I have traveled on an airplane and on small road trips with Kennedy, but I am no expert on traveling with a baby. But I want to share with you some things and tips that have worked for Kennedy and I when traveling! Kennedy is five months old now, and I have flown four times with her (two times by myself!!!), and have done three driving road trips with her!
The biggest tip I have for anyone traveling with a baby for the first time is to be prepared. I started shopping for things I would need for my flight and trip way in advance and I had already done all my research on what I would need for the flight and what I would need for the actual trip. It takes lots of pre-planning and being ORGANIZED!!! I went to buybuy BABY before my trip to get everything I needed. I have been to lots of baby stores, and buybuy BABY by far has the BEST selection and the best staff0- they are always so so helpful. They are very knowledgeable about every product and some of the workers I talked to are parents themselves, so they had some advice on their experience with the products as well. So I suggest, if you have time to prepare, to go to a buybuy BABY store near you and shop for the products. Of course, their online store is just as amazing and I love shopping their online site as well!
Another big tip I have is to check with your airline on what you will need to bring for your baby. I fly Southwest with Kennedy, and I brought her birth certificate and I had to show it at the ticket counter. If you are flying alone like I was, you can try to be extra friendly or find some worker who looks nice ;), and ask if your spouse or whoever is with you to escort you through security to the gate. The Southwest worker was really sweet and gave my husband a special pass so he can help me through security and walk us to our gate! That was SUCH a blessing because going through security with all my bags and stroller, car seat and the baby was stressing me out. So much so, I even practiced at home the night before so I would make sure it went smoothly! haha I checked all my luggage and kept the Babyhome stroller, Maxi Cosi Mico 30 carseat, Fawn diaper bag, Doc a Tot, and my personal purse for the airplane. Looking back it was a bit much to haul through the airport, but all the things I brought I ended up using. While we were waiting for our plane to arrive which was over an hour, I was able to set the doc a tot down and lay her down in it at the gate. She played there and was entertained with her toys until the plane came. I wanted to keep the stroller with me so it would be easy to carry my bags and clip the doc a tot on it. Luckily, there was extra seats on the flight, so I was able to bring the car seat on the seat next to me!!! This was another big blessing, and I honestly don’t know how I would’ve survived the almost four hour flight without that extra seat. It was easy to reach down into my bags and prepare her bottles without having her wiggling in my lap. If you are able to afford to pay for an infant or extra seat, I would totally say DO IT!!!!! It makes traveling so much easier! She sat in her car seat most of the time playing and eventually fell asleep! She didn’t cry once and was so happy and smiley the whole time. I tried to not get stressed and to be happy and smiley with Kennedy, and I think that made a huge difference on her mood the whole time. Babies can pick up on your mood and can pick up on bad energy, and will get in a bad mood if you are stressed and in a bad mood. I made sure during take off and landing to give her a bottle to prevent her ears from getting clogged. Most babies will scream and cry at take off and landing, because the air pressure hurts their ears. On the flight back home, my husband Alex was there to help, which was nice because this time she cried a few times! We brought the doc a tot and layed it down across our laps and she napped a couple times on it! This flight we were also lucky, because we had a whole row to ourselves. From hearing stories from friends and family and my own flying experience, flying with Southwest is so great if you have a baby. They are really family friendly and are really helpful if you have a baby. They have changing pads in all their bathrooms, which is nice because Kennedy had about 3 diaper changes during the flight. Some other airlines I heard don’t have ANY changing pads on their planes. Southwest also lets you check the car seat and stroller for free with your other luggage. If you do check the stroller and car seat, I would definitely invest in a padded cover for both. I have heard stories from other moms saying the car seat broke and so did their nice stroller from being thrown around in baggage and transport.
For airplane and car rides, I find it is easier to quickly feed her the liquid premixed formula (or breastfeed if you are breastfeeding!). My hands are always full and sometimes didn’t have a hand free to reach down into the bag, pull everything out and take the time to mix it. So this made my travels with a baby go more smoothly. Just a heads up, most airports will need to do a special screening for any liquid formula or water brought through security. You ARE allowed to bring water throughs security if it is for your formula, but they will need to test it which takes extra time. I had to get a full pat down for bringing my pre-made liquid formula. So make sure you have someone to hold your baby or have the car seat or stroller handy to set your baby down during this. It was a hassle of course, but much easier to have it all ready for when she was hungry on the plane!
I also love bringing my Lille Baby carrier wherever I go with Kennedy! I used this in the airport when I needed my hands free to deal with luggage and such, walking around the city, at the grocery store, or when you just want your baby close to you. It’s also good if you know you are going to be out and about for a long time and don’t want your baby’s head resting on the car seat for too long (to prevent a flat spot).
At all of our parent’s houses in California, we had Kennedy sleep in a pack n play, like the one listed above. It was great because it fit her doc a tot, and it is easy to take into another room if we needed to watch her. I used the Babyhome stroller the entire trip in California and brought it because it is SO light and fits easily in people’s cars. It folds really compact and fits in the cars when we had all of luggage as well. I also like how it has a big storage basket on the bottom for shopping and holding all her stuff. I bought the Maxi Cosi car seat attachments so it is compatible with our car seat which is the Maxi Cosi Mico 30. I also used the Blooming Bath for the three weeks I was in California. It fits in most kitchen sinks, and it’s easy to ring out and put away. It folds up nicely and didn’t take up too much room in my suitcase.
We did a road trip last month to Austin, Texas with Kennedy and that also took some planning as well. It’s a hassle and time consuming to plan her outfits, toys and necessities ahead of time, but things go so much smoother this way I think. For the road trip I always make sure I bring a portable changing bag and the bags to put the dirty diaper in. I have used this in the car for quick changes, the hotel, or when we are out and about. It’s nice to have those small diaper bags to put clothes that have blowouts on them when you are on the plane or in the car.
Hope you guys got some useful information on my travel tips post! Please comment or email me with any questions and I am happy to answer them! XOXO
*This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I love. All opinions here are my own.