My husband and I have been traveling with Rio since he was 9 weeks old. Until he was about 7 months, anytime we traveled I brought him in my carrier. He was so small and easy to hold and was exclusively breastfed so I didn’t have to bring a lot. It was a piece of cake! A couple months ago when Rio was 11 months old we flew to Nevis in the West Indies, and for Thanksgiving we went on a cruise with my husband’s entire family. If you follow my Instagram, you know that I only feed Rio certain foods. This has forced me to be very organized and prepared prior to leaving. Below I’ve made some lists of things that have helped me get through our travels while still giving Rio healthy foods. I’m also still nursing, which makes traveling much easier because there is always a way to comfort him and I know he’s still getting the nutrients from my milk. When we traveled to Nevis, we were going to be flying for a whole day so I brought enough food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Half an avocado with chopped spinach.
- Blueberries and raspberries.
- Love these Sage Spoonfuls containers.
- green smoothie (in a Squooshi pouch) and a
- Oatmeal with chia seeds, sprouted almond butter, coconut butter, strawberries, and cinnamon.
- No veggies but he had spinach, watercress and broccoli in his breakfast and lunch.
- With everything I added to this oatmeal, it has plenty of nutrients and protein. I prepped it in the morning before we left and he ate it cold, kind of like overnight oats).
- Water bottle ( I like the Kleen Kanteen) and some little snacks (I brought a cut up apple and some puffs.)
- My Arctic Zone cooler, similar to this is the perfect size for carrying everything in. I take it everywhere!
Here are some necessities that have helped us when traveling with baby food:
- A small cooler.
- Ice packs- make sure to keep ice packs inside a ziplock bag in case one gets punctured.
- Small wet bag with hand/face wipes and napkins plus a spoon.
- Bib- I love this Make My Day catch all bib. It rolls up, it’s compact and easy to clean. I also love this bamboo spoon/fork.
- Dishsoap- Dapple has these great tiny bottles for travel. Keep it in a small ziplock just in case it leaks. Fits perfectly in the outside pocket of the cooler.
- Burt’s Bees hand and face wipes
- Insulated lunch box. You can fit foods, such as pureed food pouches, puffs, bottles of water and formula, inside one, and then you’re more easily able to take everything out of your diaper bag or carry-on at once for security checks.
Tips for Flying with a Baby
As logic would tell you, being on an airplane for that long with a baby is hard. Confined areas for extended periods of time for children, and let’s be honest adults as well, aren’t the best situation. Here are some super helpful things I either read, experienced or were suggested to me about traveling with an infant:
1. Bring blankets and clothespins to create a barrier while breastfeeding.
Babies can be easily distracted and often flailing their arms about when trying to feed them. In an effort to avoid a nip slip with the nursing cover, these provide extra protection. Just use the clothespins to pin the blankets on each side of you to the seats.
2. Sit on the aisle.
My whole life I’ve been a window sitter, however I have found because of breastfeeding (and all the elbows everywhere) that it makes it much easier to feed baby while sitting in the aisle. It also makes it super easy to take baby for diaper changes.
3. Get a baby carrier and use it frequently in the weeks leading up to the trip.
We have an Ergo, which I cannot recommend enough! This thing was a lifesaver. If your baby hasn’t used much or napped in a carrier before your trip, practice using it before you leave to get your baby more comfortable in it and used to sleeping in it. When you’re traveling solo especially, going through security and managing all your gear is so much easier when you’re hands-free thanks to your baby carrier.
4. Don’t forget to eat.
Feeding baby is necessary, but so is feeding yourself. If I don’t drink enough water and feed myself, I am a grumpy mess. I always have a few KIND or EPIC bars in my bag in case I find my blood sugar dipping.
5. Bring a carry-on bag and a diaper bag.
You want to bring as little as possible when traveling with a baby, but between you and your baby, all the needed little items add up. Most airlines let parents have one carry-on bag plus a diaper bag or purse, so take advantage! That way you can divide up your necessities and make it easier to get the things you need, such as snacks, hand sanitizer, diapers and wipes, books, toys and extra outfits just in case.
6. Request a bassinet from the airlines or book a seat for the baby.
Long flights have bassinets available that latch on in the bulkhead rows. Unfortunately for us, they were already reserved and taken on both of our flights. This would have made flying a much more pleasant experience, but you live and learn. You can also book a seat for your baby and use your car seat since it is the safest place for baby on the plane. Make sure your car seat/carrier/pumpkin seat (whatever you call it) is airline approved – it should say so on the seat – and that you know how to buckle it in without the base.