“It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t hard” is what I keep telling people. Of course, having a little one, diaper changes, airport feedings – it’s not exactly ideal. But at the same time, it’s not awful! At least, it wasn’t for us! Every baby is different so following some of the tips I’m about to share with you doesn’t exactly mean that it’s going to go perfectly (we had our moments). Hopefully, these help you, though!
First, Maddex (my little boy) was 3 months old when we made this trip from Mississippi to South Carolina – just for context! Also, let me add that the best thing you can do for your family when traveling is to play it cool. If you were to get all of the things, do all the things, and be all the things – just stay calm and do what you have to do to be that. I can tell when I’m anxious that Maddex feels a bit of that and reacts in his own way. SOOO with all of that being said, here’s a few things that I think will make this go a tad bit more smoothly:
If you don’t have something to help wear your baby, you’ll want to invest in something! I used the Solly Baby wrap because it’s soft, breathable, fits him nicely, and packs up really small so it fits in his diaper bag without being one more thing to carry. You can use my code RACHEL10 for 10% off at Solly Baby! Here’s when you’ll need it: plan to babywear your child through security, it makes for a much smoother transition! You won’t have to take them off of you, you can have both hands available for taking off/putting on shoes, putting your diaper bag up on the carousel, etc. When I went through, I was asked to step aside and they “wanded” me rather than having me walk through the larger machine. I was thankful and was going to ask to opt-out anyways since I don’t want to expose him to the radiation. Also! Plan to get sweaty having a body on yours while working your way through security will make you sweaty and you’ll feel a few drips if you’re anything like me!
2. What to wear
Comfy shoes and something you don’t mind sweating a bit in (see above). Make sure to have a hair tie to put your hair up and cool down. If you plan to nurse, make sure to wear a nursing-friendly outfit and a nursing bra to sneak in those sessions through the day (on the plane and your layover).
3. Carrying baby through the airport
Transport your baby through the airport in a stroller that collapses and breaks down easily! I have the Doona which acts as a car seat and a stroller and it was a lifesaver! If you don’t have one, maybe ask a friend to borrow theirs! So worth it! Once I checked my bag, I only had my diaper bag (my carry-on) and the stroller with him inside. I pushed this through the airport (other than when I carried him through security, see above). So easy! You can push them in the stroller all the way up to the airplane and gate-check it. Just make sure to visit the counter when you get to your gate to tell them you plan to do so and they’ll give you a pink tag to put on the stroller so you can pick it up when you land at your destination right outside the aircraft. They will give you back your stroller after the flight so you can put them right back inside and pick up your bags at baggage claim hassle-free!
Bring new toys on the flight to keep your babies attention! I brought a few Maddex had never seen before so it kept his interest!
5. Helping with their little ears
Nurse, bottlefeed, or give your child a paci on takeoff and landing – it will make the pressure much friendlier on their little ears! Remember, they don’t know how to yawn and pop their own ears when the pressure builds up. I used this nursing cover as a nursing cover, a stroller cover for naps on the go, and a blanket when things got chilly.
6. A TSA tip
TSA actually allows you to bring breastmilk, formula, and necessary means to feed your child through the airport. I wish I had brought a few bags of prepared breastmilk and ice packs and a bottle for those moments that I was in a pickle. Ask for hot water at a restaurant in the airport to warm up your milk. Or, you should be able to bring boiling/hot water in a thermos to heat up the milk according to TSA policies.
7. Travel sound machine!
Airports are super loud and overstimulating for a tired baby which makes them pretty fussy! Having the travel sound machine attached to his stroller and going on walks in between our flights during our layover was so helpful and put him straight to sleep.
8. Stay Hydrated!
For real! Especially if you plan to nurse on the go. It’s crazy how quickly traveling, especially via plane, can take it out of you! I love to load up on Liquid IVs (strawberry is my favorite flavor) when I’m on the go! One of these packets is equivalent to drinking 3 water bottles! Use the code RACHEL.AWTREY25 for 25% off and free shipping!
9. Diaper changes on the go
public bathrooms sort of gross me out and then you have to lay your baby on a bare changing table that other babies were changed on? Mamas are too much in a hurry to sanitize after and it just gets sketchy. So, I purchased these diaper changing pad disposable covers that I kept a few of in my diaper bag to lay down before laying him down.
10. Diaper bag checklist
This is the checklist that I used when traveling and packing my diaper bag! Feel free to copy!
You got this mama! Remember to take pictures, have fun, drink lots of water and eat something!! I believe in you!