Recently we took our first flight with Corbin. A lot of you will probably first think, “wow she traveled during covid and with everything going on in this world.” The answer is YES! Was a nervous? Of course. Did I go against the pediatric doctor? YES! Why? It was what I needed. It could be a risk, but I asked trusted people, other doctors and from all that I got it was the right thing for me to do. It was interesting, my OBGYN said to me not to worry, I am healthy and so is Corbin. For days leading up, I went back and forth on going or not. I will say I was anxious about this, what mom wouldn’t be. I’d be nervous pandemic or not. This was a choice we as a family decided to do because this mama mentally needed to go home and be with family. It was important to me that I bring Corbin home to see my family. We were super careful, took all precautious, stayed our distance and did our best.
Long story short, let’s talk about what worked and didn’t work for traveling with a baby. Remember, what worked for us may not work you. These are just some tips I found helpful etc.. And, just like every other baby post I share, remember that every baby is so different. And every baby STAGE is so different.
Packing for your baby…
Packing for your baby. Since this was our first trip, we were lucky to be going to my parents and they have a lot already for us and we were borrowing family friends things too. Believe it or not, there seems to be SO much to pack. But, when you’re packing for your baby…you need to bring everything with you that is a part of their bedtime / sleep routine. You want to recreate their sleep environment wherever you are. So for us, we pack his portable sound machine, sleepsuit, and monitor (my parents had one at their house) Other than sleep essentials, packing for baby is pretty simple so I won’t go into more detail there. Clothes, diapers, wipes, bath stuff if you plan on bathing your baby on your trip, binkies, spit up rags, etc.
Since it was summer and hot at my parents house, I ended up not having him in clothes too often. I might have over packed on his clothes. But, if it wasn’t so hot (they don’t have AC on the coast) then I would have him wear all the clothes. Plus, worst case Amazon Prime it if you forget something.
I ended up putting his clothes in a space bags in the suitcase because I didn’t want the travel people to rummage through his things. I also packed diapers in the travel space bags because when I arrive to my location I have diapers right then. I later ordered more diapers and wipes once we got settled.
Travel with your baby…
Flying with a baby. So we did not travel with a stroller. If I was traveling alone I would. The travel stroller I’d suggest would be the Zoe stroller. Strollers are nice for travel and easy, but I wanted to wear him. If you go with the stroller route, you can wheel it through security and check it at the gate. Sometimes I know you can bring it on the airplane, only if your stroller can fit in the overhead compartment. Gate checking is easier if you are traveling alone. With the help of my husband and mom, that’s why I went with the baby wearing route. Plus, I didn’t have a travel stroller at the time for travel. The baby carrier I used was so comfortable and easy too.
Security. I had the WORST experience. Apparently my hands had bomb residue and his formula got flagged. It was a big ridiculous. I told them I had formula and they took it. I did learn from a friend to take out the diaper wipes because that can make the security x rays go off. I think I was just the lucky pick and they went through EVERYTHING. I got so frustrated and straight up told the guy that he needs to put the formula back because it will go bad. We were not happy with them. Still sour about it!! Tip #1- just be prepared for them to go through everything and even you!
On the airplane. Everyone told me to make sure I fed Corbin during take off and landing, so that his ears pop. It worked out as planned, that during take off and landing he needed to eat. Plus, he got hungry and a little crabby during the descent. Bottle feeding during take off and landing was key. I got lucky and right after the first feed he went right asleep and slept for an hour. When he woke up it was the matter of just playing and entertaining him. But, that’s the tip #2, I got from people about flying with a baby. So I wanted to pass that along to you guys even though we didn’t necessarily do that! Worst case if your baby can’t for some reason feed, give them a binky or teething crackers.
Feeding. When we flew, for the most part I just stuck to Corbin’s schedule. He still eats about every 3 hrs, stays awake for a bit, naps, then we do it all over again haha. So on our flights, I tried my best to do what we normally do. I’ve heard a lot of moms say though that your baby will want to eat constantly when you’re traveling. He did take an extra bottle when we got to the house. He was hungry, it was a lot in one day. Tip #3, do what you can during travel day. If you’re traveling to a place with a different time zone, just start your normal schedule the next day. It will take a few days to adjust, but it will all work out. Just like you and I, we get used to it after a couple of days. Just try to keep things the same as much as you can.
Diaper changing. If you need to change baby’s diaper on the airplane…there is a tiny changing table in the airplane bathroom. That was the last place I wanted to go. In the Freshly Picked diaper bag, there’s a changing pad. Of course right after the first bottle, he pooped. I layed the changing pad on my lap and changed him right there. It wasn’t too bad, but Corbin isn’t that big. If you have a bigger baby or there’s no way you could do that, there is a small changing table in the laboratory bathroom. Just make sure to wipe it down.
