When our twins were 4 months old, we flew to Minnesota for a month. Traveling with 2 babies, a tabby cat, and enough clothes and stuff for one month took some planning. But we did it.
Here are our tips for traveling with a new baby
- Use a travel system — stroller plus carseat for the airport and final destination
- Check all luggage that you don’t need on the plane. Use curbside check-in to make your life easier
- Gate check your stroller and carseat if you’re planning to hold your baby in your lap. Board first when they ask for people who need assistance or are traveling with small children. Get a gate check ticket from the gate agent and leave your stroller, car seat folded at the end of the jetway.
- Order baby supplies in advance. If you’re staying with family or friends, order diapers, wipes, formula, etc online and have them delivered to your final destination
- Milk: if you’re breastfeeding, good news is you’ve got the supply with you. If you’re formula feeding, bring ready to drink bottles with you on the plane (they’re temperature stable so don’t need to be refrigerated). Note: you CAN bring liquids through security. Pull them out of your luggage and alert the TSA agent that you have liquids for your child (medicine, breast milk, formula, juice, etc.). They’ll test it on the other side.
- Getting through security: you’ll need to carry the baby through. You can’t leave him in a carrier or wear him. If you’re traveling with someone, best to divide and conquer: one of you carries the baby through, the other one disassembles the stroller and loads everything on the conveyor belt and reassembles on the other end. If you’re by yourself, keep baby in stroller until last minute. Load everything on conveyor belt. Then detach carseat and set it on the floor with baby in it. Fold and put stroller on belt. Then pick up baby and either pick up and put carseat on belt or ask for help. On either side, wait for carseat to come through. Pick it up one handed, put it on the floor, and put baby in it by your feet. Then take down stroller, assemble, and put carseat on stroller. Last, gather all of your personal belongings once baby is safe in stroller.
- Diaper changes: we usually do this in the stroller, on the floor on a little mat, or even on our laps on the plane (for small babies only).
- Germs: bring disinfectant wipes for the plane. Clean the seatbelt, arm rests, and tray
- Feeding schedule: STAY THE COURSE! On our first flight, we were worried about take-off and landing and discomfort with their ears. We altered their feeding schedule to ensure they were “sucking” aka drinking during takeoff and landing. The disruption in the schedule caused a lot of challenges interfering with their nap and feeding schedule. On the way home, we decided to just go with the flow and stick to the normal schedule. The kids ended up falling asleep just after take-off, sleeping through most of the flight, and waking up to eat on their normal schedule. It was much smoother and less stressful for all of us.
- Borrow as much as you can at your final destination. If you’re staying at a hotel, use their crib (but bring your own sheet, they might not have one). If you’re staying with family or friends, see if they can ask their friends to borrow baby items: pack n play, changing table, swing, bouncy seat, activity mat, high chairs, infant tub / towels. Both set of grandparents managed to track down all of these items for us, so we had 2 sets at both houses. It made it the entire trip so much easier.