FOR THE PLANE
1. Pack extras: Pack a change of clothes in your carry on (for baby AND you). As you know, accidents happen and it’s definitely better to be over-prepared. We always pack these white onesies (they’re cheap and they don’t take up a lot of room), and an extra shirt for ourselves in our carry on. Obviously if it’s winter, you’ll need to plan accordingly, but for summer months, onesies should be the only change of clothes you’d need on board for baby. Infants don’t really need entertainment on flights (that’s more for 6 months +), but they do need extra blankets, diapers, bottles, wipes, pacifiers (if you use one) and burp cloths. We also bring bags to throw any dirty clothes/diapers in (dog-walking bags or grocery bags work well).
2. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize! Traveling with small infants can be a little scary (for health reasons), but we’ve never had any issues – knock on wood! Be sure to pack an abundance of hand sanitizer to use throughout the flight as well as sanitizing wipes to wipe down any and everything you will be touching during the flight (seats, seat belts, tray tables, reading light/air, arm rests, window area, etc).
3. Feed during takeoff & landing: Hopefully your infant will sleep through the flight (all 3 of ours have slept for the majority of all flights as infants), but if their ears are hurting, it’s important to get them to suck – on a bottle, pacifier, breast (if you are nursing), etc. We make sure our babes are either eating, or sucking on a pacifier during takeoff and landing, since that’s when the pressure changes the most.
4. Bring your stroller or wear your baby – whichever you prefer. We always travel with our strollers since we will most-likely need them on the trip, but if you won’t need one, wearing your baby is a great option (but more tiring). Strollers are also a great way to keep lurking (admiring) strangers away – just cover your baby with a breathable blanket, or canopy if your stroller has one. You are allowed to check your stroller at the gate for free just before boarding, so it’s nice to be able to push your baby through the airport and wait with the stroller (it can also store lighter bags/diaper bag in the basket while you are getting to your gate).
5. Protect your baby gear: If you bring your stroller or car seat, bring a protective cover if you have one (for obvious reasons). We have car seat covers that protect the car seat when they load it under the plane (definitely recommend this).
6. Seat Situation: Your infant does NOT need his/her own seat on the plane unless it’s an absolute must for you (or a reallllllly long flight). In our opinion, it’s just a waste of money. In Brooke’s experience, traveling with an infant under 6 months is the easiest time. This is a good time to pull out the carrier, so you are hands-free once you sit down on the plane. The Ergo or Solly are both great to travel with and also come in handy on the trip. If your baby is 6 months or older, you may consider purchasing a seat depending on the length of the flight and the temperament of your baby – you know best.
A couple other important tips:
– Bring birth certificate in case (or passport if traveling out of US)
– Be sure to notify the airline you will be traveling with a lap infant if you are not purchasing a seat for your baby. The infant must be on your ticket – most times you have to call to add your infant to the ticket.
-Bring your breast pump as a carry on in case your luggage gets lost. I (Meggan) exclusively pump so this is a must! If you have to pump on the plane make sure to wear a lose tank for easy access. I use this hooter hider and sit by a window for extra privacy!
FOR THE TRIP
1. Notify your hotel you will be traveling with an infant to ensure they have a crib/pack n’ play for you to use on your stay (not all hotels provide cribs) if you are not able to pack one yourself.
2. Bring enough diapers/wipes for the entire trip if you aren’t sure about purchasing them where you’ll be traveling.
3. Pack dish soap (they sell travel-sized) and a bottle brush to wash bottles on your trip if necessary.
4. Download a ‘white noise’ app on your phone – this will help your babe stay asleep and drown out any noise that he/she may not be used to.
5. Sunscreen – there are a lot of guidelines when it comes to infants and sunscreens, but we’ve used organic on our infants and all has been fine! Do your research, and decide what works best for you.
6. Bring a First Aid Kit or assemble one yourself for any unexpected accidents.