Tips on Traveling with Little & Lil onesby Mia Pierantozzi & anniepor | 9 months ago
Hey guys! Wanted to share a post that was collaborated with two GoInspo Creators, Annie Por and Mia Pierantozzi!! Both are moms of young boys – Annie’s son Parker is seven months old and Mia’s son two years old! Coincidentally enough, they both were writing a piece about traveling with a little one, so they thought they would team up and share their experiences, along with some tips on taking your kid(s) on their first flight!
Just as a heads up, the recommendations vary a bit because of the difference in age of the two boys when they took their first flights! As the kids get bigger and older, their needs will change, so definitely have to keep in mind that the tips below from Annie are for the less mobile kiddos, and Mia’s for the more active toddlers.
Parker’s 1st Flight (5 Months Old)
Last month, my husband and I took our then 5-month-old on his first domestic flight to Portland, Oregon for vacation. I was concerned with how much stuff we were going to have to pack, considering that a trip to the mall requires us taking along so much stuff as it is—diaper bag, back up clothes, diapers, wipes, a blanket in case it gets cold, nursing cover, baby carrier, bibs, stroller, you get the point! Thanks to the advice of some of our friends who have traveled with their little ones, we were able to make it to Portland without bringing our whole nursery. With that, I’d like to share some tips that I learned for your first trips with your LOs!
- Rent a car seat
At first, I was hesitant to rent a car seat because I wasn’t sure how clean it was going to be. However, the thought of lugging a car seat to the airport on top of everything else we were bringing was kind of daunting. We ended up adding a car seat to our car rental and it was perfect! The car seat was pretty clean, but I wiped down the straps just in case. Keep in mind that customers are responsible for installing their own car seats so in case you’re unsure of how to install the rental, you can ask in advance what brand it is and YouTube a tutorial beforehand!
- Bring a lightweight umbrella/pocket stroller
When we’re not traveling, we use the Uppababy Mesa car seat and Uppababy Vista stroller system. Since we rented a car seat, we didn’t think it was necessary to bring the Vista stroller (plus, the thing is GINORMOUS and is NOT good for travel). We opted to bring our Uppababy G-Luxe instead since it is a lot lighter, takes up less space, and easier to travel with. We were able to check the stroller in at the gate (at least for Southwest Airlines) and it wasn’t considered as one of our carry on items. Definitely check with the airline that you’re traveling with to see what their stroller check in policy is! Another stroller that a lot of my friends take on trips is the Pockit Stroller which is even more portable!
- Check in your luggage
Normally I’m not a huge fan of checking in luggage since you have to wait for it to come out of the carousels when you land (and that wastes time)– however, checking in our luggage was necessary when traveling with Parker. My husband and I each checked in a piece of luggage and both carried on two bags/backpacks. For Southwest Airlines specifically, our diaper bag wasn’t counted toward the 2 item max (good to know for the future, so definitely check with the airline you’re traveling with). With your luggage checked in, you’re less likely to lose a piece of luggage (since it’s so hard to keep track with all that’s going on).
- Carry your baby on board in a carrier/sling
With all that we had to carry on the plane and stroller to check at the gate, I put Parker in a baby carrier so I could get to my seat easily without having to worry about dropping him or forgetting a bag/purse/luggage. As soon as we got to the seat, I took him out of the sling and held him in my lap!
- Have a pacifier/bottle (or your boob) handy!
The change in pressure during take off and landing may irritate your little ones ears. Since they aren’t able to “pop” their own ears as we would by yawning or swallowing saliva, sucking on a pacifier, bottle, or mom will help alleviate their pain.
- Make sure to bring your child’s birth certificate
Proof of age is required for most airlines, so make sure to bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate or have a photo of it handy in your cell phone. At check in, present your child’s birth certificate and they will issue you a boarding verification document that will act as a ticket for your little one.
