September was a very busy month for us! We had a surprise birthday party for my mom, flew to Wisconsin for my brother-in-law’s wedding, got two cats, my baby turned one, my husband turned 32 and we had our three year wedding anniversary. I do feel a bit like a dried-up, quivering husk of a woman, but I feel accomplished.
This was not our first time traveling with our baby. We drove 4 days with her when we moved to Texas when she was 2 months. Then, when she was 3 months we flew to DC for a family reunion. So I learned a lot about traveling with a baby and I wanted to share!
Tips for traveling on a plane:
- Plan to take longer for all trips, but be smart about it. Don’t plan way too much extra time in an airport because that could be dreadful for everyone. Just plan enough extra time to change diaper, change outfit (possibly mom, too), have a quick meal and some run around time. We got away with the standard of arriving 2 hours early, but you can add an hour if you think you’ll have crazy things happen.
- Use the family boarding option if you can. You will get on earlier and hopefully get a better seat. Hubby and I cheated and took up 3 seats, when we paid for 2, and put our toddler down in the middle and basically dared anyone to come take that seat. Luckily none of our flights were completely full and nobody bothered us about it. Freebie!
- Family boarding is also nice because here you can get in good with other parents. If nothing else you now have someone to eye-roll with when you’re the one with the hysterical child and trying not to make eye contact with all of the other pissed off people. Bonus: you can probably bum a diaper, snack, etc. off them if you get desperate. Because you know you will forget SOMETHING.
- Along the same lines, find the “grandparent” looking people who are lovingly eyeing your kiddo. They might not exist, but if they do you can have a built-in peekaboo buddy.
- Bring shiny new toys that you don’t mind losing. We went to the dollar store and got a bunch of light-up things and plastic utensils (spatulas and whisks) that I could bring out and wow her with when she was getting antsy. Just be kind to those nearby and don’t bring noisy toys.
- We caved and downloaded a couple baby apps. I liked the “sandbox” ones where you can just put the apps you want into them and lock the rest of the phone. Kids World was the one I used for my Android. I found some drawing ones for my iPad and there was a way to lock the screen in the settings for my iPad so you just triple click the home button. I was honestly pretty glad she didn’t fall in love with them.
- Nurse a lot if you have the option. Know that it can be really painful for babies who can’t quite pop their ears during takeoff and landing. If you’re not nursing, bring sippy cups or something else to suck on. I heard that blowing up a balloon is the best thing for landing because it helps them focus on something and it pops their ears. I didn’t try that because mine was too little.
- Bring lots of snacks if you’re baby is eating solids. We love lunch meat as a distraction. I have no idea why it works so well. I also did a bunch of teething crackers.
- When all else fails, lift baby up to look at all the passengers behind you. SOMEONE will get all excited and flirt with your baby and buy you at least 5 minutes of feeling better.
- If nothing works and your baby is a sniveling mess, just know that you are not the only person to have to go through this and you guys will be ok. Whenever I start to feel self conscious about something with baby I remember to look at my baby, think about what she’s going through and feeling. Don’t focus on what everybody else is going through. Let them fight their own battles. Be there for your little one.