Tip number one for flying with a baby: Don’t!
I kid, I kid. I have successfully flown twice, by myself, with L at both 7 months and 12 from Boston to California and know you can too!
Living on the east coast with family on the west coast means lots of traveling back and forth. Before having L this was no big deal and truthfully, I had never minded flying. I think it’s kind of fun to get to the airport with a good book, coffee, and do a little people watching while you wait. Yes, the flights can be long and seats uncomfortable but I always made the best of it. Flying with a child now makes things a bit different!
Two months after L was born my sister who lives in Sacramento, Ca found out she was pregnant. Immediately I said I’d fly out mid summer for a baby shower with L and then again for Thanksgiving to meet the baby. I didn’t even think twice about the travel until the weeks leading up to our first flight. I started panicking!
Will he sleep? Cry the whole time? Will people be helpful or rude? What do I bring?!
So, here is a list of all the things I found to be helpful and hope they can be to you as well!
One: a backpack diaper bag. You need your hands free while getting around! I loved my Skip Hop Chelsea bag. It is cute, comfy, and holds a lot of stuff while still being affordable. There are two front pockets to easily access your phone, tickets, snacks, etc. as well as two insulated bottle pockets. I was also able to fit an iPad, book, several snacks, change of clothes for L plus a shirt for me, diapers and wipes.
Two: new toys and books! I bought two new things for L to play with and a new book. I didn’t show him either until we were on the plane. The first time we flew at 7 months, this didn’t matter all that much, but the second time at 12 months his new “Where is Baby” book kept him plenty busy! Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? A Lift-the-Flap Book
Three: snacks! Bring all the snacks. I packed several pouches for L as they are easy, healthy and don’t take up much room. They are also great for take-off and landing to suck on so their little ears don’t hurt! I also packed Cheerios, fruit, and took full advantage of Jet Blues’ free on-board snack options. If your little one is eating regular meals, try to also plan those with your flight and bring something easy like a sandwich to share!
Four: an iPad! I know, most people try to avoid screen time for little ones and I do as well, but hey… whatever works, right? Mickey Mouse is like crack to L and the iPad was a life saver during both trips! Jet Blue does have the nice TVs on each seat but they were tough for him to see and concentrate on I found.
Five: patience and an open mind. Whatever happens will happen. Maybe your baby will cry the whole trip, maybe they’ll sleep for most of it (that’d be amazing!) but if not, it’ll be over before you know it and be just a distant memory. Try not to stress cause when you are, baby will be too.
There are a million other things you could try to plan for and bring, but after our first trip I found walking the aisles was the best distraction and the few toys and snacks we brought were plenty. Most people on the flights were kind, smiling at L and trying to make him laugh. One trip a flight attendant offered to hold him so I could use the bathroom, but most times he just came in with me and I held him.
Jet Blue offer free waters so I took advantage of those for Ls bottles and I thankfully was still nursing for both trips so that was helpful as well! I wore a big scarf to cover myself up and no one seemed to even notice.
Both trips I was dreading our flights but found by the time they were over and done with it absolutely could’ve been worse.
All that being said, my husband and I are headed to Dallas today and decided last minute to leave the baby home with family to avoid the stress on him as well as us! Flying with a baby is doable but this time we’d rather pass and enjoy a quick trip together just us!
I hope this helps a bit if your planning a trip with your little ones!
Have you ever been to Dallas? Anything we should see or do? Have a great day! Xo Annie