Flying Monkeys: 5 Tips on Flying with a Little One
Today's Guest Editor is Ali - trendsetter, jetsetter and mother of one-year-old, Charlie. I get asked frequently for advice on traveling with small children, so when I decided to do a blog post on the topic, I thought of Ali first. With family and friends all over the country, she's had a lot of practice in perfecting the art of traveling with a child.
Here are Ali's 5 tips on how to make flying with your baby a breeze! Enjoy and safe travels!
Having lived in New York for the past 10 years, there is one thing that I can say about this city – the people are always on the go. New Yorkers are rushing from one obligation or social event to the next, and on weekends (especially summer weekends) people are fighting traffic to rush out of town. Neither my husband nor I are native New Yorkers, and growing up we both moved around the country. As a result, our family and friends are scattered across states, and many of our weekends are spent rushing to catch a flight.
Flying is stressful without children, but throw a new baby into the mix, and traveling becomes exponentially more complicated. Here are some tricks that we used with our little monkey Charlie last year (now 1 year old) that made our flights a little bit easier - and even a little bit relaxing at times!
1. Bring a few new toys and books
The last thing you want is a bored baby on a plane. Instead of bringing Charlie’s toys from home, which he has played with countless times, we usually buy a few new toys and books before each flight. We pull one of them out the second he starts to fuss and always get at least 15 minutes of quiet play (which is a lifetime for an infant!).
Charlie is captivated by bright colors. These books by Taro Gomi are bright, easy for babies to hold, and durable enough to withstand being thrown into the aisle over and over again: http://bundlenyc.com/content/taro-gomi-boxed-set
As is this adorable fish toy from Melissa and Doug: http://bundlenyc.com/content/melissa-doug-friendly-fish-grasping-toy
2. Don’t forget a touch of home for comfort
To say my son is obsessed with his monkey lovie (which we named “Bobo”) is an understatement. We give him a lovie or two for naptime and for bedtime, and they instantly settle him down and help him drift off to sleep. They are therefore a MUST on flights. It can be hard for Charlie to fall asleep on a plane, but if we give him his Bobo, he usually drifts right off.
We got Charlie’s Angel Dear monkey lovies from Bundle, I also love the sweet Little Lamb version: http://bundlenyc.com/content/angel-dear-white-lamb-lovie
3. Comfy clothes with easy diaper access are a must
Changing diapers is never fun – let alone changing diapers in a cramped, jostling airplane bathroom. You want to get in and out as quickly as possible and don’t want your baby’s clothes to slow you down. My son only wears Splendid outfits on flights because there are no complicated buckles or snaps. Plus, an added benefit is that the striped patterns usually hide any stains from spilled baby food or milk, so that he arrives at Nana and Pop-Pop’s looking just as cute as when he left New York.
Charlie will wear this Splendid set on our Presidents Day flight: http://bundlenyc.com/content/splendid-striped-set
And this Little Ella outfit would be perfect for a baby girl: http://bundlenyc.com/content/little-ella-coral-apache-tunic-set
4. Your IPad will be your best friend
Distraction is the name of the game when your little one becomes restless, and the IPad is one of the BEST tools you can use to distract. We make sure to fully charge my IPad before each flight, and load it up with episodes of his favorite shows (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Backyardigans). And when he becomes bored with the shows, there are several apps that he loves as well – Peekaboo Barn is his absolute favorite.
5. Snacks, Snack, and More Snacks
A well-fed baby is a happy baby, so make sure you bring plenty of food and drinks with you. Whether your baby is eating breast milk, formula, solid food, or several of the above, make sure that you have an extra serving or two of whatever they are having. Now that my son is one, we load up on several different kinds of snacks and bring a few sippy cups and bottles filled with water and apple juice. Don’t rely on the flight attendants for your little ones drinks – they don’t come around often enough – buy them before you get on the plane!