AirplaneTravelessentials

Do you have an airplane trip planned that you are stressed about or even possibly dreading? While it may be challenging to travel with a baby and young children there are definitely ways to ease the journey and make it less stressful.

If you know me personally, then you would know that one of my greatest fears is the fear of flying. I get very claustrophobic and every bit of turbulence has me squeezing my arm rest thinking the worst is about to come. This is very tough to manage while trying to put on a strong carefree face for my children. The best option would be me not needing to fly at all! However, with my family living in America and me living in South Africa I am destined to travel alone with my kids to America atleast once a year. I’ve been living away from America for 9 years which means I am now a seasoned (although still scared) traveller. Having my bags packed properly and my necessities near by helps ease my traveling stress.
airplanetravelwithkids

Although you may not be a fearful traveler like me, I travel with my children 2-3 times a year and can offer you some advice.

Here are some tips and necessities that I pack when I travel:

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you tell yourself that the journey to your destination will not be too long and that you will get through it and reap the benefits of the lovely holiday away. If your child acts up keep that in mind. Some kids naturally feel sleepy and nap a lot then you won’t even have to worry (1 out of 3 kids for me!) Most of your travel struggle is in your mind. Be confident about your capabilities as a Mother and you will get through it with flying colors.

Secondly, make sure you bring the necessary items:

Baby necessities (Birth to 2 years):

1. Stroller/Pram – I love my Maclaren Quest. I have traveled with this stroller all over the world through three different children. It is my preferred stroller because it is lightweight and takes up very little space in the trunk of taxis (which is already normally overloaded with my filled to capacity luggage – did I mention that I love to shop?)

2. Well packed diaper bag: I love my Jujube BeAll Diaper bag and it has gone through my three kids still looking like new.

  • Clothes- Pack atleast two or more change of clothes depending on your travel time. Also bring atleast one long sleeved vest.
  • Diapers and wipes- Bring atleast twice the amount of diapers you would normally need. Some babies get a running stomach while in the air.
  • Bibs and a cloth- Some babies get nauseous in the plane so bring along a cloth and two bibs just in case!
  • Saline nasal spray- spray each childs nostrils before take off. This apparently keeps your childs ears from hurting as much and coats the nasal passages so it’s less easy for germs to find their way in.
  • Thermometer- fevers always pop up at the most inopportune time.
  • Medicines in a ziplock bag with dropper- We take Panado and Allergex.
  • Changing Mat
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Scented diaper trash bags
  • Baby Food- I just buy the pouches of baby food to use on the airplane.
  • Plastic Cosmetic Type Bag for baby food – I place my baby food in a seperate small plastic zip bag. It includes: two pouches of food(I used pure Squish baby food below), two disposable bibs (pigeons works great!), two plastic spoons(munchkins is my favorite), tissues and face wipes. I take out whatever I need from here and place it on my side so it is all easily accessible while I’m feeding the baby. When I’m done I throw whatever is leftover into the scented diaper trash bag (except for the spoon which I wipe off when I wipe babies face with a tissue), tie it up and leave it aside.
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  • Jacket/sweater
  • Hat- to cover babies ears from the harsh air conditioners in the plane.

breastfeeding cover

3. Breastfeeding cover- I have my Posh LiL Diva Snuggle Wrap breastfeeding cover with me at all times. The air hostess normally makes me put my diaper bag into the luggage hold during take off and landing (for safety reasons) but I keep my Snuggle Wrap Feeding Cover Bag next to me. It’s so small that the air hostess never complains. In that bag I have my feeding cover, two diapers and small travel wipes. I cannot travel without this bag! (It’s like a bare necessities diaper bag). Join Posh LiL’ Diva’s Facebook page to keep up to date with sales!

traveling with baby carrier becco sac pouch

4. Baby carrier- I often travel with my kids alone (my husband doesn’t always come with me) so I need my hands to be as free as possible. My kids prefer to be in the baby carrier close to me as opposed to in their stroller. I let one of my older kids sit in the stroller and have my baby in the baby carrier from the time I go through security till I get to the airplane. I then her  back in the baby carrier after we land. I can then maneuver the airport with my stroller and pull my luggage while keeping track of all my kids. I take the baby carrier with me to shopping malls too (young kids get really tired and often want a turn in the stroller too.)
I normally take a Soft Structured Carrier and a pouch. My recommendations:
Pouch: Rhubarb and Custard for quick ups and downs
Soft Structured CarrierBecco Baby Carrier (my version is no longer sold though) or a Kinderpack if you live in the USA.
For my South African readers you can try the African Baby Carrier (I have not tried this brand but it looks closest to what I have. You can also try searching for an Ergo Baby Carrier, which comes highly recommended!)

