Sally and I are headed on a quick trip to Atlanta to visit my older brother. While we get ready to leave today I thought I’d share 10 Ways To Make Flying Alone With An Infant Easier! Fun fact… I wanted to be a pilot back in the day. That’s why I came to Pittsburgh! Aerospace engineering obviously didn’t work out… but I still LOVE to fly!
- Wear them! I’ll always prefer a ring sling for ease of getting baby in and out- but a soft structured carrier (like an ergo or Tula) works too! And a bit of insider advice 😉 you DO NOT have to take baby out of their carrier even if there are metal parts- you can request a manual search instead. This isn’t *awesome* I’ll be honest. And the TSA people might think you’re a pain in the behind. But it is preferable in my opinion to waking up a sleeping baby, especially when traveling alone!
- Make sure your bags are comfortable to carry. Comfortable straps. Functional wheels. Lots of separated pockets and easy to open zippers help keep all your “stuff” available even when you only have one hand or an elbow to find what you need. I love love this bag: Skip Hop Duo Special Edition Diaper Bag, French Stripe
- Fill that bag up with useful essentials: changes of clothes for you AND baby. Because poop is awful and airplane bathrooms are tiny. Extra diapers and wipes. Bountiful food (you will never be more hungry than you are when you get stuck in an empty terminal in the middle of the night with a sleeping baby pinning you down). Your phone charger. Toys for baby if they’re old enough to play. And a big blanket or swaddle to lay on the floor so baby can stretch and play. Nursing necklaces are must haves for us.
- If you have a compatible phone, see if you can download the airport app and or an app for the airline you are flying. NOT having to hunt around and keep track of a paper ticket is a godsend when you have no extra hands to begin with. When flying Southwest, you can add your ticket to Passbook and it comes right up on your screen when you are at the terminal- you don’t even need to unlock your phone!
- Have a flight cancellation contingency plan. If you are traveling alone with an infant, you can never be too prepared. Decide what you’ll do if your flight gets canceled BEFORE your flight gets canceled. Do you have a car seat with you? Is there an airport hotel nearby? Do you have a friend or family member available any time to come pick you up if you need to spend another night where you are?
- If you are comfortable doing so, photograph important documents, medical identification or payment cards so you have them stored in your phone. God forbid something gets lost or stolen but if something did- you would still have access to your important information in an emergency.
- Pack infant Motrin. Sudden onset tooth pain or ear infections suck butt when you are about to step onto an airplane. Be prepared.
- Give yourself extra time. No explanation needed.
- ASK FOR HELP. Seriously. I think people these days have some misguided notion that your in everything alone… All of my airport experience has proven this notion so wholly wrong. From helping lift and stow carryon luggage to distracting melting down kids and letting you use their tray table for water, people are all doing the same thing you are- surviving (and trying to enjoy!) a journey as best they can. The less tears the better- for everyone! Airport workers can be incredibly helpful too. They know ins and outs, best places to rest, find quiet, get a fresh bite to eat etc. etc. Just ask!
- Enjoy yourself! You are already awesome for venturing out to fly alone with a baby. Have fun!
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Have a great weekend!