(Guest Blogger Edition)
The first time we flew with Kennedy I was a bit anxious because I had no idea what to expect and I did not want to bother anyone on the plane (people pleaser problems) but I was flying with Jack so I knew I would have the support. Even with two of us, I still felt overwhelmed from having to get on the shuttle with the baby (her stroller, car seat, and our bags), going through security with her (her stroller, car seat, our bags), and boarding the flight, I was flustered for sure! Let’s just say I was glad Jack was with us for that first trip because I would have been a HOT MESS alone; but I did learn from that trip and used my new knowledge to make my recent solo trip with Kennedy a success.
Here are 6 tips that worked for me to make flying solo a breeze:
My anxiety was two-fold: I was worried about being all over the place trying to get through the airport, security, and settled in my seat. The other part of me was worried about people getting annoyed if she were to cry on the plane. Remember babies cry, shit happens, babies feed off our energy, and if someone doesn’t want to deal with a baby on a plane they should have flown private.
2. CHECK EVERYTHING IN
I paid the extra $25 to check my bag in, it was worth my peace of mind. In addition to checking my bag in I checked in Kennedy’s stroller and car seat at check in opposed to gate check-in. Baby gear, such as strollers and car seats, are free of charge which is nice. I also removed the car seat adapters to avoid them breaking. I didn’t use a bag/cover for her gear but they do sell them. I did not even bring a personal bag for myself.
3. WEAR YOUR BABY
This is key! Wearing Kennedy is one of my favorite things; it allows extra snuggles and gives me free hands when walking. I have tried pretty much every carrier type (I’m obsessed) and without a doubt the Ergobaby is my go to (I have the Omni 360). Of all my carriers it is the most secure, comfortable, and easiest to put on which is super important when traveling and more so when flying solo. If you aren’t an avid baby carrier user I suggest practicing before your trip. Ergobaby’s website has video demos that are quick and easy. Avoid having to learn how to use it at the airport. Since I didn’t even bring a personal bag for myself, I put everything I needed in the pockets of the Ergobaby carrier.
4. DIAPER BAG
My diaper bag was my ONLY bag with me so I had to make sure it was fully and properly loaded. Here’s what I had: swaddle/blanket, diapers, wipes, Sophie the Giraffe, two pacifiers, a book, travel changing mat, hand sanitizer, pacifier wipes, bib, burp cloth, bottle with water in it already, formula powder already portioned out and ready to pour, a change of clothes for Kennedy, and an extra shirt for me. I doubled and tripled checked that my diaper bag was fully stocked before leaving for my flight. I used a backpack diaper bag because in my opinion, it’s so much more secure than a shoulder diaper bag.
5. DO NOT WAKE A SLEEPING BABY
Kennedy has been on three planes at this point and each time she has been sleeping when boarding the plane (thanks carrier). I DO NOT wake her while on the plane even if she sleeps through her feeding time (on land home girl magically wakes up at feeding time always ha). I let her sleep, there is something about being in the carrier plus the noise of the airplane, that keeps her snoozing. When she does start to wake up I prep her bottle and once she is fully awake I feed her. After the feeding I burp her then eventually go and change her (I don’t wait for the tears to come, I beat her to it). When I go to the bathroom on the plane I just bring the diaper, wipes, and changing mat which is super important because airplane bathrooms are gross! SIDE NOTE: I change her diaper at the airport once we get to the gate, not right before boarding, so I have a few minutes to get her back to sleep. Once we are back at the seat it’s usually turn up time and she wants to observe everything around her until nap time. Like her diaper, I like to beat her to her nap on the plane instead of waiting for the tired cry; which in Kennedy’s case is BEYOND DRAMATIC, too dramatic for me (even for a drama queen like myself lol).
6. SEAT SELECTION
I’m torn here: I’m personally a window seat kind of gal because I knock out on every flight but that was prior to Miss Kennedy Kay. The window seat is cool because you are in your own bubble; you can have the baby look out the window when they’re up and you have a place to rest your head and elbow. However, the aisle seat gives you the freedom and easy access to get up whenever you want without bothering anyone and it also gives you some extra leg room, so make sure you keep this in mind on your next flight with your little one.
We hope these tips help make traveling with your baby a little easier next time you travel. What are some of your tips for other mommas or dads?
About the author:Jacqueline Solivan is a city girl who spent years climbing up the corporate America ladder; but recently moved to a little village outside of NYC to start her little family and begin focusing on what is really important to her. Traveling and adventure have always been a huge part of Jacqueline’s life and now that her daughter is here it is not stopping her, instead she’s bringing her along for the ride. This little family spends their time exploring the world and trying to lead a simple and intentional life.
Excellent tips, even for the seasoned traveller. I’ve been travelling with my kids on our annual family vacation for almost 5 years now (currently have 2 toddlers and their big sister), and I can personally vouch for the importance of wearing any wearable baby. It really helps to have your hands free, and you will need your hands free as you navigate through checking in, boarding and generally moving around with a baby in tow.
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