far from family. Finding all these things in one place have been, well...extremely challenging and stressful! But this year we've made it our goal to explore some of the "maybe's" on our list, so that we can be one step closer to making a decision!

We've had so many people mention Tennessee when we listed off our requirements, and since Phoenix leaves much do be desired in the Fall colors department, we decided October was a perfect time to take a road-trip across the beautiful Volunteer State! While we were over there, we figured we'd through in a drive through The Great Smoky Mountain National Forest and take a snooze in North Carolina. So glad we did, you aren't going to believe the beauty when you see the pictures!

It was our first flight with Simon and I was so nervous. I did so much research on tips and tricks for traveling with a baby and so I'll share some that worked for us. He actually did really great on the way over there, but after a week in the car, his trip home was less than stellar. Even with those hard 4 hours, traveling with him was worth it! I don't think we would have enjoyed our trip without him there!
1. Strollers & Carseat + Base can be checked at the gate and don't count against your baggage number or as carry-on items. We brought our whole orbitbaby travel system (carseat, base and stroller because it's our favorite baby item and we didn't want to even go a week without it and since the carseat clicks right into the stroller, it works great!)

2. Any liquids needed for the baby are fine to go through security regardless of the ounces.
Playing around before take-off
3. If the plane has an empty (window) seat, you can bring on your carseat for free, just ask at the gate! It's, of course, safer for the baby to be buckled in their seat on the flight, but even if you have to take them out, it's nice to have the whole row to yourself, especially when you're breast-feeding.

4. If your baby is happier being worn, wear him in your ergobaby carrier and use the stroller to hold the carry-on bags!

5. These clips from fawn design bags are awesome for holding your diaper bag on the stroller! Because when you're traveling, all the extra help with storage you can get is appreciated!
6. You need to check in once you get to the gate and get your stroller tagged (we didn't realize this at first and it delayed us just a minute or two from boarding early, it was fine, but I still wish we'd have known before).

7. At least on Southwest 'Family Boarding' is right after A Passengers, so if you forget to check in online, fear not--you will most likely be able to find a seat with your husband.
8. Wait to breast-feed until take-off--the sucking will help with the pressure in their ears, plus if you're lucky all the white-noise from the engine will put them right to sleep at least for part of the flight!
9. Using pacifier clips, like these from Madeline's Box, for toys are awesome, because heaven knows trying to retrieve dropped toys in such cramped and germy quarters is no fun.

10. Bring a few tried and true toys as well as one or two new exciting toys (don't under-estimate the excitement of the noisy pages of the plane magazine or barf bag or the crinkling of an empty water bottle--all of these things ended up being Simon's favorite things on the plane!) And snacks that take some times to eat are great too!
11. This might be the time to allow an app--we're pretty strict on no phones for baby, but i downloaded a baby animal flash card app and a bubble popping app and when times got tough on the plane, we pulled those out--he was only interested for a few minutes (which i was glad about) but it distracted him long enough to calm him down and we were glad we had them.

12. A passport or birth-certificate is needed to qualify for a free lap-child under the age of 2. They may not ask to see it if your baby is obviously young, but bring it just in case!
13. Be strategic when picking flight times! On our way home, we knew there was a long drive to the airport (3+ hours) and then a long flight home (4 hours), so we made sure to get to the airport with a few hours to spare so that we could let him crawl around and be somewhat unrestrained for a bit. Some airports even have play areas for kids!
14. Most people are nice and understanding and even helpful--so don't stress too much if you have a cranky baby. It will all be over and just a few hours and you'll be somewhere wonderful and exciting! Don't let babies stop you from traveling if it's something you love!
Bonus Tip! Bring your carseat mirror to install in the rental car! We are obsessed with this happy turtle one we have. It makes checking on your baby and interacting with them so much easier in the car, plus--they LOVE to look at themselves!

4 comments

Beverly Houpt said...

People are literally so nice at airports if you have a baby. I was traveling alone with Gwen a couple of months ago and people just kept offering to help me out. It was awesome. So I agree! Traveling with a baby is worth it! Especially since they're free as a "lap child."

Rebekah said...

How did you guys like Tennessee? My husband and I are living in Rexburg, but we've always wanted to move to Tennessee and I'm hoping we'll eventually make it there!

Layne Schwabedissen said...

I have an orbit stroller system as well and love it!! Question though, do you have the stroller bag? I'm wondering if I should get one for my first airplane travels with my baby. Worth it? No? Talk about anxiety traveling alone with an energetic 9 month old!

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