Travel Tips for the Peanut and Me

by jessicaturner on August 19, 2008

I am so excited! Elias and I are going to Wisconsin to meet the rest of my family tomorrow. My grandmas are both still alive, and I am really looking forward to introducing them to their great grandson. My aunts, uncles and cousins are just about all going to meet him too. It should be a fun four days. Expect lots of pictures.

We are flying a direct flight from Nashville to Chicago. It is just a 90-minute flight, so I am hoping that Elias does well. I already know to feed him on the take-off and landing. But beyond that, I haven’t gotten too many travel tips. I am planning on taking our stroller/carseat system. I haven’t started packing yet, but will be checking a suitcase (and paying to do so – thanks American.)

So, what do you recommend when traveling with a little one? Your advice would be greatly appreciated – as it always is.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra D August 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Have fun … at his age .. he’ll do JUST fine – perfect I would imagine … course he’ll either sleep the entire time or nurse for the entire 90 minutes LOL! :-) You probably already know this .. but you can use your stroller the entire time you’re in the airport and as you board the plane they will take it right before you literally step foot on the plane – and will bring it out the second you get off the plan (and it’s free). Though, at his age .. I’d probably just wear him in my sling and save the trouble of a stroller. :-) Have fun!!!!


Katie August 19, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Do you have a sling to carry him in? That makes it easier. It’s much easier at his age than it will be several months from now!

I’ve commented before, but only a couple of times. You don’t know me, and I’m sorry my blog is invite only. You can email me at for an invite. Don’t feel obligated, I just like to know who’s reading my blog, so am happy to return the favor.


Jessica Turner August 19, 2008 at 12:29 pm

I do have a sling and will have it with me, and plan to use it on the plane. I definitely want to have the stroller though for in the airport, and for back home. We will also need it for his car seat.


Sarah August 19, 2008 at 1:23 pm

jess…he should do great! as someone already said, he should just sleep/nurse the whole time. especially with the hum of the airplane. when we flew a few months ago when jack was 10 months, aj and i agreed that we should have flown when he was littler, because he wouldn’t sit still at all! just snuggle him the whole time and he should do fine! praying for a safe flight for you two:) love, sarah


Anonymous August 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Hi Jessica
Make sure you bring plenty of diapers and wipes in your carry on…. you never know how long you might have to wait these days!!! Also, bring a shirt for yourself in case little guy has an accident!! If you are bringing a breast pump, I would suggest that you have that in your carry on. You never know how they handle your luggage… and those pumps are expensive!


Bethany and Peyton August 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

This is my first comment. I found your blog from Bring the Rain. I travelled with my 3 kids, 5, 4, and 19 mos in June from SC to CO and back. The only thing I dislike about travelling with a stroller is that you have to pull the baby completely out of everything, carseat and stroller, and carry them through the detector, they don’t care if he’s asleep. I’m assuming your carseat and stroller is a travel system, and I don’t remember if you have to fold up the stroller and put it on the conveyor, I know you do with an umbrella stroller. Even if he’s in a sling you have to take him out and put the sling on the conveyor. Also, if you need help, ASK someone, otherwise they’ll just look at you weird as you’re trying to take off your shoes, balance a sleeping baby on one arm and close down a stroller with the other. Other than getting through security, you should do fine. Have a great trip! Nice to “meet” you,


Stacy August 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm

One thing I would recommend is not to pack your carry on too heavily! I had way too many things in my bag and it was so heavy it killed my shoulder. I was also carrying him in a sling AND pushing an umbrella stroller. I just had way too much stuff to carry through the Mnpls airport!! Pack light is my tip!


Michele August 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Well he is still young so I think if you feed him before/during take off and landing and have some diapers and wipes, a burp cloth and a change of clothes for him- you should be set. Most likely he will sleep the entire flight or most of it- so bring a book for you to read.
Have a safe flight.
Love Michele
PS I got Andrew off to Liberty Univ. last Wed- feeling kind of blue but hanging in there. This is a great time for him- we are so proud.
Miss ya Andrew Love Mom xoxoxoxo


Kristen Townsend August 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Enjoy your trip. We took our little man at 9 weeks to Disney World. He slept the entire flight and didn’t even know we had basically gone from 1 end of the country to the other (CT to FL). And we have fantastic memories and pictures to remember his first trip to see the mouse!

