Don’t freak out. Don’t be intimidated. You can do it!
Here’s how we travel with a 3 to 8 month old babe. What do you do??
1. Buying your tickets
Children fly free up until 2 yrs old. When purchasing your flights ensure that you add an infant while making your reservation. If the online checkout doesn’t have the option, then call the airline after purchase. Airlines seat you in window seats and in certain sections of the plane. Best to not just show up with an infant. It may mess up their whole seating setup. To avoid issues through security, ensure they give you a boarding pass for the baby or include her name on your boarding pass
Your carry on will now mostly be a baby travel survival kit. So you’ll most likely check a bag. Ensure you check pricing for that for each airline.
You are allowed to gate-check a stroller or pack n play at no additional charge in most cases.
We prefer to put our stroller and car seat in an orange TSA approved stroller bag, which can be bought at babies-R-Us
If you’re flying domestic, I recommend not packing a bizillion diapers. Stop by a local store and pick up a small pack to save weight and space. Just pack enough for a day or two.
3. Getting Through Security
A baby carrier was essential for us when she was 3 months old, still a delicate babe. It just makes it easier to be hands free. You have to put your stroller ensemble through the xray machine, still have to take off your shoes (unless they sneak you through to the pre-check line). The baby carrier also helped for on and off boarding.
At 8 months old, she isn’t as delicate so we were able to do without. But, just in case we brought along a less bulky baby carrier which we borrowed from a friend: The Boba Air. Fold easily into a pouch.
You are allowed an unlimited amount of breastmilk through security so pack it up with plenty of ice packs.
4. In Flight
As we all know space is limited on flights so I pack a “mini kit” with only the essentials required while we’re on the flight
At 3 months old:
A diaper bag with a pull out changing station/clutch kit is all I needed.
In the diaper bag: Diapers, wipes, extra outfit, blanket, nursing cover, extra pacifier, disinfectant wipes. Pretty much the usual stuff. However, I also included a Skip Hop changing clutch that I can quickly pull out before I sit and in case I needed to change her diaper in the plane bathroom. This mat has extra pockets so this is my in-seat buddy. I included 2 diapers, a burp cloth, nursing cover, wipes.
Also bring a neck pillow! Baby will most likely skip the whole flight at this age so a neck pillow doesn’t take up too much space and she’ll fit snugly in it for her sleep and protect her head.
At 8 months old:
My carry-on has a lot more crap in it, especially for longer flights. I’m not the minimalist type, may be you are? I like to be prepared, just in case.
The carry-on has two extra outfits, extra diapers, one wipes holder, iPad, two toys, camera, disinfectant wipes, snacks, baby basic toiletries.
The Skip Hop clutch has: 2 diapers, another wipes holder, a mini zip lock with a bit of snacks, spoon, disposable bib, rolled up nursing cover, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
I could have done without the feeding stuff but it kept her entertained on the flight.
We lost our neck pillows this last trip so we brought along a travel bopi. It was bulky but it has an extra packet which came it handy.
If your baby uses a pacifier, then don’t forgot a pacifier holder and paci wipes. Chances are it’ll fall. If she doesn’t use a pacifier, then it can also be used to prevent teething toys from falling on the ground.
At 8 months old, she touches EVERYTHING! So, before we seat her I wipe down our entire section with sanitizing wipes: plane walls, seats, arm rests, trays, monitors, everything.
We loaded these items on the iPad as entertainment as well:
1. Fisher Price Apps
2. Movie or short clips of her fave cartoon
3. Music, she likes to dance
5. Last but not least… you!
I’m a breastfeeding mama with a babe on a schedule. I learned that for a happy babe, it’s ok to go off schedule a bit. For example, I usually nurse her right before take-off to help with ear popping. Also, I like to wear the nighttime nursing bra that can just be swooped to the side for hassle-free access, especially at 8 months that she likes to uncover me and peek out. I tend to either wear button shirts or a nursing tank with a cardigan or oversized sweater. You can still look fashionable 😉 be comfortable, but not frumpy.
Stay hydrated. I bring a large empty water bottle with me when I travel and fill it before boarding. If not, then I just buy a large water bottle. The little cups they serve just isn’t enough.
Annnnd that sums it up! Good luck, keep your cool, and travel often.