By the time my little man turned 1, he’d already been to 8 different states. I never wanted to be one of those parents who let having kids hinder my love of travel. Luckily for me, my little guy sleeps great in cars and has had no issues on an airplane (knock on wood).
With my husband unable to take time off work and my mom already at our final destination, I decided to brave my son’s first flight solo. Still to this day I don’t know if I was crazy or adventurous. Prior to this flight, I did a LOT of research on ways to make it easier for both myself and my son. To save you the pages I poured through online, I’ve broken down the best advice I’ve received. Feel free to share your own tidbits on traveling with an infant.
As we’re about to embark on another family vacation, here’s hoping traveling with a toddler is just as easy.
Tips For Traveling With An Infant:
- Schedule flights during nap time or bed time. With them sleeping during the flight you can relax as well.
- Don’t buy your child a ticket (if they’re under 2). While they will have to sit on your lap, it can save you a couple hundred bucks. If you must get your child a seat, check if your airline offers discounted rates for children.
- Pack Extra Clothes in the Carry On (both for you and the baby). You never know when a blowout will happen.
- Don’t be afraid to travel with formula or breast milk. It doesn’t take that long to get through security and you’ll be glad you have it.
- If your child is eating purred food, pack it. Baby food (sealed containers & pouches) are allowed in carry-ons.
- Always change diapers before boarding. Newer airplanes offer a changing table but it’s still relatively uncomfortable in those little bathrooms.
- Try feeding baby during take offs and landings or let them suck on a pacifier. It will help with the pressure.
- Check with your hotel and car rental company for free gear. Many will have pack ‘n plays or cribs the baby can sleep in (I packed my own sheet). Car rentals will offer seats you can use free of charge.
- Bring a stroller. You can check it right as you are about to board the gate and it can help carry stuff especially if you are traveling solo with a child.
- Don’t forget toys, books, or something to entertain your little one.
- Talk with your flight attendant ahead of the departure. For my first flight with the little guy, she was able to have us sit by ourselves giving us plenty of room (and saving my seat mate from a potentially angry baby).