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:
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