October 19, 2017

Tips for Traveling with an Infant on the plane

Traveling with a baby

I have always been a lover of traveling.  I enjoy going to new places and experiencing new cultures.  When I met my husband, he also caught the bug and we have been enjoying yearly trips ever since.  Once I got pregnant, many people were quick to say that I better get it out of my system now
because I wouldn't be traveling as much anymore.  Fortunately, I didn't listen to this and knew that having a baby didn't ground me and definitely doesn't mean that life as I knew it, was over.  I knew that I would want to travel with my baby and I was going to make it happen.

Little Chloé is only 10 months only but has already been on numerous trips.  She has been to Cancun, Trinidad & Tobago, and Miami.  She is a beach baby. She already has a passport and definitely has more stamps on it than I did at her age.  I understand it can be daunting the first time you travel with a baby but it got easier with each trip we took.  After much trial and error, we have gotten the hang of it and below I have listed a few tips I suggest for traveling with a baby.  

  • TSA Pre-check/ Global Entry - If the idea of skipping the majority of the airport security line, keeping your shoes and belt on, keeping your liquids and laptop in your bag and breezing right through, then you should definitely sign up for TSA PreCheck.  If you fly internationally often, Global Entry, which expedites the customs process, makes you automatically eligible for TSA PreCheck for $100.  We signed up for Global Entry a few years ago and being able to go through security lines quickly with a newborn is very important.  Your child can use your TSA PreCheck but for Global Entry, you will need to fill out at application for them separately.  For more information and to sign up, click on this Global Entry site.
  • Choose the window seat - Since I was still nursing and my husband was always flying with me, the window seat offered more privacy and allowed me more space.  This way I was able to nurse her at the beginning of the flight and have somewhere to rest my head.
  • Check the car seat/stroller at ticket counter -  The first time we traveled with Chloé , we carried her in the stroller all the way to the gate.  Then at the gate, we had to fold it up, put it in its protective bag and then carry her onto the plane.  For some, that may be ideal but we quickly learned that the less we have with us by the time we arrive at the gate, the easier the boarding process is.  Now, I suggest checking the car seat and stroller at the ticket counter to free up your hands and all you have to worry about is the baby bag and any carry on luggage, which leads to my next tip...
  • Baby Carrier - this is a life saver.  Since we started to check the stroller at the ticket counter, having little Chloé in the baby carrier allows us to have our hands free and makes getting to the gate that much faster.  You do have to take your baby out of the carrier when you are going through security but since you will now have TSA Pre-check, no need to rush.  You don't have to worry about taking your shoes off, just put the carrier through, and carry your baby through the machine.  Wearing your baby also makes it easier going though the aisle to your seat on the plane.
  • Tote Savvy - I have a number of different baby bags that serve their purpose based on where I am going.  My favorite one for travel isn't a bag at all, it's an insert.  Tote Savvy are inserts that allow you to convert any of your bags into baby bags.  They offer them in different sizes and colors and each one has various sizes of pockets for you to fit everything you need.  In the picture below, I used the mini version in my large tote bag. This way I could carry my baby necessities as well as my personal belongings in the same bag.  Once we are on the beach, I could use this tote for my beach towel and still use it as a baby bag.  This reduces the number of bags you need to carry when traveling.

In addition, I know many people advise to nurse or feed your baby a bottle during take off and landing to help with their ears.  I have done both options, where I fed her and where I didn't.  Luckily, the take off and landing did not bother her but I would still recommend to feed at takeoff or at least at the beginning of the flight.  For us, after a feeding, she quickly falls asleep and stayed asleep for most of our flights.

Now book your flights and get out of town!  Remember, babies are free to fly until the age of 2, just make sure to include them on your flight itinerary before you get to the airport!

Thank you for reading,    

Andrea

Traveling with a baby, tote savvy bag inserts

traveling with baby in cancun mexico

traveling with baby in cancun mexico

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