My husband and I leave for Nashville Wednesday morning to attend Blissdom — a blogging conference. To be specific, I am going to Blissdom and my husband is going to watch TV and push our three-month-old, Matthew, around the Opryland Hotel.
I’ve been writing a list of things to bring to Nashville for Baby Matthew and realized that many of you have probably never been on a plane with your own child. After six years of flying with a baby (at least 20 trips), here are six items I always bring on the plane for my baby:
:: A nursing pillow — I’ve never actually packed this, but I’m going to try it out on this trip. The key to a successful baby flight is to get him to sleep and keep him sleeping for as long as possible. There’s nothing worse than having a baby sleeping in your arms while you’re in an uncomfortable position. I’m always shoving blankets, jackets and small totes under my elbows so I can weasel my arms out to eat or read (or break up a cage-match between the other kids). I think a nursing pillow will be the solution to all my problems.
:: Extras of everything — Count on losing one of everything you think is essential. Or having it spit-up or pooped on. Including your own clothes. I always make sure I keep an extra set (or two) of the following:
- baby outfits
- shirt for mama
- underwear for mama — yes, underwear. I’m scared to death that the airplane is the place that I will actually pee my pants. Murphy’s Law — if you’re not prepared, the impossible will happen.
I put each outfit or clothing item in it’s own Ziploc bag. This keeps all the pieces clean and together.
:: A light-weight blanket — my mom and I make the perfect all-purpose traveling blanket. It’s just two 1.5 yard pieces of light flannel sewn together. A perfect sleeping blanket, nursing cover, spit-up catcher and to put on the airport floor so your baby can stretch out without getting cooties.
:: My favorite baby-wearing device — I’m not a big baby-wearer because my babies are so big (I don’t like toting 15 pounds around the house all day). But my Ergo is perfect for hands-free bouncing up and down the tight airplane aisles.
:: Clean-up items — I bring a wet washcloth in a baggie and one or two cloth diapers to clean up any messes, along with copious amounts of baby wipes. I also carry a few plastic bags to store used diapers so we don’t stink up the plane.
:: A birth certificate — If your toddler looks like he’s nearly two years old, the ticketing or gate agent may require proof that he still qualifies as a lap baby. I don’t worry about bringing one for actual babies.
In case you’re thinking that I will be bringing pack mules to carry all of this along, it should all fit in my diaper bag. I won’t bring anything else for Matthew. My wallet, headphones for the movie, snacks and maybe a book for me. I spend most of my time nursing and trying to sleep.
My last piece of advice is for all of our readers always looking for the free — pack as if you are going to get bumped from your flight. My husband and I have been voluntarily bumped from our flight more times than I can count. In fact, we’re flying to Nashville for free from tickets we scored when our entire family was bumped on the way home from Charleston, South Carolina last August. I always pack prepared to spend the night in a hotel, on the airline’s dime, of course — extra diapers, outfits, underwear (another reason to have a pair for you!). And the essential toothbrush.
The goal of a successful flight:
Doesn’t that look heavenly? What are your must-haves for traveling with a baby? Leave a comment!
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Haley Pearson says
What a great post! I haven’t traveled by plane much with my son, but one of the best pieces of advice I received was to stay calm and patient – easier said than done!
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Might be too late for you, but I used an inflatable boppy when I flew. It was inflated the whole plane ride for the little guy, but it sure was nice to deflate it and shove in my bag when we got off the plane!
what about driving for 16 hrs plus with a 6 month old? I'm terrified!
We've started traveling exclusively with carry-ons. That way, we always have our bags with us and can volunteer to be bumped (free plane tickets!). Plus, it saves us from having to pay checked bag fees. This probably won't work for every family, but we've found that it's cheaper to do a load or 2 of laundry at our destination than it is to check 3 suitcases there and back.
Angela, have fun! And again, thank you for all that you do for all of us 🙂 Take along a hooter hider (if you nurse) and an Ipod if you have one…this will be able to give the baby some music if he needs it 🙂
I try to bring a sense of humor, a good supply of flexibility, and as much patience as I can find. Sometimes I lose these on the plane or in the airport, but they are must-haves when flying with little ones.
Oh, and I'd second the bring-the-birth-certificate-regardless-of-age comment. TSA regulations trump common sense every time.
Happy traveling-blogging-baby juggling!
The Grimmett's says
We just flew to Spokane 2 weeks ago and my babe is 8 months old. I didn't bring his birth certificate because he is CLEARLY under 2. I was informed on the way there, and the way back that it is a federal violation for airlines to allow me on board with out one. 🙁
I will be bringing it for now on, no matter how old my kids are.
Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs says
YAY! I'm so excited for you!! Totally jealous that you get to go to Blissdom. I sure hope you get into the Savvyblogging party!! Of course, you could always figure out which restaurant (Cracker Barrel, right?) they are going to and just happen to be at the same one. That's what I would do!
Anyway – air travel: I always took my stroller and infant seat all the way to the gate. I put the diaper bag and my purse in the infant seat and wore my baby. That way, it was really easy to carry everything. Then, when you get to the gate, see if they have any seats available for the baby! Out of about 8 flights with my little guy, I think I have only had to hold him once! Just buckle him into his car seat, and relax!
Children's Benadryl. 🙂
For slightly older kids (think 2-3 year olds) I like to have one new toy per hour of flight. So, 5 hr flight = 5 new toys. I'm talking dollar store stuff; new books, flash cards, etc. Just something shiny & new to captivate them for a bit.
Also love the Ear Planes at Leaps & Bounds.
Oh, & a portable DVD player, iPhone, laptop, whatever. Pop Dora in & voila! Happy kids, happy travlers on the plane.
I'm sending good vibes your way that you get your ticket to the dinner. Have a great time & hopefully I'll be there next year!
Amy Bushatz says
My husband just recently redeployed and while he was gone I traveled on five separate trips with my infant (between 3 and 7 months). It obviously gets more difficult as he gets older but the NUMBER ONE thing I could NOT do without is my keiki kuddler baby sling. Other than throwing the poor kid off on a (obliging, granted) stewardess WHAT are you supposed to do with the kid while you go to the bathroom? Staying hydrated and cross country flights do not make it easy to avoid it so … answer: baby carrier.
It also works as a place for him to sleep. He sits in there, snug as a bug, goes to sleep and leaning on the sling and I can fairly easily.
Baby Tylenol and nose-sucker thing. Every time we stay in a hotel, our son has got sick on the the last night of our stay…so #1 we needed cold stuff for that last night…and #2 we needed it for the plane ride. (It's not fun trying to find an open store at 1am in a strange town and who knows if every airport carries baby tylenol!)!
Also, I brought a few bibs for the plane because our son either drooled or spit up!
I love the opryland hotel! It is huge and so much so see and eat! Have fun!
Saving 4 My Family says
1)I'm a boppy girl so YES it would be coming with me.
2)I did get a utter cover (or whatever you call them) from Zoe's baby shower which is nice & light weight.
4)Diaper bag w/extra sleepers & onesies,diapers, and baby wipes in a plastic bag