As soon as we made it semi out of cold/flu season, it was time to introduce Lainey to a beloved Lewis family pastime – traveling! Back in March, when Lainey was 11 months old (7 months adjusted), we took her to Hawaii. Everyone kept asking us why we were traveling when she was that young because she’ll never remember it! But obviously they forgot that Bryan and I still have memories and we remember awesome family trips, ha! Traveling with your baby is a personal decision, but as a family we decided that travel is important to us and we aren’t going to stop that just because we have kiddos. So here are some of my tips for traveling with a baby:
1. Have very few expectations!
If you are used to traveling with adults, expect everything to take longer and plan for fewer activities. Factoring in that extra time will help everyone remain stress-free – or, let’s be honest, at least less stressed!
2. Let the airline know that you’ll be bringing your infant.
When planning your travel, you’ll need to decide if you want to travel with baby on your lap or if you want to purchase an extra seat. We’re cheap so we are going to travel with Lainey on our lap until we aren’t allowed to anymore! Even if you decide to travel with a lap baby, you’ll need to book a ticket for your infant. It’s different on different airlines. On Delta, Lainey had her own ticket but on American my ticket just said “plus infant” so it totally depends on the airline!
3. Pack a carry on with baby essentials!
I was so paranoid that the airline would lose our luggage that I made sure all the essentials were in a carry on. I was so glad I did this because everything for our flight was in one place! I made a handy dandy carry on packing list for your convenience, so it’s definitely a good starting point. [see below]
For my tubie parents, I also made sure to have the following in our carry on:
4. Prepare for security.
You can wear your baby through security – did you know that?! Just make sure you are using a carrier that doesn’t have any metal in it. Also, formula and medication mamas be aware that your bag will have to go through some extra screening. I make sure to tell the TSA agent right away that there is baby formula and medications in the bag. Once it goes through the X-ray machine thingy, they’ll take it off to the side and probably do a simple swab test. Pro tip – smile at these poor TSA agents! It can be frustrating and stressful but these people deal with angry travelers all day and they’ll be happy to see a smiling face and a cute baby.
5. Rent a stroller and carseat!
In Hawaii, we brought our own stroller and car seat and gate checked them both but it was so many extra bulky items and I just ended up being more frustrated at the airport. When we went to L.A. we rented a carseat from the rental car company and a stroller at Disneyland. It cost us a few extra bucks but saved our sanity! Now, if we were traveling with a really fresh baby, we probably would have wanted our stroller, etc. so this totally depends on your personality!
6. Book your flight during a good nap time.
On our way to Hawaii we had a 3 hour flight and then a 6 hour flight. We brought the doc-a-tot and laid it over our lap and Lainey totally zonked for most of the flight! It was awesome. On our way back from L.A., we booked the flight during peak active time for Lainey and she was NOT pleased to be confined to a plane seat. You don’t always have a choice, but it is something to think about. Also, I’m not above giving my kid a little Benadryl before the flight. Check with your pediatrician beforehand, though!
7. You CAN do it!
Traveling with baby can be difficult, but it is so SO worth it! We have loved taking Lainey on our adventures and seeing the world through her eyes. It has been so rewarding. So, friend, throw a dart at a map and travel with your baby! You won’t regret it.