Two weeks ago we took our first flight with Nez to San Francisco. For some context, Nez was just around 3 months old at the time, which I hear is one of the easiest ages to travel with a little on since they don’t require constant entertainment.
As my husband can attest, I was a total wreck leading up to it. I wanted to make sure I had everything figured out, from what to put in the diaper bag for the flight, to how we were going to bring our stroller, so on and so on (and so on…). To be honest, more than forgetting something, my biggest fear was Nez being scared or in any type of pain on the flight from the pressure.
As per usual, my incessant anxiety and planning was for nothing. Nez was an absolute champion and things went about as well as they could. We traveled again the following weekend so at this point, I’m basically an expert, right? Not really but I’m happy to share with you what I’ve learned. Read on and comment with any other tips you have!
Leading up to the flight, I downloaded a packing checklist from Our Hand Crafted Life (I found it on Pinterest) and printed it out, striking out anything that wasn’t relevant to us and adding in a few things of my own. It was helpful for me to have a full list in front of me and check things off as I added them to the pile. Ultimately, I packed one large check-in bag, a stroller bag (not necessary but really helpful since it has wheels), and a diaper bag that I threw my purse into.
For Your Suitcase
- Pack more outfits, burp cloths, sleep sacks, and bibs than you think you’ll need if you won’t have access to a laundry machine. We were lucky to be able to do laundry, but we would’ve been toast if not.
- If you are formula feeding like us, you’ll have to simplify your routine. We packed four bottles (be sure to bring a cap so you don’t spill), and just washed them more frequently. We stayed with family and they had a bottle brush and soap.
- I overestimated how many diapers we would need. Bring what you think you’ll use and just run by the store if you need more. They take up too much space to go crazy with.
- I love my Away suitcase because I can fill one side with baby stuff and one side with my stuff. It keeps things organized and easy to find if you aren’t planning to unpack during your trip.
- Bring your monitor and a travel sized white noise machine if you use these things at home. Both of the ones I just shared use the same charger, which helps cut down on extra clutter.
For The Diaper Bag
- I love our Herschel Camo Diaper Bag! It has multiple compartments, is super light, and comes with a matching changing pad that I lay out on the airplane/any public spot I need to change her. Plus it makes me look like a cool mom, not a regular mom.
- Bring an extra outfit for your little one and an extra t-shirt for yourself incase of emergency (i.e. bodily fluids). We were lucky and didn’t have to use them, but I’ve heard horror stories.
- I highly suggest packing some medicine for their tummy as well as Gripe Water just in case. Nez was really gassy and uncomfortable on one of our flights so it gave her some relief.
- Bring at least 2 more diapers than you think you’ll need for your travels. You never know if you’ll get delayed.
- If you are formula feeding, bring way more than you think you’ll need for the trip. Much like her mama, Nez is a stress eater so she burned through nearly twice as much as she would normally eat. We prepared two bottles, one in a regular Dr. Brown’s bottle and one in this Pop Yum Travel Bottle (highly suggest bringing one of these!). Put the bottles somewhere accessible, as you’ll need to take them out for TSA when you go through security. I also bring a little extra formula in a Tupperware container just in case.
- Bring a swaddle with you. We used it to prop up our arm so she could sleep during the flight, on her stroller to block out the sun, or as a burp cloth when we were in a pinch.
- Bring baby wipes (we like Water Wipes) in a travel container so you can easily grab just what you need and run to the bathroom for a quick diaper change. We use this one from OXO.
- Bring a toy or two to distract your little one. Hopefully they’ll sleep, but if they’re like Nez, they’ll want to be entertained for 90% of the flight and car ride. Something that rattles with bright colors is a win (but nothing too loud that will piss off other people on your flight).
- Bring snacks for yourself. You probably won’t be able to eat a real meal.
- Pack one or two plastic Ziploc bags or dog poop backs that you can use to throw away dirty diapers. I know this isn’t eco-friendly but i’s reality.
- Don’t worry about your baby looking cute for travel days. Pick whichever outfit is easiest to change their diaper in, since you won’t want to spend any extra time in nasty bathrooms.
- Feed your baby or if they like pacifiers, let them suck on one during takeoff and landing to help with pressure in their ears. If they are sleeping during takeoff or landing, let them sleep.
- We tried gate-checking the stroller as well as checking it in with our bags. Ultimately I’d say gate check was more convenient, especially if your baby doesn’t love being in a carrier.
- Buy a black-out cover for your travel crib. You never know if the space they’ll be sleeping in will be dark.
- Do your best to time flights to fit with your baby’s typical sleep schedule. While it’s ideal, you will survive if things get thrown off.
- While no one asked for it during our flights, the airlines suggest you bring a copy of the baby’s birth certificate. I brought one in the diaper bag just in case.
- Be the last person to board the plane unless you need overhead luggage space. The more time moving around freely, the better.
- Just give in. While I don’t like Nez to watch screens, my attitude is totally different on a plane. If your little one is about to lose their mind, do what you need to do. Sanity first.
- ROLL WITH IT. Ultimately whatever is going to happen is going to happen and we can only do our best!
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