As for the flight, I would highly recommend getting him his own seat. If you haven’t already paid for one (which usually isn’t totally expensive because most airlines have “Infant Fares”), ask how full the flight is when you check your luggage. If it’s not sold out they will let you bring on the car seat if you want without having paid for the seat. We’ve flown 4 or so times with our son “as a lap child” and every time there was a free seat for him to use with his car seat and it was free every time. Might have been pure luck so when we go somewhere that we know the flight will be full we book his own ticket – even has a frequent flyer card to get miles! If you can… definitely bring the seat on and let him snuggle in to that cozy space he’s used to as if he’s in the car. It’ll be much more comfortable for you and him. Plus it is so so so much safer than a lap child.

I also suggest packing in your carry on/diaper bag not only a change of clothes for him, but one for you too (at least a shirt). Never know when a spit up or poopy explosion will occur and you clearly cannot get to that luggage. :)

Don’t forget his birth certificate – you’ll definitely need that at the airport!

Good Luck and have fun.


anglswngs August 19, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I wouls suggest to make quick friends with the flight attendant just in case you have to visit the restroom on the flight. I know it seems weird to pass off a baby to a stranger BUT, when you have to go it isn’t easy in that tiny bathroom!

I just remember while travelling with small ones you are met by so many experienced mom travellers who are so willing to help you. It is an amazingly humbling experience.

Enjoy it!


Melody August 19, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I think they travel soooo much easier when they’re infants than toddlers, so I think you will be surprised how easy it is. :) I miss those days, just holding my son, nursing him and letting him sleep the whole time.


Anonymous August 19, 2008 at 7:10 pm

You might want to take something for his stomach like Mylicon drops in case he gets an upset stomach.


lyzajosmom August 19, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Here’s what I’ve figured out after traveling w/ my kids (as young as 7weeks old)…

Get a “cheap,” smaller stroller if you don’t have one. I got a Kolcraft (Kmart) for about $40-50 that accepts most infant carriers and folds up easy. Also, if damaged, no big loss to replace.

Get a GOOD diaper bag – one that is fairly large and will hold all that you need without falling open. (I have an Eddie Bauer that I LOVE for this!) If you can get by with putting your things in there, too, great. If not, you still can take a personal bag for yourself. Just try to minimize the number of extra things you have to carry. Store the diaper bag under your seat or the seat in front of you for easy access in-fight.

Pack baby’s outfits in individual zipper/slider plastic bags. (I still do this, and my oldest is almost 8.) Squeeze out air to reduce space needed. Keeps outfit, socks/hat included, together for those dressing baby, and you have baggies if needed (for soiled clothes, opened snacks for you, leaky bottle, etc.)

Take plenty of diapers (1/hour of travel) and wipes along with a few changes of clothes for baby and at least a shirt or 2 for you. Extra blankets are great, too, specially the flannel and waffle weave cotton ones that fold up small. Uses are limitless – nursing cover, blanket for either of you, changing table cover, etc.
I also use the blankets to line my suitcases so that they take up minimal space when packing when I need several for longer trips.

Nurse or offer binky during take off and landing to minimize baby’s discomfort with changing pressure in ears.

“Wear” baby in sling/carrier through airport. Use stroller as a “cart” for your diaper bag, carry on, etc. You’ll probably have to fold up stroller on conveyor as well as take baby out of sling/carrier to go through security, so be prepared!

Gate check stroller and car seat. Keeps them with you until you board and ready as you get off plane, and keeps them on top of things to prevent/minimize damage in flight.

Take a stain stick….It will become your best friend when traveling! Treat your clothes when you take them off, and you won’t have to scrub (at least not much) when you return home and start the task of laundry.

Your little guy will probably sleep on the plane, so you should, too.

Enjoy the time with family!


Tracy August 19, 2008 at 8:11 pm

How exciting!
I would recommend having enough diapers in your diaper bag for the plane ride and having your mom pick some up at home.

Not as much help now as when he gets older, I would buy most of what I needed when I arrived or had my parents pick it up for me (formula, diapers, baby food). It was less to pack, less to carry, and it made out of town family feel as though they were really helping out.


Loraine August 19, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Make arrangements at the airport for your husband to get a gate pass, so that he can walk with you through security and to the airline gate.

It’s really nice to have someone with you at Security, since you have to take the baby out of the stroller/car seat for x-ray.

Other than that… relax and enjoy the trip. Babies are much easier then toddlers!!!


