31 Jul Traveling With An Infant: Tips & Tricks
Having a 10 month old who has taken a total of 12 flights should have provided me with enough insight to pass on some of my invaluable knowledge. I will be honest, I certainly learnt the hard way during our first ever trip traveling with a baby. If I can take a positive from that experience though, it’s taught me what not to do when traveling with an infant. Here I feel very well-versed to provide you with all the information you need to make your travels smooth and enjoyable.
Start by making a general list of what you are going to need for the flight:
Diapers and wipes (enough for your travel time plus the first few days of vacation).
2 baby swaddles – these are so versatile – they can be used to keep baby warm, line the bassinet on the airplane, and to cover up while nursing.
2 changes of baby clothes – onesies are great for traveling
Bottle fed babies: Formula and bottles – again, plan for travel time plus 24 hours to be safe
Breastfed babies: Manual handheld breast pump and bottles if you are taking a long haul flight.
Pacifiers (if you use them) – always bring a couple of spares
‘Indestructibles’ books and a couple of toys
Snacks and pouches of food (I like Once Upon A Farm – however, this has to be used within 6-8 hours of being out of the refrigerator and cannot be re-refrigerated).
A packet of sanitizing wipes (planes aren’t the most sanitary of places)
A couple of large cliplock bags – these are useful for storing food and soiled clothes.
Try and breastfeed (or bottle feed) during takeoff and landing to prevent sore ears.
Depending on the age of your infant, food during a flight can be your saving grace. I ensure I always have enough snacks packed to keep busy. Snacks that are easy for them to pick up and feed themselves are usually the most time-consuming – a great way to pass minutes on a long flight.
You can purchase a seat for your infant, so again, depending on their age, this can be a really nice treat for longer flights when they tend to get restless sitting on your lap. If you are traveling with a younger infant, always try and request the bassinet (these are located at the front of each class. Infants aren’t allowed to sit up and ‘play’ in the bassinets, but they definitely give you an opportunity to have a break during naptime.
Invest in a travel stroller
This was my number one mistake when we took our first trip. I didn’t understand how important a travel stroller was for ease of navigating the airport and ergonomic factors such as folding and getting through security. My son was 11 weeks old and still in the bassinet version of his main stroller, so we thought it was crucial we take it to Canada for our winter vacation; it would keep him warm and he could sleep in it. These were all valid points, however the Bugaboo is not overly ‘travel-friendly’. Had I known of the BabyZen Yoyo, our airport stroller nightmare could have been avoided.
In conclusion, invest in a travel stroller that suits the age of your baby. A particularly great feature of the Yoyo is that if you’re traveling with a very young infant, the Yoyo is a great option because it can also be used from birth onwards by adding the bassinet component.
There are many great travel strollers on the market though. Just look for one that allows you to take it on board the place as opposed to needing to gate check it.
Wear your baby
If you have a baby carrier, definitely take this on your vacation. Baby-wearing means you’re hands-free and your babe is happy and safe. Wearing your baby through the airport is a great alternative to a stroller, however you will have to take your baby out of the carrier to go through security, unless you have a sling, in which case some airports don’t require you to take your baby out of the sling.
I prefer a carrier as opposed to a baby-sling as they are much easier to get in and out of. A couple of my favorites are the Artipoppe and Ergobaby. They’re both awarded the hip-healthy tick, and their ergonomic features mean you will remain pain-free on those long walks exploring unknown destinations.
When packing your cabin luggage, try and condense everything down to one, maybe two, bags. Avoid having loose items. This will make for a much smoother experience when you navigate airport security.
Whilst on vacation, your child does not need their entire basket of toys including their playmat and jumparoo. They will find just as much joy in objects in the hotel room, in addition to a few favorite books. A great choice of space-saving books for the flight are the ‘Indestructibles’ – they serve as a chew toy in addition to a book.
Baby clothes are teeny, taking up next to no room in a suitcase. When we took our first trip, my son had his own entire suitcase – which proved to be completely unnecessary as he barely wore half the adorable outfits I packed for him, and lived in warm onesies. A hot tip here, share 2 suitcases between the three of you (you, your partner and your child). If you’re a family of 4, have the 2 littles share a smaller sized suitcase. Less ‘stuff’ is best and will have you feeling so much lighter on your travels, navigating airports and cities.
Pack enough wipes and diapers for the plane trip and the first couple of nights, but there is no need to pack an entire packet of diapers, these can be purchased from just about anywhere.
If you are going to be doing a fair amount of driving on your trip, I highly suggest taking your own car seat. If you’re like me, and are pedantic on safety, then you’ll rest assured knowing your babe is safe in their own seat. Luckily enough, my Nuna Pipa car seat attaches to my Buagboo and Yoyo strollers (with adapters), making it super easy transporting your infant from car to stroll.
This bag / backpack is really easy for transporting your car seat through airports –