Munchkin has, in her ten months, has taken two airplane trips. She took one when she was 3 months and she just completed her second one at 10 months. Hopefully this is just the beginning of her traveling adventures!
This past trip was easier for at least two reasons that I can think of. One is that The Man traveled with us and it was so nice to be able to pass the baby back and forth. I think it was also easier because Munchkin is older and is more interested in toys. When she was 3 months she wasn’t too interested in her toys and enjoyed crying while we were on the plane. I was so afraid of being THAT mom with the crying baby. I’m over that now and it eased my stress level a lot! There are some other things that helped me while traveling with Munchkin while she was an infant. They are:
1. Travel light
Since I was going to have the baby to take care of while traveling, especially alone, I didn’t want to have to deal with luggage. I checked it and made sure to fly on an airline that offered one bag free. Munchkin’s clothes don’t take up too much room so it was easy to share a suitcase with her. I also didn’t have to worry about a car seat since I was visiting my mom and we have lots of friends with kids. We were able to borrow a car seat. It was nice to not have to bring one! I packed one carry one, filled with items that were mostly for Munchkin. For me, I only brought my Kindle, wallet and iPod with earphones. The airline I prefer has personal TV screens so I use that for entertainment while Munchkin sleeps.
I didn’t bring a stroller. I’m not a stroller person and while we have one we barely us it. I’m a HUGE fan of baby wearing. I wore Munchkin both times. There are huge advantages to baby wearing in the airport. One is that you are able to wear them through security (as long as the carrier is on under any kind of jacket/coat. If not, you will have to take the baby off to take the coat off.) You don’t have to go through the x-ray scanner. Instead you go through the metal detector and get your hands swabbed. Easy peasy. Wearing the baby also helps keep them from getting over stimulated from the activity going on around them. I’ve heard that you have to take the baby out of the carrier of take off and landings but I’ve already had her out so I haven’t had to deal with it. I have worn the carrier during the flight while Munchkin slept. She gets heavy and it was nice to have it help take some of the weight off my arms. It frees up my hands as well so I can read if I want too.
So when I’m going to the gate, I have my baby in my Ergo and our diaper bag. It’s very doable and it’s my normal load
If you do want to bring a stroller, you can check it at the gate which is nice. It might be worth it just to carry the carry on, depending on how big and heavy it is!
2. Dress the baby for easy diaper changes.
Both times Munchkin traveled I had her wear a long sleeve onesie and baby legwarmers. This allowed for very easy diaper changes because I didn’t have to worry about taking anything off. The last thing you want to do is to try to fight to get their legs into pants while in a airplane lavatory.
3. Use disposable diapers
If you use disposable diapers normally than this one is easy for you! If you cloth diaper then you might want to consider using disposables. It was super nice to just be able to throw the diaper away. I’ve found that I tend to change Munchkin more while we travel and I don’t want to have to carry that many cloth diapers, even flips with disposable inserts!
4. Think about the flights
I prefer having a non stop flight so I don’t have to deal with a layover. You might be the opposite. But figure out which one you prefer and do it! All 4 of Munchkin’s flights have been non stop cross country flights and it works for us. We try to book them for when she will be sleeping because a sleeping baby on an airplane isn’t crying/fussing/wanting more room to play. She doesn’t sleep for the whole thing but will sleep for most of it. I don’t want to have to try to get her asleep twice with a layover! I also don’t want to deal with changes in air pressure and her ear drums twice. You might prefer to have a layover depending on your flight…if you do, make sure you have one!
5. Don’t stress
Babies cry. It’s a fact and sometimes there is just nothing you can do. Some people might give you the stink eye. Don’t worry about it. Do what you can to calm down your baby but don’t let others get to you. Most people, especially other parents, understand. If they don’t, oh well. You’ll probably never see them again!
Do you have any other tips for traveling with an infant or baby?