This post was sponsored by Store Brand Formula. All opinions are my own.
Having family out of state means we have done a lot of flying with our children. Children fly free (and on their parent’s lap) until they are two, so over the years we have taken advantage of that benefit as much as possible.
Since Ezra turns two on New Year’s Eve, I decided to take him with me to my grandmother’s funeral last month. It was the last free flight for my kids! On those four flights with Ezra (we were unable to fly direct) I was touched by how kind people were toward us. They helped me with my bags, smiled at Ezra and were simply there to lend a hand when I needed it.
I was also reminded about how important it is to be prepared when you are traveling with a little one. If you are going to be traveling with your baby this holiday season, here are a few useful tips.
- Get to the airport early: Having plenty of time available makes for a much less stressful time traveling. It also allows for plenty of time if you need to change or feed the baby.
- Bring your baby’s birth certificate or passport: You’ll need to prove your baby’s age, so don’t forget a birth certificate or passport. (If you need a passport for your newborn, read these tips.)
- Check your bags: It is much easier to fly with a baby if you check the baggage you won’t need until your destination. Less bags means you can focus more on your little one and his or her needs.
- Wear your baby: This allows you to keep your hands free. Most airports will allow you to wear your baby while going through security.
- Bring a stroller: If you are wearing your baby, you can use your stroller as a cart, which makes it so much easier to navigate the airport with your baby and gear in tow. If you are not wearing your baby, a stroller makes it easy to move quickly through an airport.
- Pack your diaper bag with all the essentials: Plan for at least one diaper per hour of travel, extra clothes, sippy cups and bottles, small toys and store brand formula if your baby is bottle fed. I prefer using a backpack diaper bag, as they hold a lot and keep the weight dispersed on my back.
- Make bottles on the go: None of my kids were nursed exclusively, and I always found it so easy to make a bottle with store brand formula while traveling. My favorite trick for getting the perfect temperature milk on a plane is to fill the bottle with half bottled water and half hot water provided by the flight attendant. The combo makes the perfect temperature for the formula. You can save money on formula by using store brand infant formula since it costs up to fifty percent less than heavily advertised brands. My children didn’t have any preference over store brand vs. name brand formula. Moreover, they meet the same FDA standards, use high-quality ingredients and are nutritionally comparable to nationally advertised formula brands.
- Plan for the worst case scenarios: Holiday travel often means delays, so have more than enough supplies and entertainment to get you through long stints at the airport. Baby safety and money saving expert Sandra Gordon recommends having a prepared bottle on hand for the check-in process. I was never great at nursing while walking, so I always have flown with pre-measured store brand formula and bottles just in case I wasn’t able to nurse and one of my little ones wanted milk.
- Have your baby suck on something during take-off and landing: Sucking can help prevent your baby’s ears from popping. I have often found that the combination of sucking (be it a bottle, a pacifier or nursing) and the white noise of the plane would lull my little ones to sleep.
For many, flying with a baby is nerve-racking, but I promise it doesn’t have to be. Just stay calm, have all the essentials like diapers and formula, and take everything in stride.
What tips do you have for flying with a baby?