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5 Tips for Flying w/ a Lap Child 

Hi guys! We’re headed to Oahu today and I can’t wait, it’s our first time in Hawaii! Last night my husband asked me what I was most excited about and I told him snorkeling! To which he replied some snarky comment about him being excited to spend time with me…. Haha Oops! Surprising he loves me sometimes 😉

A few months ago, a dear friend asked me for some tips on flying with her sweet baby and while I was explaining some things I realized that I’ve learned a ton (through messy, poopy, mistakes) about this tricky subject in the past year and a half. Today’s trip will mark my little boy’s 41st (one way) flight- around half of which I’ve completed sans husband to help out – so flying with one baby/toddler is one thing I feel I have down pat. All this knowledge will become fond memories when another kiddo gets thrown into the mix, of course, but for now, I’ll share 5 tips of flying with one lap baby/toddler.

1. Maternity pants pat down- ok so this is a pre-child tip but it still counts 😉 If you’re pregnant and wearing those maternity pants that have a band which goes over your belly, let the TSA agent know if/when you request a pat down. I forgot this a few times when I was pregnant and the TSA agents were so confused and unnerved that they couldn’t find the waistband of my jeans… 

2. Remove baby wipes from luggage- I always take out any baby wipes I have with me and put them on the trays when going through security. They often set off the scanner and cause your stuff to need to be searched – you don’t want to be delayed with a baby in your arms who may need to eat or is just as fussy as I can get at the sight of long security lines…

3. Gate check your car seat- maybe I’ll feel differently when I have to lug 2 or more car seats to the plane but for now I always gate check my car seats. I’m just not comfortable with how they throw them around under the plane. The difference here may be in what your car seat is made of…. I would NEVER check the sturdy car seat I use daily for my toddler it’s incredibly well made and such a dream I couldn’t risk it getting damaged. The extremely light travel car seat I use, which is literally just a plastic shell, I’m 95% sure would be fine tho. But here’s the other reason I choose to gate check it: if the plane isn’t full, you can often ask the boarding agent if they’ll let you bring it onto the plane. If they say yes then you’ve got it (almost) made! Hands free for at least part of the flight!

4. Storing items in-flight. I usually always pick a seat that isn’t in the bulkhead so that I can make sure to have my bag readily available at my feet (bulkhead seats are at the front of a plane’s section and don’t have seats in front of them so they make you store all your belongings in the overhead compartments). You’ll have less legroom but an easier time getting a bottle, or pacifier, or snack, or toy, or wipes for blowouts (which sometimes just happen regardless of how much you prepare for this…). If you’re traveling with someone and they don’t mind getting up to grab stuff from your diaper bag every five minutes then go for it. We’ve tried this in our family before and the only thing that happened was that my husband replaced my diaper bag on it’s side, causing a bottle to spill all over the compartment. We didn’t notice until we landed and found a little lake of breastmilk flooding the bags in the compartment… I know, so gross, I actually can’t believe I’m writing this down. I was mortified it got on someone else’s bag, so sorry to whoever that was!! 

5. Baby carrier- this item is your best friend when traveling, as I’m sure you’ve read. Here’s a funny tip which may be new to you tho: My friend asked me what I did with my baby carrier once I got onto the plane (in case it counted as a separate item- it doesn’t!) and I mentioned the great solution I found for storing it in flight. I don’t know about you but holding a baby for an entire flight (even if just for an hour, let alone 14!) in a confined space just kills my back. To remedy this, I fold my carrier and position it behind me at my lower back like a cushion, I can instantly tell the difference in my comfort level. it’s even better that I don’t have to reach up to put it away in the overhead bin when I get in my seat OR fuss with it every time I need something out of my diaper bag had I put it under the seat in front of me as well. 

And a bonus tip- if you’re pregnant, let the TSA agents guess what you’re having, they love it when they’re right and it’s always great to see them have a laugh!

Let me know what I missed and any tips you have that may help us all on our next vacation!

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One thought on “5 Tips for Flying w/ a Lap Child 

  1. Pingback: Friday Finds 

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