Traveling with Kids Survival Guide: Flying Edition

Traveling with Kids Survival Guide: Flying Edition

HERE IS MY – AS PROMISED – TRAVELING WITH KIDS SURVIVAL GUIDE BY ME, A MOM THAT BASICALLY LIVES ON THE ROAD / PLANE.

As a baseball wife, during the baseball season, we are traveling  almost every 4-7 days. Some months, we are only in our teams home city for 6-10 days out of the month.

+  I have basically been drafting this post for 3 years… I am finally making myself post it – as imperfect and incomplete as it is. Hopefully it’ll help someone and I can always update as we continue to travel & our kiddos grow.

This will be our fifth season traveling with little Millie, and I must say, I have learned A LOT of tips & tricks. Once Millie was 6 weeks old (able to receive her first round of vaccinations), I took Millie to visit her daddy at Fall Instructs with the A’s in Arizona. Since then we have traveled with him for 3 full seasons – in Wisconsin (& the whole midwest league), Stockton (& the California league), Arizona for fall, Utah for winter, then Midland ( & the Texas League), & Nashville (& the Pacific Coast League).

It’s been a whole lot of traveling within a small amount of time… I have met so many different people and many have shared their tips on traveling with kids, toddlers, and babies. Many tips are also from my sisters & mom.

I made a little video from our past trip to visit Jaycob:

And now finally – Here is my

Traveling with Kids Survival Guide: Flying Edition

UPPAbaby VISTA Stroller System

I don’t know how I survived before we got our UPPABaby VISTA. It is mind-blowing how many conveniences & features it has. It comes with a bassinet (which we use by the bedside every night), can become a double stroller, & has fun add-ons (like the PiggyBack Ride-Along Board or “Skate Board” as Millie calls it).

Traveling with just 1 baby or child – consider the UPPAbaby CRUZ or UPPAbaby G-LUXE – Reclining Umbrella Stroller (the reclining feature is extremely important to me). If you are planning to expand your family, I fully recommend the UPPABaby VISTA.

TAKE YOUR STROLLER WITH YOU TO THE GATE

+ Remember to gate check: You don’t need to check your stroller with your suitcases, you can drive it right up to the door of the plane, and have it waiting for you on the other side.

+ You do not get a medal if you lug your baby and gear sans stroller all the way through the airport. I always see moms struggling without their stroller and just don’t understand why it ever seems like a good idea to ditch the stroller. It’s SO much easier on your body, baby, and let’s be honest your sanity!

THE EXTRAS TRULY MAKE YOUR TRIP EXTRA EASY

+ I mean it. As mentioned above & below, I am incredibly happier every time I use the extra accessories & travel bags – especially the PiggyBack Ride-Along Board & Travel bags (read more about these spectacular things, and what you can stuff in them, below).

I was nervous about traveling with this amazing stroller because I didn’t want it to get damaged. I know so many people that are so afraid they buy some crappy cheap stroller to travel with to “protect” their UPPAbaby. Which just makes traveling even harrrrder. You don’t need to do that! UPPAbaby has great travel bags with wheels! Yes… your read that correctly – wheels!

Also – UPPAbaby has an incredible TravelSafe program:

The “TravelSafe Program guarantees your stroller, RumbleSeat, or Bassinet during air travel! Wherever your travels may take you and your family, UPPAbaby has you covered. With our new TravelSafe Program, you can now gate check your gear without worry. By simply registering your Travel Bag online, any damage caused to your gear during air travel is fully covered by UPPAbaby!”

So basically you just pay for the bag & you get the TravelSafe Program benefits included!

Uppababy VISTA TravelSafe Travel Bag

It folds up small so that when you’re walking through the airport with your stroller, it can fit in the under-storage space. It also has wheels 🙌!

*TIP* – There is always extra room so I like to put my pump, or extra blankets in there so that I don’t have more to deal with while on the plane.

