Someone very recently asked for my best travel hacks when flying with a new baby. My answer was immediately to avoid it all costs. Just leaving the house to head for the grocery store with my band of Kidiots strikes actual fear into my heart. Babies on a plane. Call Wesley Snipes, its a horror flick.
This got me thinking; what would I do? (See above) Seriously though, I have some great hacks that make traveling & flying with your baby way less stressful and, dare I say, relaxing!
You hear continually of the judgment parents receive in-flight about kids who are just being, well, kids. People who get upset about crying kids on airplanes are assholes, because once the plane lands they get to go on about their merry way, while I have to continue my trip with my crying kid in tow. Who is the real winner in this situation?
Assholes aside, however, there are a few things that I know will certainly make flying with babies much much easier.
1. Wear Your Baby
Baby wearing is a trend that I can get behind 1000%. If it were not for my Moby WrapI might have lost my mind. Wearing your baby on a plane, especially a newborn, is going to save your sanity. Baby wearing keeps baby safe, snug and comfortable and is also comfortable for mom. You have baby securely attached to you with both hands free – its amazing. Moby wraps are great because you can move about freely and its almost guaranteed that baby will fall asleep. You can easily nurse while baby is tucked in the Moby pocket and no one will be any the wiser. There are a variety of ways to wrap and wear baby also. You can check out my favorite baby-wearing mama Wrapping Rachael on Youtube for wrap tutorials from newborn to toddler. With most wraps, it is pretty simple to get baby in and out for quick diaper changes and it eliminates the need for hauling extra blankets and a stroller on to the plane. Which leads me to my next tip.
2. Check Your Stroller
You might be aware of the recent stroller incident on American Airlines where a mother was confronted by an airline employee when she tried to bring a stroller on the plane. Save yourself from potentially getting knocked the F out by your friendly neighborhood airline employee and don’t even bring that sucker to the gate. If you follow my first tip and wear baby, you will not need to bring the stroller beyond baggage check. Sure, you are going to need it for the duration of your trip, but you don’t even need to struggle through TSA with a stroller. Promise. Joovy has a new Groove Ultra-light stroller that is going to be perfect for airline travel. It even has a carrying strap so that when you grab that puppy off the luggage conveyor with baby still wrapped, you don’t have to struggle with an awkward, heavy stroller.
On a side note: Rules are pretty similar throughout airlines regarding checking and carry-on baby gear & strollers. You should always check those rules before booking and arriving to your flight.
3. Rent Your Car-seat
Let me tell you a story. Once I flew with my son, who was 2 at the time, and I knew that we were going to need his car-seat when were arrived at our destination. I decided that the possibility of the seat getting lost, on a direct flight, while checked with our luggage was too great and I carried that piece of lead-lined shit to and from the gate the duration of our trip. I have since become less anxious and a lot wiser. Car rental companies like Budget Car Rentals, have infant and booster seats that you can rent along with your rental vehicle. Had this been an option 5 years ago on my trip to Texas life would have been so much simpler. Luckily, this option is available through most major rental car companies at the time you book so you don’t have to make my mistakes!
4. Pack Nothing
This woman has lost her damn mind. You would not be incorrect in making that assumption, however it has nothing to do with my packing skills – which are top-notch by-the-way. You may have already heard me repeating my travel mantra of pack “half as much shit as you think you need and twice as much money.” This is my packing standard and I don’t deviate just because I am traveling with a herd of kidiots who require more things.
Did you know that you can rent all your baby equipment when you arrive to your vacation destination?
The Traveling Baby Company allows you to rent pack-and-play’s, full cribs, changing tables, potty chairs, high-chairs, even baskets of toys, bouncers and saucers! Say whaaaa?
The Traveling Baby company has locations through-out the United States and Puerto Rico, where you are able to rent your baby gear and have it delivered to you at the airport, hotel or home. This is game changer when it comes to kid-friendly travel, especially flying with baby! Baggage fees are already high enough, you could go broke just checking and flying with all the necessary baby gear. Daily rental fees for baby gear is super affordable and available at most major airports around the country. They will even accommodate last minute booking. I have discovered the holy grail of travel hacks – The Traveling Baby Company. You’re welcome.
This, my traveling parents, is travel hack for a better experience of flying with kids. I know that I constantly joke about never wanting to leave the house with my kids, but the reality is that I love having them along, always. They’re super cute, highly entertaining and it’s frowned upon to keep them locked in a closet at home while I travel – so they ultimately get to come.
There can be a lot of judgment and side-eye while flying with your baby. Just relax and ignore those assholes. You have paid good money for your seat (not matter what United Airlines tells you.) and you and baby deserve to fly the friendly skies as much as anyone.
You should be able to breathe a little easier knowing that you’ve got all the bases covered with these hacks for flying with baby. Despite what you see on the internet, there are a lot of people who are sympathetic to babies on an airplane and will offer to help you and the very least, wont cause you to break down in tears.