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Traveling with a baby/toddler

Are you ready to take on a plane ride with your baby or toddler? Here are my top tips for traveling with a baby/toddler, check them out to help make sure you're best prepared.

I regularly make long-distance plane rides to visit my family back in England. Both my daughters have racked up some serious air miles in their short lives! I have traveled with my children (now 2 + 4 years old) 'long haul' at least 2 times a year since they were born. So here are my top tips for traveling with an infant/toddler.

  1. I do not recommend taking the car seat on the plane. Check it! It will bring you stress (think about installing the car seat in your car- now reduce that space by half! lol), and potentially annoy your fellow passengers (they cannot recline their seat because it will likely be rear-facing to comply with safety recommendations). If you are traveling with car seats then purchase a car seat backpack to help you carry them from the parking lot to the check-in desk. Trust me it's worth the money! We have two of these backpacks and I love them because they allow me to be hands-free.

  2. Pack as light as possible and if you have a baby carrier use it to carry your little one through the airport. Be prepared to take them off at security but honestly 75% of the time I was allowed to keep them on.

  3. Don't forget to pack extra diapers, wipes, and a blanket/muslin. The blanket/muslin can be great to act as a privacy screen if you're breastfeeding or to shield your little one from the bright plane lights.

  4. Feed your little one at takeoff and landing. The sucking motion of the breast or bottle will help pop your little one's ears. On that note, if you are bringing formula, frozen breast milk, or a breast pump onto the plane then know your rights in regard to bringing it through security, Head to the TSA website for the current guidelines. I always printed the guidelines and kept them in my carry on so I could refer to them if needed. Expect security to run a drug test- they gently run a cloth swab on the outside of bottles/formula can, etc.

  5. Wet wipes. Wipe down the seat, table tray, and seatbelts.

  6. For older kids pack stickers, coloring books, and LOTS of snacks! My advice hit up your local dollar tree, target value section and buy some new novel toys. Plus pack no small toys that will get lost between the gaps in seats, under the seats etc.

  7. If your child is old enough prepare them for the trip. Talk about the journey, what to expect, security etc.

  8. Last by no means least. Mentally prepare. First, remind yourself that 50%+ of the people on that plane are probably parents. They have likely been in the same situation as you or can relate to your situation. If you're like me then you'll have anxiety about your child screaming the whole journey. Remember the majority of people will understand and even offer to help (take the help!). Also, remember that routine goes out the window. While it's good to try to stick to your usual schedule, be as flexible as possible and just focus on what's within your control.