Accessories for UPPAbaby

Details & Care

This world-class convertible stroller system grows with your little one, including both a bassinet for babies and a toddler seat for later on. Shock-absorbing suspension and foam-core rubber wheels guarantee a smooth, puncture-free ride, while an adjustable handlebar and large, easy-access basket that holds up to 30 pounds make the VISTA fuss-free for parents. The bassinet features a vented base and canopy along with a perforated pad for breathability, and the forward- and back-facing toddler seat reclines a full 180 degrees with just one hand. The stroller is compatible with your UPPAbaby MESA infant car seat (sold separately) without any need for adapters and can be converted with additional pieces (also sold separately) to a configuration that holds up to three children at once. A wrinkle-resistant UPF 50+ sun shade adds welcome protection, and the whole thing folds in one quick step for travel or storage.

 

Tips & Tricks for flying with Children: Babies, Toddlers, & Kids –

Bring a variety of types of activities: books, hands-on activities, coloring (that won’t make a mess, toys, headphones, and electronic devices.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES

First things first, on this past trip, I got Millie this new bag that is a game changer. It is a backpack / tray table with sides to keep toys in / valet / organizer all in one.

It contained all her activities and made it so we only dropped on thing the whole time (window cling that popped off of the window). This bag will work well for road trips too.

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Millie picked this as her present from our trip. I won’t lie, I definitely directed the choice a bit because I knew how helpful it would be for traveling… and I wanted to play with it too!

It is a UV-Reactive & won’t dry out. It comes with a blacklight key chain so you can “draw” on the putty & it changes color. It’s very great for most ages. The putty is especially useful to relieve stress & help kids with sensory processing disorders.

They also have a magnetic putty that we want to try:

Wikki Stix

Pure gold right here – for toddlers & up. We take Wikki Stix on the plane & to baseball games. There are also Wikki Stix Alphabet Fun Cards that help kids learn to make shapes. Millie LOVES them!

Water Wow!

This is another must that we take to games, plane rides, & road trips. Water Wow‘s are SO amazing! It’s just water in a brush and the background image appears, then it dries & you can use it all over again! The flash (splash) cards also help the kids learn to draw letters.

Window Clings

IMG_7436
Here’s baby Millie on our flight from California back to Utah back in 2015.

It’s always a struggle to plan enough actives for a flight – especially quiet toys that don’t take up a lot of space.

Gel Window Clings are GOLDEN! Every time Millie sees them now, she gets excited and says, “Yay! Airplane!” She uses them on the window or the tray table. If the tray table needs to be up, they can still put them on it folded.

 

I always bring an extra plastic bag to put them in afterwards so that we can use them next time we fly or on the next connecting flight.

TECHNOLOGY

Cut yourself some slack and consider allowing technology when you’re on the go – do it for your sanity! A movie or show can go a long way – it can distract your toddler when you need to deal with your baby or clean up the last mess they made. When it comes to making your trip whine-free & giving yourself a break, hand over your smartphone or tablet and let them play educational games.

iPad

We have tried many different children tablet options and their just isn’t a better tablet than the iPad. I always have it full of learning apps that don’t require internet & movies. Most other tablets are also very difficult for younger kids to navigate & switch between games & movies by themselves. It’s helpful if they can do some of that while you’re dealing with the baby or trying to take a rest yourself.

App Add-ons

These are so cool! Bringing real toys & technology together. I would have loved to have these as a kid!

Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 

Remember to bring child-safe wireless headphones – emphasis on wireless. This past trip, our favorite LilGadgets wireless headphones were accidentally broken – long story – so we had to buy the pictured My Little Pony Headphones (which work very well for the low price). But the wire got in the way sooo much, knocking over a drink, & a huge target for Beck. He ripped them right off Millie’s head several times.

We have the LilGadgets Untangled Pro Premium Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones  & they’re a game changer! They have a safety limit so they can’t go too loud. They’re wireless & very durable.

 

ArtSee Studio

ArtSee Studio

I HIGHLY recommend this ArtSee Studio iPad case. It comes with a free download of the coolest learning and creative app.

  • A combination of easy to grip tactile tools and an intuitive menu allow your child to effortlessly create new and exciting works of art
  • Interactive stamps make patterns, animation, music and special effects to include over 75 stamps and variations, 15 rollers, 3 built in theme packs

 

CLOTHING

Every disaster will happen. It’s just how it goes. Weather it is a delayed flight or a massive blow out – you may need to bring 2x the diapers your would think, 3-4 outfits for the baby/toddler, & an extra pair for yourself… yup.. I have had to use my extra outfit one too many times. Wear dark clothes to hide spills. I used to wear sweats but now I wear comfy jeans (that feel like sweats) but have all the pockets – you’ll need them.

