Penelope’s First Trip- How to Travel with a Baby

plane gif

You are on a plane sitting down waiting to see who is going to fill those two seats next to you and then you see the young couple covered in tattoos with a new born. You quietly pray they are sitting elsewhere and you even contemplate how to ask the flight attendant to switch your seat if they do. As they reach you they start sitting down and you realize you are doomed for the flight! On top of that you are sitting in the window seat so you are trapped. But this momma came prepared and her baby behaved so well you didn’t even hear her cry once. You were even able to use the bathroom easily. The flight is over and you wish the parents well and your entire perception of babies on planes has changed forever.

At least that’t what I hope the ladies sitting next to us felt. My daughter just went on her first plane trip from Miami to New Jersey and I was freaking out about the whole thing. I used to travel for work and the minute I saw a baby board the plane I would cringe and pray they didn’t end up sitting next to me. Most of us are guilty of the same thing. After talking to a friend that travels from New York to Miami a whole lot with her son and reading some blogs I was able to get some great ideas that made the entire experience great.

Luggage, carry ons, strollers and more

We flew Jet Blue but most airlines are the same in this aspect. Each passenger gets one carry on and one personal bag plus any checked bags you purchased additionally. If you travel with and infant you can check your stroller and car seat at no charge. You have two options with this you can check it at the gate once your board the plane or when you first arrive to the airport and check into your flight. So you have the option to wheel your baby past security and use your stroller all the way to the end. We didn’t want to have to go thru security with another item to push and carry so we did baby wearing instead and checked both items in the beginning. It is important to protect your stroller and car seat while it is under the plane and through the bag carousels. You have seen how dingy and dirty your luggage comes back after they have come from the plane and you certainly don’t want the car seat and stroller your little baby sits on to get all dirty and possibly break while in their custody. We double bagged ours by wrapping them first in a heavy duty trash bag and then we purchased additional travel bags to protect them. These bags can get really expensive for the carseat if you choose to go with the name brand ones. I found a used one on eBay for about half of the retail price. To be honest the bags are going to get beat up and wet any way so if you find a used one in good condition get it.

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Generic Stoller Travel Bag

Britax Car Seat Travel Bag

The red one I purchased at Buy Buy Baby for about $20 and used it for my Britax B-Agile Stroller. It’s not the best quality mine actually ripped a little but made it through the flight there and back. The car seat one I found used on eBay and I was able to fit my base, car seat, and a small chair that I wanted to bring on the trip. Again you can check them once or arrive or at the gate so just make sure to have it all planned before so you can quickly bag up your items.

MOMMA MESSIE TIP: They actually don’t open the stroller or car seat bags as you are checking them so if you didn’t have enough room in your luggage go ahead and put some items in those bags and you will not be charged. Be sure the weight is reasonable.

Since you have an infant you can bring milk on the plane. Yes a liquid!!! I am breast feeding so this doesn’t apply to me but any water juice or milk you need for your baby can go through security.

Baby Wearing is the way to go when traveling

Imagine going through security with one baby on your arm while taking off your shoes with the other, it’s a disaster. A friend recommended I use a baby carrier for the plane. After a ton of research I found the one I wanted the most and we purchased the Ergo Baby 360. We got a it about two weeks before the trip and I started getting her used to being in it for some time. The second time she was in it after 20 minutes she passed out. As we arrived at the airport I strapped her on while my boyfriend took care of the bags. I didn’t even have to remove her to go thru security but they do check your hands for some sort of chemical. Getting on the plane was breeze too while baby wearing. We ended up not using our stroller once the entire trip and I wore her most of my trip.

Baby Wearing while boarding a plane
Baby Wearing while boarding a plane

baby carrier

Ergobaby 360 Carrier

During the Flight

I brought my nursing pillow on board with me in my carry on to make the flight more comfortable for her and me. We chose to have her sit on us which is FREE. We noticed other parents purchased seats for their babies and had them in car seats. It’s a personal preference but none of those babies stayed in their care seats so I see it as a waste of money. I am still breast feeding so I didn’t have to worry about bottle and such so that was a lot easier as well. Babies ears can hurt because of the pressure on the plane just like yours would hurt but they don’t know how to stop it. If a baby is sucking on something while the plane goes up and and then descends that helps very much. I latched her on while we took off and again when we were getting ready to land. She had no discomfort because she was sucking on my breast when the pressure changed. A pacifier or bottle can help with this as well. I also packed books and colorful toys that were quiet as to not disturb others on the plane. Since I had my nursing pillow she just laid back and relaxed the whole flight. I was in shock but she was the best baby on the plane! I bought some ear plugs from eBay in case she got a little noisy so I can hand out to the people around but we didn’t even use them. (First time mom moment lol) Changing her diaper in the bathroom was easy as well. I’m very tiny so I can only speak from experience but the bathroom turns into a mini diaper changer and has a lot of room. I would pack some clorox wipes to clean it before. I used my diaper changing mat with her.

The main thing you want to focus on is finding something the will suck on so their ears won’t hurt. You yourself need to be relaxed. I know it’s easier said than done but babies sense your vibes so be positive and if they behave differently than expected just go with it not all babies are the same. You paid the same amount as anyone on that flight and all you need to worry about is your baby and you.

I would love to hear any suggestions about the topic and please feel free to comment with any questions about this experience.

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