This post is sponsored by SilkBerry Baby. All opinions are my own.
Recently I made the trek from Florida to Maine with my ten-month-old alone. Flying alone with a baby can be daunting, and honestly, it was thinking about it, but once I was actually at the airport, I was in it to win it.
It wasn't as bad as I was expecting he did terrific during the flights (we had layovers). Before I flew, I consulted one of my favorite bloggers, mommas Cynthia, from Bringing You Up, who has flown many times with her little one solo. She gave me a couple of great tips that I was able to put into use, and it helped make this trip as seamless as possible.
Aside from flying alone with the baby, I was also leaving my older one (2.5) behind for the first time! It was a big step. I knew she was in good hands with her dad, and my parents were right up the road if they were needed, but it was still nerve-racking. I felt like I was missing something the entire trip. She wasn't even phased I left and did so amazing.
Our trip started at 4 am... We had to be at the airport by 5 am for a 7 am flight. It seems crazy, but leaving in the morning super early was great. It got all the travel out of the way. The trip was a success! So glad I did it.
Here are my 12 Travel Tips if you are getting ready to fly alone with a baby!
I highly recommend baby wearing ESP through airport security. Security will generally allow you to baby wear through the screening process; we had no issues. We loved our Miamily Hipster Smart for this trip; the extra storage and spot for my ID/CC on the strip was priceless. I loved being able to have everything I needed on my person at all times.
You can checkout a full review of this carrier in my "Best Baby Carriers" post.
Use the stroller like a cart to haul all your stuff. Diaper bag, carry on, car seat, load it up! Aside from being able to haul all your stuff around, there is something so badass about pushing a stroller, with a place to be. Moms, you know what I mean. Que the 'Move out the way' music.
Infant Bucket Seat
At home, my little guy is typically in a convertible car seat, but for this trip, we brought out his old infant bucket car seat it's lighter weight and in my opinion, a bit easier to travel with since it's less bulky. Just make sure if you haven't had your baby in an infant one in a while that they still fit within the height/weight limits of your seat.
Check At The Gate
Once you get to your gate, go up and ask for a gate tag for your stroller and car seat. I was also able to get a ticket for my carry on suitcase for no extra charge all four flights, so that was amazing. Checking at the gate allows you to keep your stroller/suitcase until right still before you get onto the plane. Then you have to break it down and leave it for them. When you get off the plane, it's already out and waiting for you.
I LOVED having an early flight. I liked getting the travel out of the way early and being to my destination before lunchtime. It also worked out good with my little one since I got him up so early he was extra tired and ended up snoozing for both of the flights. On the way home, we traveled in the afternoon, and it was okay but not as smooth as our early morning flights.
I knew I really wasn't going to be up walking around with him, so I wanted to have the window seat. Being able to have him look out the window was great, but the window seat also provided me with a little extra room and privacy during nursing.
Everyone told me to board first, but here's how I look at it. You board first you are what waiting there for 30-45 mins before the plane is fully loaded and actually takes off? I'd instead board closer to last and be sitting there for 10 mins before the flight takes off.
Footy PJ's For Baby
This was a tip from Bringing You Up! I'm so glad I listened. He wore footies from one of our favorite brands, SilkBerry Baby, how cute are these dinosaur ones from their new fall collection?! I'm so glad we had these for our trip. They are such an excellent material for traveling. So cozy and soft. They are thin enough to not be hot and sticky like some of the footy PJs, but they are warm enough for the cold AC airport times. But what makes these even better is the zip from bottom to top, making diaper changes a BREEZE.
I brought his SilkBerry baby blanket, which is now is 'special blankie' and used it as a cover during nursing. Even if you don't cover up during nursing (which I usually don't), it was nice to have something kind of act like a barrier between myself and the person next to me. He got really distracted during nursing, so having this blanket was great as a makeshift privacy cover. He also loved having something cozy to snuggle up with on the plane.
Snacks For You
I totally forgot to pack mom snacks for me and ended up spending more than I'd like to admit on overprice airport snacks. Next time I will be loading up the diaper bag with some snacks for me to eat. Prep some easy snacks that give you a boost of energy trail mix or beef jerky are my favorites.
Another fantastic tip from Bringing You Up - She told me to bring something to tie all his toys to, so during the flight, he wouldn't throw them onto the floor. This was a genius suggestion. I went and grabbed a few toys before we left just little things like a ball, teething banana, and a rattle. These kept him busy for the times he was awake during the flights. Also, it was nice to have a few toys to give him during our stay.
One of my favorite toys for travel is the Baby Banana Tooth Brush! Hands down a MUST have for traveling. Use code: for 50% off.
Feed During Takeoff & Landing
He nursed during each takeoff and landing and didn't seem bothered with the pressure. Since he's ten months and more toddler, he pretty much only nurses when he wants to, so I wasn't sure if he'd actually nurse during takeoff and landing, but he did. At least offer it. I had his sippy cup with a little water in it as a backup option if he wasn't keen on nursing.
All in all, traveling alone with a baby wasn't as bad as it might seem. You just have to go into it with a getting to point A to point B. I really enjoyed traveling with this little guy. Now... traveling with a toddler... that I believe would be a different story...
Be sure to follow along with our story on Instagram @wearingmomjeans.