Mics travel tips…
Other random things about flying with a baby:
- I carried on an extra little bag that held all his ready to feed formula. I found this insulated baby bottle bag and I LOVE IT!! It’s the best bag for bottles and it hold the warmer too. I put 4 bottles of formula (more than I needed, you never know!), two ice packs, bottle warmer and it all fit in the bag. Remember, just be prepared for TSA to pull your bag and look at it. Remind them to not let it sit out from the ice pack.. you’re on limited time.
- I carried on my diaper bag which contained everything I normally have (linked below) but I added extra diapers.
- In Corbin’s diaper bag on the plane, I always make sure to have a change of clothes for him, just in case he has a blowout or spits up everywhere on the plane. Moms also recommended that I bring a change of clothes for myself too but I haven’t gone that far yet haha. But, it’s definitely the smart thing to do if you want to be super prepared!
- In his diaper bag, I also bring binkies, spit up rags, toys to entertain him while he’s awake (linking favorites for 6 month olds) Oh, and extra diaper, wipes, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes FOR SURE! Airports / planes are covered in germs and I wiped EVERYTHING down for a peace of mind.
- We typically book early flights bc I’ve found that works best with our schedule. With limited fights right now, we got the earliest flight we could. I dressed him, changed him and fed him right before we left. I made sure I dressed him in something with sleeves. You never know the temps on airplanes. Thankfully he slept a little on the way to the airport, but it wasn’t much. The goal is to keep baby as close to their normal routine as possible.
- BOTTLE WARMING TIP: To warm bottles on the go, get hot water at Starbucks or anywhere in the airport and fill with portable bottle warmer. I love this one and just got off Amazon. So easy and works! When you get on the plane and the flight attendant closes the cabin, but the bottle in the hot water warmer. It will be ready by the time the plane takes off. This was the biggest worry of mine, this system worked great. Plus, when they get older you can use this warmer for baby food too!
- Bring a portable blackout curtain… Trust me!! So nice and makes for easy sleeps. (linked below)
On the trip with a baby…
Baby’s Schedule. I’ve shared before that I am pretty OCD about Corbin sticking with his schedule and it stresses me out when he gets off of it. I’m so type A. I really try to stick to the schedule I have him on at home, but I know I need to be flexible and if it gets off just a hair, IT’S OKAY! Listening to your baby’s needs comes first. Meet your baby where they are. There have definitely been a few days though where things just got SO off and the schedule went out the window. When that happens, just take a deep breath and remind yourself “my baby is safe. He is healthy. He is okay. I’m okay too.” Don’t let it stress you out. You will get back on your schedule the next day, or maybe when you get home! But honestly my advice is if you are on a schedule / in a routine at home, do your best to stick with that schedule on your trip. Just know that if it’s off, it’s okay. If you get an extra bottle in that’s okay too.
Parents day/night out…Colin and I did go on a date, luckily my parents know his schedule really well! Worst case, write it down for whoever and just roll with it. The people watching your baby will probably thank you that they get to hang out with your little cutie.
Where does Corbin sleep? Before we took the trip, I knew my parents had a crib and crib sheets. If you were going to a family’s house or airbnb where there was no crib, we would bring our portable crib. If you were staying at a hotel, I would ahead of time and ask if they have a pack & play or a crib that could be brought up to our room.
At home, Corbin does not sleep in the same room as us…so when we travel, we put him in another room if possible. Otherwise – he doesn’t sleep as well and neither do we! If your hotel has a separate living area, put the crib in there. If it doesn’t we would put the crib in the bathroom haha… do what works!
My thought is as long as your baby is sleeping safely, that is all that matters. Flip side, if your baby usually sleeps in the same room as you, you can obviously still do that when you travel! Whatever you do at home, try to recreate that exact same environment when you travel. Consistency is key!
Naps are the same during travel as when we are at home. If you can’t have your baby sleep in a crib during nap time, then try baby wearing or a portable crib that can pop up on the go.
Honestly, I was terrified the very first time we flew with Corbin. What if he screams on the plane? What if we get totally off the schedule? What if he gets sick? SO MANY what ifs. And honestly, traveling with him was 100x easier than I was expecting! If you have a newborn or a baby around Corbin’s age, this is actually the easiest time to travel with the. Corbin has surprised me – does fine on the plane, adapts to a new environment / routine, sleeps fine at night…I know this might not be true for every trip we go on or for every baby. But I say that just to encourage you – your baby might surprise you and adapt way better than you think! What’s important is that he or she is fed and loved and taken care of. And you know how to do those things regardless of what location you’re in!
Don’t get me wrong – traveling with a baby is a lot of work and completely different than when Colin and I used to do trips just the two of us. But, don’t let a fear of traveling with them or all of the “what ifs” hold you back from adventures! The more you do it, the easier it’ll get and the more comfortable you will become!
Happy traveling and remember YOU CAN DO IT!! The calmer you are the more calm your baby will be.
Love from Texas,