flying with chicco carseat business class economy

4. Car seat-
I recently travelled with my car seat on board and was amazed at how relieved I felt when my baby was sleeping while she was buckled into her seat. I hate putting my child in the baby cot onboard because firstly it’s dangerous (they aren’t properly buckled!) and anytime there is turbulence they make you take the baby out (this causes many unnecessary wake ups and broken sleeps for Baby and Mom!) You can book a separate seat for your baby (whether this proves to have value to you will depend on how long your flight is) or you can just pray that there is an empty seat in your ticket class. When you check in ask the check in lady if she can place you next to an empty seat because you have a car seat and would like your child to be buckled in. Some airlines have a policy that if there is an empty seat they have to block it off for your car seat for free. Certain airlines also allow you to check your carseat in (as a luggage piece) for free.

when traveling with sophie the giraffe tie elastic around her to keep her from falling
5. A few little toys
- We took Sophie the giraffe. Tie an elastic around Sophie’s neck and tie the other side either on the carseat or the stroller. This will keep your toy from falling on to the floor and getting dirty whenever your baby throws or drops it. (Thanks for this one, Yasira!)

6. Baby Snacks- bring small snacks in a ziplock bag or small plastic containers for your child to much on. Pack a banana, flings or some cereal.

7. A baby blanket- it gets really cold on the plane so it’s nice to have your own clean blanket that baby can cuddle up with. Having a familiar blanket from home can also relax baby. Your feeding cover can double up as a light blanket too.

8. Baby bottles, pre-measured formula and a small thermos if your child is formula and bottle fed.

9. Pacifiers/Dummies- my third child didn’t normally use a dummy but I did bring along two to use during our flights. Sucking a dummy helps relieve ear pain from the change in air pressure.

For toddlers and older kids (18 months and up):

1. My number one weapon for girls is… Stickers! Stickers have got me through many dreaded “seatbelt sign is on” moments. I save up a few which I don’t show my kids until landing time. This is the time when they are most crabby and just want to get off the plane. Forgot to bring stickers? Use the stickers that are there in your seat pocket (yep the one that says if you want to be woken for meals, young kids really don’t know any better anyway.)

2. iPads loaded with new games and shows- yes the plane has televisions but have you ever tried to look at the tv screen from the your childs height? The screen looks almost black unless the child is sitting on top of their knees or on top of three pillows. Also, your Childs favorite shows may not be onboard. This works great for taxi rides too!

3. Headphones- so as not to disturb other passengers.

travelactivitybooks

4. Activity books and crayons- I either buy these books from CNA or exclusive books the week before I leave. There are stickers inside, mazes, and fine motor activities to keep my kids stimulated and busy. I buy one for my departing flight and another for my returning flight if the book has few pages. My favorite activity books by far are the ones by Priddy Books (such as the builder one above). They include a lot of stickers and very fun activities.

5. Snacks for older kids- you can pre-pack a meal from home or little treats that won’t go off quickly.
Children don’t always want to wait to eat during the set meal times nor do they always like the food that is served.

6. A change of clothes for each child and parent- you never know who might spill something on their clothes.

Helpful Tip!
My Bag Stroller Contraption 

Did you wonder how I manage to carry my baby, push my stroller, carry my diaper bag and pull my carry on luggage all at once? The baby gets into a baby carrier (hands free), other young child gets into the stroller, diaper bag gets placed over the handles of my stroller and I lift my rolling hand luggage handle over my strollers handle. I push the stroller and the stroller pulls my carry on luggage. This works great when you walk in a straight line but when you need to turn you will have to make a wide turn like a truck!

travelingwithbaby

What other items do I need for the rest of my travel?
More diapers and wipes
Disposable bibs and bags
Steriliser
Pacifier/Dummy steriliser
Clothes and baby cap (if it’s sunny)
Bottles or cup for water
Baby shampoo
More baby food
Plastic bowl with a few more spoons
A little bit of Dishwashing liquid (to clean up cup, bowel, spoons and bottle) and a small sponge.
Extra ziplock bags- trust me you’ll be happy you brought some.

I hope this very thorough list helps ease your journey!

Do you have something to add? If I forgot anything please add it in the comments below and I will be sure to update this post with my readers suggestions.

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