Lauren August 19, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Be the absolute last person to get on the plane. The gate attendent will let you board early, but then you are sitting in that tiny seat for an extra 30 minutes. Also, fix your hair and wear a cute outfit. More people will help you out! It sounds ridiculous but it’s true. Give yourself plenty of time, so you are not rushed. And definately ask the gate attendant to move your seat to a row that is not full. It is nice to have the extra room.


theoneaboutus August 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm

I second the sling thing. It’s soooo hard to get the stoller, carry on, carseat and everything else through security. Travel light and simply. Every one else had great advice too. You seem like a natural, you’ll be fine :-)


Joy August 19, 2008 at 11:51 pm

How fun!!! I’ve never flown with babies/children so I don’t have any advice. Just have lots of fun!


sleepingKelly August 20, 2008 at 2:38 am

This blogger’s post has some great advice.


Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 2:59 am

my husband plays professional baseball so we travel constantly. i would bring the stroller and check it at the gate (right as you are boarding) but i would check the carseat with all your luggage. most airlines do not count a carseat as an additional checked bag. you can just strap the baby into the stroller and recline it all the way back. make sure you have lots of diapers, for some reason my son poops like crazy when we fly. just take as little as possible with you through the airport….check as much baggage as you can. it is such a hassle going through security and having to lug all of that stuff around. oh, and either bring a trashbag or ask for one to put the carseat in so it doesn’t get damaged if you check it.


Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 3:14 am

ok i just posted a long comment and erased it accidentally. here are a few things:
1. check the stroller as you are boarding but check the carseat with the rest of your checked baggage (most airlines do not count a carseat as a checked bag)
2. bring lots of diapers, some babies (mine) poop like crazy on planes
3. bring a heavy duty trashbag or ask for one (some airlines have special bags just for things like this) to put the carseat in before you check it to protect it from damage.
4. board last…they will call people with small children to board first but i think it’s easier to just do it last so everyone is not waiting behind you to get settled. and the less time you are having to sit still on a plane with a baby, the better.
5. relax….i’m sure he’ll be fine, and if he’s not, it will be over in 90 mins!!!!


Simone August 20, 2008 at 4:02 am

Sorry I don’t have any tips for you, since I haven’t taken either of mine on a plane! But I am praying for safe travels for you both. Have fun!!


Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 5:59 am

I was allowed to wear my baby in a sling (even through security) when we flew. Best thing I ever did – hands-free for luggage and he was safe and cozy, snoozing away. Nice for nursing privacy on the plane and in the terminal too. Practice at home first though.

If Paul won’t be with you def do the stroller in the airport though. You can take it into a handicapped stall in the ladies room before you board (if necessary). Or on the plane most female flight attendants would love to hold him if you need to use the bathroom. Amazingly, one airport I was in didn’t have a changing table in the ladies room so a stroller laid back flat would have been nice.

Pack a light carry-on. Diapers/wipes, change of baby clothes, fresh shirt for you – nothing else, don’t be tempted, you’ll regret it.


Living the Single Life August 20, 2008 at 12:58 pm

You seem to be a picture taking diva!! I love it. So tell do people take pictures that are color and make everything in the picture black and white except for like the person that is in the picture. Or maybe they will leave all the flowers and trees in color. Not sure if this makes sense.

I really enjoy seeing and hearing about all your scrapbooking and picture taking that you do. I have found myself taking more pictures and trying to scrapbook more. I have found my kids love going back through “their story book” after every page I add.

Thanks for the insperation!!


Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 1:20 pm

hey jessica! you guys are such a cute little family. i love reading your blog, and seeing all of your pictures. when i took my 9 month old son to the beach this summer… he pooped on the plane as soon as we sat down, and they didn’t turn off the “must wear your seat-belt” light for the entire flight because it was so bumpy and windy! the people around us were probably breathing in toxic waste… and really didn’t like us!

arley worley.


Lee August 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm

The Nashville to Chicago flight is soooo quick. You are barely in the air, settled, seat belt light goes off, soda in hand when the light goes back on and you are descending. You will BE FINE! The worst part is lugging the stroller, carseat and luggage while keeping your baby comfy. Most people are sweet and are willing to help a Mama with a wee one. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. HAVE FUN! How wonderful for Elias to meet his Great Grandmas! And how great for them! And for you too. I can just imagine all the pictures!


Sarah August 21, 2008 at 6:30 pm

My only word of advice is to nurse him like crazy! LOL When I travelled with my daughter, she was just permanenetly attached to the boob – and everyone was very, very glad. :)


lizwiththree August 21, 2008 at 10:05 pm

this is so crazy, but i get memory makers mag and just realized the connection here-took me a while. but your scrapping is just beautiful. i found your site from audrey caroline’s. but yes i would also recommend a sling-but from experience you have to take it off going through the detectors-pain. but i am a true believer in the sling. all of my babies have been in the sling from birth till walking and then some. i loved the ultimate baby wrap. good luck with your travels-and have fun. your baby is just precious. you are so blessed.


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