Travel Tuesday: Tips for Flying With A Young Toddler

On June 3, I set off to San Francisco to see Geoffrey. Baby Boy was 15 months old and is an active child! It was Baby Boy’s first plane ride and my first time since Obama’s first inauguration. So, everything pertaining to security has changed since then. A lot. Especially now I have a little passenger with me.

We had direct flights (no need to change planes) but they were two legs each. So up and down twice. We Flew Southwest, so we were allowed two carry-ons, two checked baggage, a car seat, and a stroller free.

Here are some things I picked up along the way!

Booking A Seat For Your Infant

This is where you should really think. If your child mostly goes places with in a car, you should book them a seat.

We live in the country so he is used to his car seat. He knows what that means. What he doesn’t know is that being in mom’s arms does not equal having to sit down for hours. He was not calm during the trip because he thought since he was free that he could roam.

I know money can be tight, and next time, I will book his own seat because this trip both legs had completely booked planes so no extra seat (even if I had brought it with me).

Through Security

I wore Baby Boy on my back in our Ergo carrier (ours is an older version). I just went through the metal detector not the scanner. Then they swabbed my hands for explosive residue and I was good to go after that! When Geoffrey helped me through the airport, they even let him pass through the metal detector with me. So we could all be together.

One problem I did run into was the juice, milk, and baby food for Baby Boy. I had to get a pat-down at my home airport but in San Francisco had no problem had all! It might depend on your airport (and how busy they were).

They also lead us to a short line and I saw other families go there. So always ask the security attendant when you go through and they will be very helpful.

What To Wear

I wore something comfortable to me but made the mistake of wearing an easy to grab neckline because Samson wanted to show off my bra! I did wear pants because I was afraid of how cold it was gonna be.

Baby Boy however wore a Superman onesie. I chose a onesie that would look good by itself without looking “babyish”. (I don’t like him just wearing onesies and he can’t wear footie pajamas.) I also put on him some Baby Legs so it looks like he’s wearing pants without wearing pants (and makes diaper changes easy). He also wore socks and shoes (but one shoe got lost. :’( )

On the way back he just wore a Green Lantern onesie and his baby legs.

More people knew who Superman was so complimented how cute he was (the flight attendant really loved his baby legs :-) ). But Green Lantern isn’t as recognizable so I don’t think I got any comments at all. If you want your baby to look cute so baby don’t judge you when he cries, let him wear something and comfy (for baby and mama).

Gate Checking

I almost forgot to gate check my stroller both times! I had Geoffrey borrow a car seat (from a trusted friend) so we wouldn’t have to gate check ours (or buy one for there) because I have heard bad things about how they handle them.

To gate check, you go up to the desk for your flight and tell them you are going to gate check your stroller and/or car seat. They will tag it. When you enter the tunnel for the plane, you drop the stroller/car seat right outside of the door to the plane (where there is an “outside” door). When you return, it was there waiting for us. Please take any extras on there off because it might snag.

We left it folded, but each time we picked it up it was open (and no marks on it).

On The Plane

Some people said bring Snacks. Lots of them. Baby Boy wanted nothing to do with the snacks. He wanted the wrappers (which we played with for a good while). He wanted to run, but there was not room to run.

So, I did take him up and down the aisle a couple of times during the flight because it helped him release some energy (and everybody likes seeing a cute kid). We then went back to our window seat so he could see things.

For take off, I gave Baby Boy snacks but he didn’t really want them. I think he figured out how to pop his own ears so I’m pretty sure he did that on the way down (and up again). He did finally fall asleep but it was maybe the last hour and it ended when the plane hit the runway.

Navigate The Airport

I carried Baby Boy on my back while pushing the stroller which had the carry-on luggage and the backpack. I did let him roam but once it was time to line up, he went into the carrier no questions.

Ask the workers where to go and look for your airline first! That will be most helpful (especially if it’s in another terminal).

Carry-Ons

I had new toys and snacks, but baby boy didn’t want any of them. He didn’t even want my laptop, which I always carry with me. I put his pillow pet (Lightening McQueen) and blanket with extra clothes (and swimming clothes) in the carry-on luggage. I did put our liquids on the outside of the luggage to get easy access.

My backpack had the toys, snacks, laptop, and was also our diaper bag. All wipes, diapers, and changing pad was also in this bag. It was packed. (It is my school backpack, the JanSport Big Student Backpack).

Don’t stress! You will fine and even if baby cries (like mine did), you will most likely never see them again. You are the parent and you are doing the best you can. And don’t forget to bring food for you (I did and got hungry!).

 

All opinions are mine. I was not compensated by any company or any person to write this post. I do own all of these and paid for them out of my own pocket.

This entry was posted in Travel.