Happy weekend! We’re finally back home in Los Angeles after taking Zoe on her first trip ever across to Europe to see my family in Portugal. Since 4.30am seems to be the current jetlag wake up call, I figured it was a good excuse to get down to the nitty gritty of what I found to be my essentials while traveling with my two and half month old infant on 2 flights and long hours of stop overs. While Zoe is generally a calm and mellow baby, there was certainly a lot of planning ahead done to ensure a comfortable travel experience for parents and baby. Read on for my tips & essentials and don’t forget you can shop a lot of the things in this post below! Swing by my Instagram and Facebook to say hello and share your tips on traveling with infants!
Breastfeed/Bottle feed on Takeoff & Landing
This is a really good way of making sure your little one’s ears keep popping as the pressure changes – try and time a feed ahead when you wake up before leaving to the airport to tide baby over so that they are more or less ready for a feed on takeoff. It was hard for us to do this because we had a 6am takeoff time and Zoe was pretty sleepy and generally not in the mood to wake up and spend her energy breastfeeding. That’s where my handy bottle of pumped milk (bringing me to my next essential) saved the morning. She fed on and off during the ascent and we had no issues with her ears.
Bring Your Breast Pump
I’ll admit, I went slightly overboard with the worry about whether my breasts were going to be engorging all over the plane and packed my Medela In Style electric pump in my hand luggage along with all the accessories. Turns out, I didn’t use it once during the flights or even at the airport. I ended up using my Medela manual breast pump which was much simpler, discreet and pretty effective to restock the bottle for Zoe. I used it on the overnight flight and pumped in my seat while using a breast cover and then also at the Newark layover. GREAT TIP: While at Newark Airport (and hopefully many other locations) on the way back, I realised they have these nursing and pumping pods/suites by a great company called Mamava. I happened to see a sign for it while in transit and ended up using one to privately and calmly pump. It was amazing. While they don’t have a sink and changing station facilities (see their FAQ here) they do have wall plugs for electric pumps to be used if you brought yours along. They also have an App that will tell you any suite that is close to you! But look, if you don’t have the Mamava option available, just cover up and pump. Do what you gotta do for your baby. Honestly, no-one really cares/notices and the last thing that should be on our minds when trying to feed our babies is what anyone thinks! By the way, please Like and Follow Mamava on Facebook & Twitter, I personally think they’re doing an amazing job at getting us lactating mamas spaces to be comfortable.
Diaper Bag Prep & Diaper Overstock
The day before we flew I took everything out my diaper bag and made sure I had all the necessities for Zoe including enough wipes, cream, change of clothes, changing pad etc. I also threw in a couple more diapers than the usual which came in very handy when Zoe decided to poop 3 times on one of the flights! We made it back to LA with zero diapers to spare but it could have been much worse if I hadn’t packed those extra ones. Stuff them in there just in case!
No need to take a ton of blankets (coast-to-coast and international flights provide them) – just bring a little jacket for baby and dress them appropriately for the potential cold air in the cabin. The only thing I brought along was a light muslin swaddle so that Zoe had something I could wrap her in and that also had a familiar feel and smell. It was super useful because it doubled up as a burp cloth, breastfeeding AND pumping cover!
Pacifier & Toys
If your baby uses a pacifier (Zoe kind of does, she’s not obsessed but will take one on and off) then don’t forget it at home. It’s great in case baby doesn’t want to feed on takeoff or landing since it will help keep their ears popping during these times. Zoe has a Wubbanub pacifier which already comes with a little soft plush toy attached to it for her to hold. We also took along some other little distractions including a small rattle toy and her current favorite lovey – a giraffe called Tamiru!
And that’s all for now. I have to go put Zoe down for her nap time. Catch you all soon and leave a comment if you want to share any more tips and tricks that worked for you while flying with your infant!
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