As I mentioned in a previous post, Josephine and I are in Boston this week for a conference. This isn’t the first time that I’ve taken Josephine along with me on a business trip, yet I still found myself getting nervous about the long plane ride (and sleeping arrangements) days prior to take off.
Fortunately, each time I travel with Josephine it ends up being a breeze. I’ve even had random passengers on flights tell me they’ve never been able to travel so well with a baby. This is partly due to Josephine’s temperament, and partly due to preparedness on my part (or so I like to think). Since flying on an airplane with a young child can be overwhelming, I’ve decided to share a few tips on how to make the flight a little less daunting.
1. Pack your child’s favorite treats: That’s right. I said treats, not treat. Throughout the flight, Josephine usually eats yogurt melts, graham crackers, fruit… I encourage her to use her hands to feed herself. Not only does this take more time (after all, we’re trying to fill each minute of the flight with something), but it helps her work on her hand/eye coordination. If your child already has great hand/eye coordination, have them count out their treats or sort them by shapes or colors. I also like to pack baby food pouches because I can let Josephine suck food out of the pouch and I don’t have to worry about packing/cleaning a spoon.
2. Pack an iPad, Tablet, or iPod: I’ve downloaded baby apps, cartoons, and music to help keep Josephine preoccupied (if only for 5 minutes). I like to put Bose headphones on her so she can listen – without disrupting other passengers. Once she is tired of touching/watching the iPad, I’ll put it away and try pulling it out again in 45 minutes or so.
3. Sit in an aisle seat: If you’re like me, you’ll get up every hour or so throughout the flight to change a wet or soiled diaper. Another bonus is that if Josephine starts getting fussy, I’ll stand up in the aisle (next to my seat) and bounce/rock her.
4. Bring something for your baby to suck on: I like to pack a bottle, pacifiers, and me (since I’m breastfeeding). During the changes in altitude on take-off and landing, I will give her one of these three things to suck on. I think this is one of those times when it is best to pack multiple things for them to suck on, since you’re not sure what type of mood they’ll be in.
5. Bring a blanket and layer clothing: Airplane temperatures are always unpredictable, so either dress your little one in layers or pack a blanket. I also cover her head with a blanket while she’s sleeping on the plane. This helps keep it a little darker for her, it hides passerbys, etc.
6. Pack the wipes: I’m a lover of wipes. Diaper wipes, pacifier wipes, hand & face wipes, wet wipes, and clorox wipes. I love having wipes – especially while traveling. You never know when you’re going to have to wipe down a changing table, clean off an airplane tray, or wipe graham cracker crusted fingers.
What are some of your favorite traveling tips? Please share and I’ll add them to the list.