Make sure your little one is dressed in clothes that make diaper changes – or outfit changes easier. 

Dress in layers – It goes from super hot on the tarmac to freezing in the air. You don’t want to be stuck on a plane with freezing kids.

  • I always have Millie in a short sleeve shirt with a jacket (she thinks she’s so cool when I tie it around her waist).
  • ALWAYS bring socks for everyone else – you’ll need them most likely.
  • I dress baby in a long sleeve onesie, a zip jacket, and pants that have feet in them – this is key for me. I don’t want to be fussing about socks falling off my baby all the time so pants with feet are spectacular. I love the H&M Footed Pant Sets

Have you heard of Baubax Travel Jackets? They look INCREDIBLE!  It includes 15 features including neck pillow, eye mask, gloves, drink pocket, zipper with pen and more…. I want one!

My all time favorite diaper bag, the Skip Hop Highline Striped Convertible Diaper Backpack , is PERFECT for traveling! It has the ability to be an arm, shoulder, & backpack bag. There are many storage pockets & it zips completely closed at the top!

I always bring Disposable Clean-Up Bags in my diaper bag. I used them all the time! From tying  off a diaper in a plane, putting the messy clothes in so that you can keep them contained until you can wash them, or to put trash in.

Pacifier clips are also a must for me! Beck loves to shoot his out of his mouth so it’s good to have it tethered to him.

Nursing Cover

Copper Pearl‘s covers cover everything – I am obsessed with ours!  I also use it as a carseat cover. It is light, breathable, & their patterns are adorable.

Also their Bandana Bib’s are very helpful. There is no reason to have to change outfits, even more than you’re going to have to, just because they spit up or smell like formula.

Solly Baby Wrap

Can’t tell you enough how much this has saved my life! Baseball games, travel days, church days, around the house – My babes are strapped to me & it’s so convenient! It’s so good for baby to be close – kangaroo care.

CHANGING PAD

I HIGHLY recommend the Gathre Micro Mats for all your messy situations. Most changing pads that come with diaper bags are made of fabric so the poop just gets mushed into the fibers… so gross. Not with these bonded leather mats  – you can wipe everything right off.

PACIFIER CLIPS

Major necessity – Sanitary & Handy!

I am obsessed with Hatchling Co. – their pacifier clips, teethers, & play gyms are so great. We take them all on the road with us.

DON’T FORGET TO PACK THESE ESSENTIALS

  • Medicine –  Don’t forget some “just in case” medicines to keep everyone comfortable.
    • This baby Pacifier Medicine Syringe helps SO much. Getting a sick baby to take medicine can be a struggle, but this innovative syringe uses a pacifier-shaped tip to ease the process, so your little one can feel better faster – and the process is less messy.
    • Non-Staining Tylenol, Motrin, Gas Drops, Gripe Water, & Calm ‘n Restful tablets are always in my bag just in case. You never know how long the travel day might turn into.
  • Portable Charger – This Mophie Powerstation charges all lightning devices!
  • Wipes – extra extra wipes! Also, these Dermo-Soothing wipes are amazing for refreshing baby spit up & cleaning hands and faces too!
  • Boon Care Kit
  • Snacks (squeezer applesauce {fill your own reusable food pouches!}, teddy grahams,fruit snacks goldfish crackers, etc.)  Also, dum dums are also a huge life-saver for me, lasts a long time with only a small amount of sugar. I always have a handful in my diaper bag.
  • PB&J Sandwich or powerbars – something that could help hold them over in case of delays on the tarmac.
  • Jackets & Socks for everyone (can be used for blankets/pillows).
  • ‘On the Go’ Snack & Formula Dispenser – These are so handy! Then you don’t have to take up all the space in your diaper bag with a big container.
  • Hand Sanitizer & Sanitizing Wipes – Planes are nasty.  I wipe down the tray table with wipes as soon as we board because I know that my daughter will be touching it a lot placing food directly on it.  It’s also a good idea to wipe down armrests and seat belts.

