Travelling with an Infant... And a Toddler!

1:25 AM

If you count flights with layovers as 2, and start from conception, Oliver has been on over 20 flights. Dakota has 3 under her belt. I'm not saying we are seasoned travellers just yet but I'd love to share some tips for the parents out there who think bringing someone under 5 along on your vacation is crazy. 

Many airlines charge per checked bag so try to keep it minimal. Pack essentials in your carry on in case your luggage is lost, but don't pack liquids in there. You are allowed to bring drinks for babes if they check them out at security. In my carry on (which is a backpack so it's hands free) I pack passports (or birth certificates for 12 and under on domestic flights), snacks, tablet with games loaded, diapers and wipes, back up onesie in case of blow out, blanket to cover while nursing, and wallet. I recommend bringing only enough diapers to get you to your designation then buying a small pack when you get there. I calculate 10/day for Dakota and 5 for Oliver. 

When you check in, or before, tell the airline if you have a "lap child". That's a child under 2 who is free because you aren't buying them a seat. They'll add that to your boarding pass. Sometimes telling them that you are traveling with an infant will score you a better seat. Check your car seat if you aren't using it. I recommend keeping your stroller til the gate. You can also check a pack n play for free although we don't own one. 

At the gate
Give your stroller to an attendant and they'll get it back to you when the plane touches down. You'll likely be able to skip the line too. If you have a lay over be sure to check if your luggage is automatically moved for you or if you need to pick it up and re-check before your connection.  Toddlers love a window seat so if you've booked the whole row keep that in mind. 

I highly recommend nursing during take off and landing to alleviate ear pain from altitude change. Not every bathroom has a change table so check for the mommy-baby icon before entering. Ask the steward if they have lids and straws for cups to make them more kid friendly/ spill unfriendly. 

Baggage claim
Sometimes car seats and strollers will arrive in a special area called oversized. Check with staff. 

While in town
Ask your car rental place for a vehicle that can take a car seat, some can't (like a one bench pick up truck with air bags.). 

I hope these tips help. Do you have any to add?

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