With my family living in Florida, Jake and I knew we would be flying a TON with Everly. She made the best travel companion and we took her everywhere! Everly had been on 14 flights before her first birthday — the majority of them have gone smooth, so here are my tips and tricks.
1. Plan your travel ahead of time.
Book your flights far enough in advance, so you get to pick your seats. I would highly recommend picking your seat even on airlines that charge an additional fee. The aisle seat is usually the best for adults with a lap infant. On every airline we’ve flown children under two are free as long as they sit on your lap (ie: JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and Delta).
Most babies will nap anywhere and everywhere – which is great! You are probably able to choose anytime to fly. As your baby approaches 4-6 months you might need to schedule around a nap. Flights first thing in the morning work better for us than bedtime/red eye flights.
2. Organize Yourself
Arriving to the airport alone on the curb with a car seat, luggage, stroller, diaper bag and baby is top 5 most stressful moments of my life. Everly and I took a 9 day trip to Florida and Arizona (without Jake) and boy was I nervous! I ended up surviving — all thanks to being organized. I pack all of our essentials in the diaper bag. There’s no point in bringing an additional purse with you – it’s just one more thing to carry. The night before, I organize her diaper bag by taking every item out and starting fresh. Have your ID, credit card, and boarding pass put in a pocket that’s easily accessible to get through check in.
I also have a travel diaper changing pad that holds wipes, diapers and creams. I can easily grab that instead of bringing the whole bag to the worlds smallest bathrooms on the plane.
3. Carrier or Stroller?
I’ve been asked this question dozens of times. And I always say both. Especially for babies under 6 months. You will fill your stroller up with your water, coffee, breakfast, diaper bag, etc. I always wore Everly in a carrier to get through security – this was super easy for me because most of the time she would be asleep (and you don’t have to take them out).
The Uppababy Vista folds up easily to go through the security check – you will need to take off the wheels too! If you don’t want to fold it, you can push it through the metal detector and they will swipe your hands (not 100% why, but they do!)
Once you get through security you can put baby in the stroller or keep in the carrier. It always worked best to keep Everly in the carrier until we got on the plane.
Gate checking strollers is super easy too – just grab a tag from the gate. I’d recommend putting your stroller in a bag to help avoid extra scratches.
4. Breast milk and Breastfeeding
Everly was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old. Before a flight I would usually panic and think I needed to go buy formula for the flight… not sure why! I was always stressed that she wouldn’t latch or my supply wouldn’t be enough to last through the flight. Breastfeeding really gets to your head, man 🤦🏼♀️. I would bring between 5-10 ounces of frozen breast milk in a small cooler in my diaper bag with an empty bottle and freezer pack. Security will test any milk that’s thawed, but we’ve never had a problem with that. They also test any water cups, juice cups, and pouches over 3.4oz!
Everyone recommends feeding baby during take off and landing so that their ears can pop too! I traveled with a black nursing cover. It worked as a blackout curtain for sleeping and gave me some privacy. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing for nursing on a plane!
5. Toys AND snacks!
I’m always packed with toys and books. Everly plays with a toy for 2 minutes then is on to the next thing. Before a flight I buy her a brand new toy (as a surprise for the plane). I also packed lots of snacks for her in containers including blueberries, Cherrios, and teething crackers. My favorite snack container is made my Ubbi.
I always travel with Lysol wipes to wipe down the whole row, seat, seatbelt and TV. Planes are a breeding ground for germs.
We have six flights coming up before the end of the year and I’ve been stressed about flying alone with Everly now that she’s a little older. We bought a travel car seat and purchased a seat for her. She’s easier to control when she’s buckled down 💆🏼♀️
What are you tips for flying with toddlers? Share any tricks!