To carseat or not to carseat?
should i bother getting my little one his own seat?
how do i get my baby a passport?
Our WanderLittles team has logged hundreds of thousands of miles, many with littles in tow. Whether headed out on a domestic or international flight with your little ones, let our experienced WanderMoms give their advice and opinions (and please give your own!).
Jess says: Get cash and make sure it is in $1's (or pounds or whatever). It is SO worth it to tip a shuttle driver or sky cap that $1/bag in order to save some strength and sanity. It is also worth the $4 or so for a bag trolley.
If you have a flight out early in the morning, write yourself a list and leave it by the front door (or in another strategic location) of all the important things you will need to grab in the morning that may have been used overnight: a favorite lovey, baby's sleep sack, toothbrushes, monitors, etc. You may think you will remember, but you can often get in a huge rush and you definitely don't want to find yourself boardin without Kitty!
Worried about ear pain? In my experience, takeoffs haven't been bad, but things sometimes get rocky closer to landing. Bring along a paci, nurse, or give a bottle or sippy; the sucking motion relieves pressure. I have even brought along fruit/veggie pouches to give during that time.
And don't be surprised when the flight attendant won't take a diaper to throw away. They're not being mean; it's not allowed. But they will happily give you a bag for your diaper-- you will just have to take it with you.
A lot of international airlines will let you book a children's meal for the flight. Just check out the website under food options!
Exercise them before you get on the plane. Take a few laps around the foodcourt or terminal. They will be cooped up for HOURS.
Also, make nice with the flight attendants. Think about it, these people control your access to food, beverages, blankets, pillows, and serve as liaison for complaints from other passengers. Not only are they usually super great people, but they can be the difference in a smooth or rough flight for your kids and you.
And realize that kids cry. They just do. Everyone knows it, everyone expects it (even though they don't like it). The worst thing you can do on a flight is to freak out every time your child gets upset. Yes, I want my children to be quiet on the plane, but they are just little kids.
Kelly says: Short(er) layovers. We recently had a 9-hour layover in Boston on our way to Ireland!! Luckily M sleeps well in the stroller so we pushed her around the airport for naps.
Mel says: If you are traveling with more than one kiddo, dress them alike so they are easy to spot!
McKinley adds one important note: keep your expectations in check. If you plan for the worst, but maintain a positive attitude and the patience of Job, you will make it. DO NOT pack a magazine or book for yourself. Remember, you must manage your expectations and if you expect to read a book/mag, you will only be let down.