Traveling with Baby

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It’s archives week here at SMB.  Here’s one from our early days:

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Pre-Nora I used to travel a lot (and by a lot I mean once  a month).  And I’ll be honest, even without a baby, airplane travel can be stressful by itself.  They’ve made security a mini-nightmare (all for good reasons but please) and sitting in a 1×6 foot space is anything but comfortable. However, your travel life needn’t stop  just because you’ve become a parent.  Reality is – our travel lives will never be the same; however, traveling with children has it’s upsides as well. You may discover (as we did) the world is a friendlier place than you knew. There’s no easier way to meet people than with a baby in your lap. baby, airplane 

Let’s be honest though – the notion of toting all the things a baby needs through Phoenix Sky Harbor seems a little daunting.  Now after 3 trips with N I wouldn’t say we’re experts – but we have figured out a few things. 

Below are our top 6 tips for travel with babies on airplanes.  

1.  Be Flexible. Traveling with children can be a wonderful experience — if you go with the flow. N is such a gift but she tends to get bored easily,  so it was important for us to keep our itinerary simple.  

2. Pack lightly.  Other (much-wiser) mommies suggested we take pre-mixed formula bottles (if you’re not breasfeeding obviously) and disposable nipples.  Although we didn’t follow their suggestion I can totally understand why they said this as it would have made feeding on the plane much easier. There really are so many things to bring when traveling with baby so try and think “pack lightly” – it will really help make things a lot easier for you. 

3. Travel with a backpack or stroller-docking baby bag. It makes a huge difference if you can keep your hands free as you navigate your stroller through a busy airport. Even a mommy hook  can be a huge help. 

4. Check the fold-ability and dimensions of your stroller and car seat. Airport security can be a huge pain without a stroller and car seat that can fit through the x-ray machines. We learned this the hard way as our BOB Stroller wouldn’t fit through the x-ray machine.  This probably added 5 or so minutes onto our already LONG and extensive security check.   

5. Try to plan around your child’s temperament and naps. If you know when your child tends to nap, be at their crankiest, and be the most hyper, you can plan your trip around their schedule.  This isn’t always possible which is why it’s important to remember #1 – Be Flexible.   

6. Bring kid-friendly distractions. Bring a portable DVD player and some of your child’s favorite movies. Seriously.  I know there is a lot of talk about babies and TV.  But let me tell you – you and your other co-passengers will thank me for this tipe.  These can keep your child distracted during that critical travel time. I also brought a handful of toys to keep her distracted.   

Happy Trails.

Here are some local resources:
Phoenix Sky Harbor Kids Play Areas
Take a Tour of the Airport (ages 6+)
Don’t Forget about the Phoenix-Mesa Airport

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Steph is the Co-founder of Scottsdale Moms Blog and Social Media Director for Family Matters. She is mamma to Nora (July 2009) and Elsie (May 2011) and wife of Alan.  She loves shopping for great deals, wearing funky jewery and spending loads of time with friends.  Steph gets a kick out of multitasking and loves nothing more than throwing a good party. You are always welcome to e-mail Steph at [email protected].

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