Liliana was just 4 months when we traveled to Los Angeles. It was a two and a half hour flight from Seattle with no time zone change. It doesn’t get much more straightforward, but we discovered some key things that I’m sure we will use with each flight even as she gets older.
I’ll keep learning with each trip we take, but these are the things that worked for us.
Plan your flight times strategically
We planned our flights around the little ones nap schedule. It worked out pretty seamlessly both times. On the way home Liliana actually napped almost the entire trip, which gave Brian and I a chance to catch up. It was pretty sweet.
Bring the stroller
Liliana loves the stroller—we have the Orbit Baby and the entire family loves it. We strolled through the airport. This little babe was completely content and actually fell asleep right before we boarded both times. We checked the stroller at the gate and purchased this and this (cheap covers) to protect it. If you are early, head on up to the gate desk and let them know you are checking your stroller and they will give you boarding tags. This step will save you time getting through the gate.
We packed one large suitcase for all three of us that we checked, a backpack that I used for my diaper bag the entire trip and Brian packed a bag with our electronics that he was in charge of.
Brian and I delegated who was in charge of what so security would be efficient. I had the easy job. I removed all the creams and formula for Liliana and put it in the security tray along with my shoes, etc. I was also in charge of taking Liliana out of the stroller so Brian could load it on the conveyer belt. Brian also handled his backpack. Doing it this way made things go very smoothly. Liliana and I went through security just fine (they are much nicer to you when you have a baby).
I tried the premixed formula and I didn’t love the color it made her spit up and it seemed to make her poops a little more explosive than I would have liked. So on the way home I got the travel packets and just asked the flight attended right when I sat down if she didn’t mind warming up my bottle for me. She was totally fine with it and this option actually worked out way better since her poops were a little more predictable. If she wasn’t already asleep I planned on feeding her both at take off and landing to help with the air pressure, but she slept right through it.
One diaper change before boarding
This might sound logical, but it was a lifesaver since she fell asleep at he beginning of the flight. We only had to use the airplane bathroom once on both flights. And Brian actually did the diaper change up in the air and he said it wasn’t too bad at all. We use this traveling changing pad when we change her out and about and it has been perfect and convenient every time.
Ship what you can
A few weeks before we left I ordered a few key things and had them delivered like diapers, formula, bottle brush, creams and a few toys I knew she loved, so we didn’t have to lug anything bulky.
I hope this helps those of you that have a trip coming up with your little one. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to the trip, but it ended up being so much easier than I thought it was going to be.