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Sorry for the blogging silence the last week... we were taking our first vacation with Baby P.! Since I now have some hard earned experience, that's the reasoning behind this article and the next "Traveling with a One Year Old" :). Here are my tips of how to not only make it through flying with a baby/toddler but how to do so successfully:
- 1. Choose a child friendly airline. We chose JetBlue. This was our first time flying with them, and we were so impressed with our 3 flights! I have to say we loved JetBlue and will fly with them again! There were so many benefits we found with flying JetBlue:
- They were the cheapest flights we could find.
- Allow 2 free checked luggage, along with 2 carryons, 2 personal items, and baby's own personal item.
- They offer tons of legroom in the coach section
- Were kind and courteous
- Do early infant boarding.
- Were helpful.
- Had TVs in every headrest.
- Offered healthy tasty snacks.
- Also if you want even more legroom, for $25-$50 extra you can get the Even more space seats which provide even more leg room.
- 2. Babywear. As you probably know from some of my other posts, I am an avid babywearer. I have a Tula and love love love it! We brought an umbrella stroller as well to the airport, but really babywearing made security soo much easier! I was able to wear Baby P. and had my hands free to help hubs load our carry-ons through the x-ray machine. Also, you can babywear through the metal detector, security just has to swab your hands to make sure there is no illegal substance on your hands.
- 3. Bring food. TSA allows you to bring more than 3.4 ounces of food if you have a baby/toddler. It still has to be placed in a Ziploc plastic bag, but you can bring baby food that exceeds that quantity so long as you place it in the bin at security. This is great news considering most baby foods are 3.5 ounces, so they already exceed the allowed amount. We brought both Gerber 2 packs and the Happy Baby squeezable pouches (for ease of eating). See this website for TSA details for traveling with an infant. I found that I felt more comfortable printing out the above page because that way if I ran into a security person who didn't know the allowed amount when traveling with a baby, that I would have TSA's official statement right there for proof. But I'm happy to say I never needed it.
- 4. Release the pressure. For those who are flying for the first time with a baby or toddler, the first thing you need to know is that the pressure from takeoff and landing (you know the pressure that makes your ears pop), is usually what sets a child off. The best way to relieve pressure in a baby is for them to suckle, either through use of a pacifier, water or milk. For us what worked best is breastfeeding on take off and landing. Sometimes my daughter wanted to breastfeed in between. Of course at this point I let her do that, because usually she would fall asleep and then we had a peaceful time the rest of the flight!
- 5. Bring toys. When Baby P. wasn't nursing or eating, I found that having her favorite toys available was so helpful. I had also read to give her a "surprise" toy for the plane. So we bought a small toy that made noises that she could play with, and she loved it!
- 6. Bring comforting items. For Baby P. she has certain stuffed animals that are her "babies." So on the plane we brought a few of her babies, like Elmo, a Teddy and two blankets. These helped to comfort her when she needed it.
- 7. Download baby's favorite show. Baby Picturesque looooves Sesame Street... so we bought a few episodes of Sesame Street from iTunes so that we could access them without internet access. Normally this would have done wonders, and kept Baby P. content for hours on end... but iTunes does not do well with downloaded videos, so unfortunately it kept freezing and just frustrated Baby P. But it is a great concept to have your child's favorite television show readily available. Next time we won't buy anything from iTunes but will choose a different service and I know that this will work great.
- 8. Bring a special food. Baby P. is obsessed with guacamole. So we decided that we would bring that as a special airplane treat. We packed it in 2.0 ounce containers and put it with the rest of the baby food and brought pita chips as a healthy snack! Baby P. loved this treat and this made the plane ride even more pleasant! Click here for my quick and easy homemade guacamole recipe to try for yourself.
What are your child's favorite/comforting items for flying? What has worked for you to make it through flights with your little one?
Please note: I am in no way affiliated with any company. I just really enjoy the items listed above and proudly would suggest them to any parent!