Have you traveled with your baby yet? Boarded a plane, and had to keep him/her entertained for the duration of the flight, while apologizing to people around you if your baby makes excessive noise? Yes, so have I. In fact, I travel with my baby so much, that every time I learn something new about keeping him calm on the plain, as well as knowing exactly what to take with me in my carry on bag in the plane.
I am writing this post as I am unpacking from yet another flight with my 23 month old. Flying with him is the one of the most stressful things I have to do. When my husband accompanies us, it’s not that bad. However, due to his schedule, I usually fly by myself with our son. The first time I flew with my baby was a nightmare. I was sitting in the middle seat. There was a group of bodybuilders on that flight. I assumed they were going somewhere for competition. On both sides of my seat were two very big, muscle men. Their size took over my seat also. I was literally cramped in my seat with my son on my lap. Their arms and shoulders were in my area at this point because they were so big that they didn’t fit in their space alone. Every now and then my baby would reach out and touch their hand or arm or shoulder. I would of course, do my best to not let this happen, but once in a while he would manage to snick his hand and touch them. The way these men looked at my baby and me, you would think it was a snake touching them, and not a baby. I’ve had a horrible time on this flight. From this point on, I decided to never get middle seats-either isle seat or window.
What I usually do on my flight is check in all my bags because I don’t want to drag anything with me while I have my son. The only bag I keep is a relatively large diaper bag that I have on me because I fill it with necessities for the flight. I take a stroller too, but the stroller gets checked in on the plane. This flight went by very smoothly for me. My baby usually does not give me any problems during the first plane ride, which is only 40 minutes long. He likes looking out the window and also likes to people watch. However, my second plane ride is when I have most of my troubles. It lasts for approximately 2.5 hours to 3 hours. You would think this is a very short time, but trust me, this is plenty of plane ride with my baby. This time around, however, was amazing because my son did very well.
I have packed my bag with snacks, some crackers, even chips and candy for him. I also took boxed baby juice 4oz or less, so that the airport security does not make me open it for testing, and one of those boxed flavored milks. My son really likes the Horizon Organic Low-fat Strawberry milk. These particular ones are over the allowed size, meaning they are over 4 oz. The airport security usually asks me to open it, so they can test the milk inside. They just waive a little paper over it, it never touches the contents inside. I make sure to carry tape with me, so that I can close the little hole I made for testing purposes.
Aside from snacks, juice and milk, I also carry couple of his favorite small toys so that I can entertain him in the flight. Currently he is obsessed with airplanes, and will play with anything that resembles an airplane or helicopter.
To make sure that he has enough things to keep him busy, I also always pack some crayons, or mess free colorful markers with some paper for him to draw on when bored. Also, I get couple of his favorite books so that I can read to him and entertain in flight. This is his current favorite one: Bizzy Bear Let’s Go and Play! by Benji Davies. This book is very colorful and has pop ups, which is what really keeps him entertained. Another plus of this or similar book is that it’s small enough that it doesn’t take too much room in my diaper bag. Last, but not least, I make sure to load my iPad or phone with Netflix downloads for him, since he can watch the downloads offline.
I always have 5-6 extra diapers for him, baby wipe, and change of clothes for him in case he spills something on him, or anythi
ng happens in general. I must have his blanket because he will not sleep without it. I have extra socks, a jacket, regardless how hot it is outside. I also take his hair brush. I also pack sanitizing wipes with me and makes sure it’s all the way on top of my bag. When I first enter the airplane, I make sure to wipe our seat, the front seats, the table and basically everywhere that my baby might touch then put his hand in his mouth. I used to not do this, but my son would get sick after every airplane ride. So now I clean it all.
I have to say my bag contents were pretty great this time around. There was nothing that I was missing, or wished that I had taken with me. I was able to keep my son entertained for the full 3 hours, and he did not make noise even once. Hope my post will help some of you prepare for your flights. Is there anything that you include on your flights that I did not, or do things differently?
Leave your comments after the post. Good reading!
p.s. Check out this post on Traveling with a Newborn for tips and tricks http://havebabywilltravel.com/flying-with-baby-travel-tips-for-flying-with-a-newborn/#comment-232263.