Here are my top tips to make flying with a toddler AND a baby easier!
One of my most popular blog posts is the one I wrote about flying on your own with a baby. I felt like I had that down, no problem. So you think that when it came to flying with a toddler and a baby after my second daughter was born, I’d be like, yup, I’ve got this. Uh, no, not so much.
But let’s back up to what led to this first flight with a baby and a toddler.
My mom recently retired and her co-workers were throwing her a retirement party in Minnesota that she really wanted all her children and grandchildren to be at. I of course wanted to be there to celebrate my mom, but except for two weeks when Vivi tricked us into thinking she was going to start sleeping through the night around two months old, my darling baby has been a less than stellar sleeper…up all the time wanting to nurse, only wants to sleep on me, doesn’t want to take a bottle from Tom…and she had recently started rolling over so we stopped swaddling her and the sleep got worse! So, long story short, I was really sleep deprived when all these texts about the retirement party from my family started coming in.
The idea of flying with a toddler and a baby to Minnesota on my own and then probably getting no sleep while there filled me with dread.
I kept stressing about it to Tom and asking if I was a horrible daughter if I didn’t go and he was finally like: “well, what if we just made it a quick weekend trip and I went too. We’ll use miles.”
I mentioned I thought those miles were for this summer’s family reunion in Michigan so we discussed taking out a new credit card to rack up new miles (#travelhacks).
So off to Minnesota we all went! Please don’t tell the other travel bloggers I was too scared to fly the first time with a baby and a toddler on my own. 😉
I think if I hadn’t been so sleep deprived at the time it would have seemed more achievable. (Though really…who’s NOT sleep deprived when you have a baby and toddler at home??)
Luckily, my husband rocks. Or he just likes his wife to keep her sanity!
So how did the flight with a baby and toddler go?
It actually ended up going great!
Here are some things that helped:
- TSA Precheck: This is so worth the time and money to get, especially if you have kids. We didn’t have to keep a hyper toddler contained in a long security line or worry about managing the toddler and baby while having to take off shoes, take out liquids, etc.
- Nursing Baby: I’m all about breastfeeding on airplanes. I know some people aren’t comfortable with it, and I totally get and respect that, but for me, I find it way easier to be able to latch her on for a takeoff and landing to help with ear pressure, or to be able to quickly put her to my boob if she starts to get fussy. Plus, she usually falls asleep while nursing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about it, I wrote this guide about breastfeeding on a plane.
- Seats By Each Other: We paid the $25 extra to get the Delta ticket that lets you choose your seats ahead of time to make sure Tom and I could reserve seats together in the same row. I had the baby in the Ergo and Lulu was thrilled about her window seat and Tom would help hold the baby when I needed to attend to Lulu. He was also in charge of potty runs.
- Naps and iPads: Vivi slept and Lulu watched TV the whole time. An airplane is NOT the time to stick to any limited screen time rules you have.
- Multiple Baby Carriers: I brought two baby carriers through the airport. I brought the Ergo for going through airport security and the terminal. Then after we sat down on the plane, I switched from the Ergo to the Maya Wrap. I find a ring sling more comfortable for plane rides and can get Vivi sleeping in it comfortable, too. It also can work as a nursing cover.
- Discuss the Flight: We prepared Lulu for the flight for the whole week leading up to it and what to expect. We also gave her jobs. She was in charge of her toys in her backpack and also helped push our carry-on suitcase through the airport.
We now have four flights with a baby and toddler under our belt and soon…I’ll be doing it on my own! Gulp. My mom got a timeshare condo on the central coast of California and invited us along. Tom has to work. I love the Central Coast. So…off we go. I’ll be sure to share a post of how that goes, too! Flying on my own with a toddler and baby…this could be interesting. Any tips??