Top Tips for Flying with a Baby and a Toddler

Soooo clearly, this one took me a while to write, but more for the sole reason that adapting to two littles has it’s ups and downs and y’all I have just been SO tired. Like, I feel like it has taken me a MINUTE to get readjusted to being home with them both and finding a groove that works for us. However, let’s hope that I am on the up and up, if not, just bare with me while I adapt haha.

BUT. Today is not about adapting to two littles. Today, is all about FLYING with two littles.

Some of you may know that I recently took a trip to California by myself with my son (3 months at the time) and daughter (2.5). It was my first time flying with two kiddos and my first time flying with the two kiddos solo. I have flown with my daughter by myself, once in the past, but typically I always have my hubby with me. Now, while it was a bit rough, I did learn a few things and thought I would share them with all of you, in case any of you are as crazy as I might be and want to fly with your two children alone.

Before I get into my tips though, I just want to remind you that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. Yes, it is going to be hard. Yes, you are going to be a bit frazzled, BUT you can do it and the more you do it, the better you will get at it…anddddd hopefully some of my tips will help in the process. Also, since I have only done this once, these are just the few reflections I have made for myself in the future. I am by no means a go-to resources, just hoping I can shed a little insight as someone that has at least done it once.

Okay, my first recommendation is how you are going to transport both kiddos. Now, given the ages of mine, this is my best recommendation, but as they get bigger, this will of course change…I think it was easiest to baby wear my youngest and then have my oldest in a stroller to be checked at the gate. In fact, if you are only flying with one, baby wearing was great up until about 12-14 months. They like to see everything and it keeps you hands free. It also provides for a cozy sleep option while on the plane, which we love. I like to bring my stroller most places I go, so for me, I do like checking it at the gate, but just make sure your stroller is under 20lbs (at least broken down), because otherwise they will make you check it when you check your luggage.

Tip number two is to be very thoughtful about your number of carryons. With my daughter, I almost always have my husband with me, so having an extra set of hands is a game changer, however with two and being alone, simplicity is best. I personally packed what I normally would have packed if there were two of us, but hindsight I wish I would have slimmed down. My normal carryons include a toy bag (which also has a change of clothes, extra diapers, and a blanket), a snack bag (which carries my diaper changing supplies), and my milk bag. However, this was WAY too much for one person. In the future I would keep it to one bag with snacks and toys (truthfully the extra toys are more for the hardest flying age of 12-24 months) and my milk bag. I can be a bit of an over-packer and so I can definitely streamline things a lot more in the future and definitely recommend to keep bags at a minimum. ***NOTE: You can have ONE extra carryon to include your milk for baby and/or any breastfeeding/pumping supplies

In speaking of keeping things streamlined, tip number 3 is to keep everything super organized and know exactly where everything is in your bag. This is imperative when flying alone because it makes it super easy to grab whatever you need right away. I have a system with my own kiddos things that works super well, but find what you like best. A few things I recommend having organized include your diaper changing supplies – I keep diapers, wipes, and cream all right by each other so I just have to reach in and can seamlessly take out. Another method is knowing where all of your back up toys are – I like to know exactly where each item I packed for my daughter is within my stuff, so I can easily grab it when it’s time to pivot to a new task. I then, put these items back exactly as I packed them, so things don’t get lost.

Tip number four is to carry a fanny pack for yourself. I just wore this around my waist and never removed it. In it, I had my drivers license, a credit card, some extra cash, my chapstick, and my kindle. Basically, anything I would need for myself and want to have handy, I kept in here. This way I could easily reach right in and grab out what I needed. You truthfully don’t get a ton of time to yourself, but it was nice to be able to pull out my kindle and read a little, when both the kids were satisfied.

And lastly, tip number five is to pack some extra items with the possibility that you may not get your luggage in time. This has happened to me COUNTLESS times and I swear by always ensuring you have enough stuff you could get by with, to at least put the kids to bed (albeit probably not how you perfectly planned). This means packing an extra outfit and jammies and a sleep sack if you need it. Granted, most placed you travel to, you can easily pick up some of the things you need, but if your kiddo won’t sleep without a sound machine, I would pack a travel one just in case. This actually happened to us on our last trip and I had not packed a sleep sack for Easton or any pajamas for the kids, so I ended up doing a Target order, but sometimes when you are traveling you get to places late or there isn’t a store right there, so save yourself the headache and pack those few extra things. I promise, it’s worth it.

I have so many other tips I could give, but I am going to leave it at this for now. Perhaps, I will do a second installment, so keep a lookout! I hope you find this helpful and always remember that the more you do the thing, the easier it will get!

xoxo,

Melissa

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