Since Chip and Lulu have racked up quite a few frequent flier miles in their short lives, I'm frequently asked for tips on "flying with baby". I should charge you for this info, but, I'm feeling generous, so here ya go, for free, my tips gathered from my many jaunts in the friendly skies (yeah, right):
1. At security you will need to take baby out of car seat and put that and stroller and EVERYTHING through the x-ray machine. You carry baby in your arms thru metal detector. I’ve even had TSA ask me to remove my baby’s shoes. Be prepared and just take your time and don’t stress about people in line behind you.
2. bring stroller and car seat to gate even if you didn't buy them a seat, there may be an empty seat and you will be happy to have the seat.
3. You don't need the car seat base so leave it at home (most people don't realize this!). If you have an infant seat, just put the seatbelt over the top on the slots. (for car and plane)
4. If the plane is full, you can gate check the stroller (you always check this) and carseat. You get a gate check at the counter by the gate, stop there and ask for it. Also, ask at gate about seats, they may move you to a better row that has free seats b/c you have baby. Always, ASK! When you get to the door of the plane, leave the stroller folded there and somebody will come up to grab it to put under plane. Try to get car seat on plane anyway, get a stewardess to stick it someplace if poss, otherwise, gate check it. Take off anything that could get lost like toys and cupholders. I have been lucky w/ both babies in that I've always gotten empty seats when I had the infant seat. If airline doesn't have "preboard" for people w/ kids, ask if you can anyway.
5. Give your baby a bottle or breastfeed upon take off and landing to help w/ the pressure in her ears.
6. There *should* be a changing table in one of the bathrooms. Ask the stewardess which one. I have heard some planes don't have one, I've never had that problem. If it "works" ie: alone in the row or husband to help, I try to change the baby in the seats because the changing table is a pain to have to schlep to, etc.
7. Pack a big ziploc bag (gallon size or so) and stick a couple diapers, small pack of wipes, changing pad, etc whatever you would need for a quick change and reload this bag when you get back to your seat in preparation for next trip to bathroom. This can be a mini diaper bag to just carry in your hand to the bathroom so you don't schlep stuff you don't need. But, bring MORE diapers than you think you'll need, just don't schlep it all to the bathroom.
8. bring changes of clothes for YOU and BABY. I've heard of many accidents that get mom, too.
9. Formula is no prob to carry on. If you need bottled water for formula, buy in airport as you can't count on a thing from the flight attendants, esp if they run out.
10. If you are flying alone, don’t hesitate to ask stewardesses to hold your baby while you go to bathroom.
11. When baby is past infant car seat age, consider getting a “sit and stroll” which is a car seat that converts to a stroller, it’s an all-in-one for travel. Further ideas to consider: get a CARES restraint harness that harnesses baby/toddler in airline seat, check car seat as luggage—you don’t have to have it to fly.
12. When baby is past formula and breastfeeding you can’t count on milk on the planes. Buy milk boxes that don’t need to be refrigerated from if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby they have great ones (Green boxes). I like this Trader Joe’s the best because the hole on top is easier to pour into a baby bottle.
13. Security doesn’t tend to hassle you about milk, juice, snacks, etc when you are traveling with a baby. A trick to getting water thru security is to put it into a sippy cup. Anything in a sippy cup tends to pass muster w/ TSA.
14. Consider apologizing in advance and being positive to those around you if you fear you will have a fussy baby. It catches them off guard and then what are they going to do??? Give you a hard time? You already apologized!!! Hahahahaha! Have a great trip!
Now that you are all set to fly with Junior, visit UpTake.com to figure out just where in the world you will go!