There you have it! Hope this is helpful for your first trip with your little one! We’re planning on taking Parker on a 14-hour flight to Taiwan at the end of the year and will definitely take up Mia on her tips below! Let us know what your first experience was like and if there are any other tips we may have missed!
Bryce’s 1st Flight (11 Months Old)
My husband and I love traveling throughout the year to visit friends and family along with our getaways to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Once we had our son, we were terrified of flying with him. What if he was that child that screamed during the entire flight?!?! We didn’t want to be the parents who had the kid that we couldn’t manage. That said we wanted to share our love of traveling with our lil monkey (our son) and we were traveling to Pennsylvania for the holidays so we took the plunge and booked a few flights.
Before taking the longer flights to Hawaii and Pennsylvania I decided to brave my lil monkey’s first flight, by myself (eeeek!!) Last summer, I picked a flight that I felt would be easy enough for me to handle and during his nap-time, so my 11-month old and I made our way out to Denver, Colorado on the two-hour flight.
It’s no surprise that traveling with a lil one is definitely different than when it was just my husband and me. There’s a lot to take into consideration when it comes to traveling with lil ones in tow. After surviving a year of taking my lil man on multiple flights, with and without my hubbie I’m happy to share six extremely helpful tips that I learned along the way that I think could be useful for parents traveling with their lil ones.
- Always bring your own milk on your flight
Being without milk on a flight is one of the worst possible thing for a lil one who doesn’t understand why he has to drink water when he really wants his milk. I learned this the hard way that not all flights carry milk onboard. You can call the airlines ahead of time to see if they offer milk and/or put in a request to have it on your flight; however, it’s not always guaranteed. To make sure we have milk, I bring along his cup and a Swell bottle with our lil monkey’s milk since I don’t ever want to be without his milk on our flight ever again. When you go through TSA let them know you have milk for your lil one and they will test the milk with a strip. They simply hover the strip over your milk and they do not insert anything in your container.
- Travel with light gear: car seat and stroller
When my lil one was 11-months old we used his Britax Travel System: infant car seat that clicked into his stroller. Once he grew into his convertible car seat I researched for the lightest and reliable car seat and stroller. I got the Cosco Scenera NEXT, one of the lightest car seats on the market (10 pounds) with good safety ratings. For our stroller I snagged the Recaro Easylife, that’s about 12 pounds and easy to open and close quickly. To make sure I get through the airport easily with all my gear, I got a universal car seat backpack with padded shoulders. I really must be a sight to be seen as I’ve had many stares getting through the airport.
- Use nighttime diapers during your flight vs. daytime ones
On my first flight with our lil monkey I couldn’t believe how much his diaper filled up on a two-hour flight. As long as your lil one doesn’t go number two I would avoid trying to change a wiggly lil one in the itty-bitty bathrooms on the plane.
- Make sure to pack an extra shirt for mommie/daddie
The one flight my lil man did have a poopy diaper was the one time I forgot to pack an extra shirt for myself. Going back to my tip three it’s not easy changing a squirmy toddler on the small changing table. Let’s just say we were in there cleaning up my son and myself.
- Select bulkhead seats if possible
If available, I recommend grabbing the bulkhead seats. The extra leg-room seats become space for your lil one to sit and play if they get restless on the flight. Yes, it’s limited freedom, but to the lil one it’s better than being strapped in the seat and gives you a break from walking up and down the aisles. Another benefit of being in the bulkhead is there’s less people that will be bothered by our lil one if/when he gets rambunctious.
- Be flexible
When looking back at flying with my lil love back when he was 11 months old and now that he’s two years old. Not one flight was the same as the other, it’s hard for lil ones to travel so I’ve learned to be flexible and go with the flow during the flight. When he was younger he definitely wanted his bottle at take-off and landing with his favorite toy. Then on another flight all he wanted was to snuggle with me and most recently he wanted to sit in his car seat with his games on his iPad with snacks.
Each and every lil one is different and you know your lil love best so happy travels and let us know if you have any helpful tips to share and any questions!!
Ciao for now!!