Solly Baby Wrap

As I mentioned in the Pack Your Diaper Bag Section, the Solly Baby Wrap is my everything.

Skip Hop Stroller Organizer

I LOVE this product. It holds so much and the zipper pocket is perfect to keep track of your ID & plane ticket.

I use it on our stroller always. You can unzip the front pocket and carry with you if you need – like when you go to Disneyland and you need to take your valuables on a ride :).

 

Rolling Carseat Carriers

Now that Millie is in a big girl carseat, we are wanting to get one of these. It’d be much easier to pull this with the stroller instead of trying to carry it!

But make sure you still check the toddler carseat… seriously, when I see parents lugging those giant things through the terminal, I just don’t get why. It’s free to check them & won’t count as one of your free bags.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 1.17.09 PMFlyebaby Airplane Infant Seat

This baby sling works perfectly on flights. Helps gives your arms a break so that you can prepare a bottle or get a little sleep on a red-eye.

We have never tried this but I have heard that it is soooo amazing. It’s deeply discounted now too.

 

Avoid Ear Pain

  • If they’re old enough, give them lollipop or gum on take off and landing.
  • For babies, let them suck on a bottle or pacifier on the way up and especially down. The sucking and swallowing helps alleviate ear pressure in the same way chewing gum can.
  • You can also feed baby during takeoff and landing. Make sure to get him nursing or sucking their bottle as soon as the plane starts to descend. Then you can avoid their ears starting to hurt. You don’t want to end up with a screaming baby who won’t eat.

Special Trick I Just Learned to Unclog Popped Ears

Ask the crew for a plastic cup for each ear and two cloths dampened with boiling water to put in them. Then hold them over your ears for a couple of minutes. The heat generated will create a small vacuum that should unblock your ears and ease any pain.

Also, if you’ve ever flown with a sinus infection or clogged nose, you know how painful it can be. This trick works wonders for you, too! Add a drop of peppermint oil to the hot water. Inhale the minty steam and then put the cups over your ears. You’ll feel so. much. BETTER.

 


Sound Machine 

Since Millie was just a few weeks old, we have played soothing ocean sounds when it’s bedtime. It is a great way to keep good sleeping routines even when we are on the road.

We like the MyBaby SoundSpa On-The-Go Sound Machinebecause the travel version has a clip to keep it on the carseat or stroller.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 3.23.36 PMGlow in the Dark Mam Pacifier

Everyone always hears how you should bring tons of back-up pacifiers with you when you travel but another great tips is to have those pacifiers be glow-in-the-dark so that when you have a screaming baby and you’re frantically searching through your dark diaper bag, you will have an easier time finding that life-saver.

Also remember to have your infants and toddlers sucking on something during take-off & landing so that it will relieve ear pressure. And for kids old enough, bubble gum is a great trick.

Lovey’s

Another routine that we give Millie at bedtime is her lovey. She snuggles into the lovey and knows that it’s time to shut her eyes. These lovey’s are also very small and don’t up take as much space.

Time your flight well – 

  • If possible avoid big travel days & times. For instance, if it’s a holiday coming up try and leave a few days before most people get off work so that you aren’t traveling with “everyone and their dog!”
  • I like to choose flights that are in the early afternoon. That way you’re not trying to leave the house while it’s dark and having to wake up the kids. If I can avoid evening flights I always do – especially on the return. If your flight is going to be cancelled or delayed, there aren’t as many flights to rebook you. You’ll likely have to go through the entire hassle of waiting for them to give you back your luggage (which can sometimes take hours, even days)! Then deal with hotel, food, being late, etc.

My secret weapons:

  •  Mini LED Spinner Wand – I always have 1 or 2 in my diaper bag. When baby has a melt down, it can quickly distract them & they forget why they’re sad. It really is magic.
  • DUM DUMS – seriously. You can use it for bribe bait. They are tiny so they won’t be giving your littles too much sugar but it will last them a long time.

 

This post may contain affiliate links – All thoughts and opinions are 100% truthful and my own.

 
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