The internet is full of tips and tricks for travelling with babies. And wacky and expensive gadgets for it too. Prior to every flight with little ones I spend a bit of time on Google checking for new ideas to keep the peace. While there are great ideas out there, this article is here to offer some insight on travelling with baby or toddler that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
First things first, no one knows your kid like you do. You are the only expert on your little lap infant, so use that to your every advantage and prepare, prepare, prepare!
What I’ve found most important is to pack light. Not pack sparse, but pack light, as in weight. For you and the little one. Bring plenty of the essentials you always carry in your diaper bag, but double or even triple the amount of toys you have in there and choose wisely so you don’t overload on the weight. Things like Bath Tub Bubble Books, small stuffed toys and Little People are easier to pack and carry than other toys. And a light fleece blanket folds smaller than larger minky blankets. Consider clothing too, I wear my Under Armour Jacket instead of my usual peacoat because it keeps me plenty warm without the bulkiness. My most ingenious suggestion is bringing along your kid’s table toppers too. If you’ve never used Table Toppers, now is the time to get some. I’ll explain why in a bit.
Carry On Diaper Bag/Backpack
Did you know that you and baby are each allowed a carry on/personal item? Check with your airline of course, but this is pretty standard practice. Even cozy economic air carriers that charge for every little thing allow a bag for you and Junior too. If you’re travelling with baby alone I suggest making your bag a backpack. Hands free portability when schlepping through the airport is key to that one.
If you’re a parent you’ve experienced your fair share of “baby brain” moments. You know what I’m talking about. Those times when you close your eyes and realize you’ve done something pretty incredibly stupid. Forgetfulness is my biggest nemesis and I’ll admit it. I never had a problem with forgetting things before, but now, after 2 babies, …..uh…..what was I talking about? …..Oh yeah! …..If you’re parking long term, take my advice, park near a memorable structure and photograph it as well. Not your car silly, but the sign of your car’s location. It’s best to let technology do the remembering for you so you can focus on other little things.
Ready For Takeoff
If the airline gives priority boarding to those with children, take it! Babies and older kids are fascinated by planes so letting them have a few minutes of extra exploration in your assigned row is good for them. While they acquaint themselves with the small spaces get yourself set. I take this time first to do a quick wipe of the surfaces all around us. Forget the fear of snakes on a plane, germs freak me out more. Then make sure the bag with all the goods is the one at your feet. Tucked all the way underneath the seat in front of you as the flight attendants demand of course. I have it fully unzipped with the items I’m most likely to grab first right on top.
First things I use are attachable toys and Table Toppers. I utilize the tray table as a baby entertainment system. Attach the toy to the arm of the tray and stick the always sanitary place mat on there and voila! Safe clean fun with a few things that will stay in place through turbulence, toy-tossing-toddlers and even when you have to stow the tray upright.
There you have it! Share your ingenious ideas for flying with little ones below and have a safe flight!