Tips For Traveling With A Baby (And Staying Sane)

Hi everyone!

We’re hereeeeeee. We made it to Massachusetts! 🙌

On January 9, we traveled cross-country with our little 6-month-old Henry from Burbank to Boston to begin this new chapter (back) in MA, our home state.

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(L to R): 2013 free birds off to CA; 2020 new parents back to MA to be near fam.

I can already tell being near our immediate family and close friends is going to be heavenly (though we already miss our LA fam and friends… madly). There are always compromises that need to be made, and this transition for us has been a tough one—though I feel confident it was the right move at the right time in our lives, especially as new parents.

Before taking our first flight with Baby H, we were a bit nervous. We had yet to travel with him and he was just getting over a viral infection. Were we IN for it by taking a 5-hour flight where he’d be exposed to even more germs? Well… we really had no choice. We weren’t about to make the 3000-mile road trip with a youngen. 😂

Prior to the trip, I researched a lot and talked to moms who had traveled with a LO. I got so much great advice that I started to feel a little more ready as the weeks passed by. Plus, I kept reminding myself… I’ll never see these passengers again and it was only going to be a ONE-way flight. Hah. 😉

I’m happy to report, H did GREAT on his first flight. Phew. It was such a relief when the pilot came over the intercom to announce our descent was minutes away. The weight lifted. The end was in sight.

🙌

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The happiest traveler that ever was.

So, here are my tips. Some borrowed. Some my own. I hope you find them helpful if you plan to travel soon with a LO of your own.

  • Wake up before baby day-of flight so you can begin getting ready before they’re up/crying/hungry/needy.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, through security and to your gate. (And allow yourself time for some coffee, too. 😉)
  • Dress baby comfortably. No need for dressy, complicated outfits on travel day. Save those cute combos for seeing friends and fam.
  • Have a few extra bibs and burp cloths handy. I even had napkins at the ready for sudden spit-ups. 
  • If you can, buy the extra seat and take up the whole row with comfort. We did this and I highly recommend. It still felt cramped even with just us three, so I can’t really imagine sharing a row with a stranger while entertaining a baby for hours. (Our flights were only $109/each, so maybe I would have felt differently if they were a ton more.)
  • **Feed during ascent and descent. It keeps baby comfortable and distracted. I can’t stress this enough.
  • Bring enough/favorite toys (and one or two new ones) for baby to pay with, but don’t pack anything too bulky.
  • Even if this is not a regular practice or not something you’re cool with (like me), allow for a bit of screen time if baby starts to fuss. You’re goal is to survive the flight, so a little bit is okay and can be a lifesaver.
  • Bring a warm blanket in case the flight gets chilly. I brought a nice fleece on and H fell asleep for 2 hours on me right after the flight took off. It was AWESOME. I binged old episodes of KUWTK… haha!
  • Pack a couple changes of clothes for baby, and one for you. You NEVER know what could happen. Pack them in zip lock bags so you can put dirty clothes in them/later use those bags for dirty diapers. 
  • A teething necklace is a great item to wear if baby is at that stage. It’s already on you, which means it’s one less thing to carry or pack. Plus, have you seen these things? Some are really pretty. You’d never know they are used for little teething babes.
  • Wear baby in a carrier around the airport so your arms are free to carry bags/other items.

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    Henry in his Boppy pillow near the window during flight.
  • Check your stroller/carseat (and base) at the gate so that you can have the option to use both leading up to the flight and easily obtain it right after you arrive (plus, you’ll avoid any damages that could occur when they’re checked with other bulky suitcases.)
  • Bring earplugs for other travelers in case baby gets really upset. We did this but luckily never used them. It’s just a nice gesture. 
  • Walk/bounce baby down the aisle to change up their scenery when boredom arises.
  • In my most recent experience I learned you can travel with your own preferred bottled water for baby formula, but they will test it at the TSA so just be prepared. If for some reason it’s not allowed, you can always purchase some before your flight so don’t stress (like me).
  • It goes a long way if you’re calm and polite to all staff, and it doesn’t hurt to ask questions. We lucked out with amazing JetBlue staff from start to finish. These adorable two employees even helped us down to our gate when they could see we were a bit frazzled after a sudden spit-up on our walk to the gate.
  • Familarize yourself with your airline’s protocols and policies specifically regarding formula, pumping, packing and traveling with baby supplies. Every airline is different.
  • Get stroller and car seat/base bags for traveling. I got ours on Amazon for decent prices. You can purchase them here and here. They have backpack straps so you can wear them around the airport.
  • Travel hack: If your bags are overweight, you can lighten the load by moving some items to the stroller/car seat bags. We did this last minute when our large suitcases were over the 50 lb. weigh limit and it saved us $150/bag at JetBlue. 
  • If you’re using a shuttle/shared van to and from the airport, let them know exactly what luggage you have even if you feel you’re overexploiting. We had 8 bags in total (granted it was a cross-country trip), so I was super specific with them. This determined the size/cost of the van we’d need.
  • We packed one overhead carry-on with baby-centric items that would be useful if things came up (medicine, extra formula, a pillow, extra blankets, burp cloths, thermometer…) It was nice to know that was all nearby if needed.
  • Go into the day with the mantra “I will be patient and laugh things off as they arise.” Because… things will come up or change or frustrate you. You gotta have a positive outlook on what will be a hectic day ahead.
  • Breathe. ☮️ It’s ONE flight. It has an end and you will get to your destination in one piece. People travel with babies every day. There might be crying or accidents or things forgotten…. but it’s ALL O-K.
    Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 10.35.40 PM

Mom’s proud of you, H!!

This means we can keep traveling with you, right? 🤣

That’s it for now. Signing off from MA. Wow… we’re really here.

Stay well,
Ari

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