Flying with a baby – What I learned + Tips & Tricks

We’re back from our Hawaii vacation and I’m happy to say that the flights went SO MUCH better than I had anticipated!!
We also happened to get incredibly lucky and got our own row for every single flight there and back.
I remember SO many of you telling me to pay for Hayes to have his own seat because it would be SO worth it,
but Kyle and I didn’t want to spend that much extra cash…BUT we both agreed that for future flights we will definitely pay extra for Hayes to have his own seat because it was a TOTAL game changer and I honestly don’t know what we would have done if we were squished between a stranger and Hayes didn’t have room to spread out and play.

So my #1 tip, if you’re able too…PAY for an extra seat so you get an entire row to yourselves!
Hayes loved sitting in the middle seat and playing with his toys, it also made it so much easier and less stressful to nurse him!
I was able to just whip my boob out and not worry about a stranger next to me seeing my boob or making them uncomfortable, or Hayes’s head or feet being on them!
Also, when booking your seats choose seats towards the back of the plane! Most people like being near the front of the plane so it’s more likely that there will be open seats towards the back that you can snag and it’s easier to stand up and walk around in the back if you need too and also close to the bathroom for diaper changes etc! ALSO, if you don’t book a seat for your babe, head to the counter before boarding (make sure you’re holding your baby lol) and ask if the plane is fully booked/if they think you can get a row to yourselves! Some were rude when I asked and some were super friendly and went out of their way – but we managed to get an entire row for all 4 flights – so it doesn’t hurt to ask!!!

Tip #2, Pack a few gallon sized baggies with diaper changing essentials. This was a life saver. Instead of trying to haul the diaper bag into a tiny airplane bathroom I was able to just grab a baggie and go. I packed 5 of them in our carry on and they didn’t take up much space at all! Each baggy had 2 diapers, wipes and an extra onesie just in case! Once we were on the airplane I put the baggy in the pocket in the seat in front of me for easy access! So they say pack a diaper for every hour that you’re on the plane, so I packed 10! We definitely didn’t need or use them all but better safe than sorry!

Tip #3, I packed a ton of new toys for Hayes to introduce to him on the plane and I think I only ended up getting out 2 of them for both flights. He was so amused by the all of the people around him and honestly, he played/chewed on his diaper changing baggy the majority of the time haha BUT I would still pack some new toys to be safe — I had more than we needed but I liked it that way! But again, better safe than sorry! I’ll link some of the toys we brought below that were his favs!

Tip #4, bring all the things to keep your routine as normal as possible, we brought Hayes’s sleep suit (he wears it for naps and bedtime) as well as some gripe water, essential oils,  and Tylenol for emergencies. Our flight to Hawaii was during the day so he didn’t sleep a ton but we tried to do his typical nap time routine on the plane and he took 2 decent naps!

Tip #5, Nurse/bottle/paci during takeoff and landing! I got super lucky and Hayes’s ears didn’t seem to bother him at all but there were other babes on the plane that did cry during takeoff and landing!
So I actually packed my pump and then brought two full bottles in a little lunchbox w/ an ice pack onto the plane (will link ice chest below) I wanted to have the bottles on the plane in case of emergencies, also when I’m stressed sometimes my let down takes forever and Hayes gets super frustrated. They had to check the bottles but it literally took less than 5 minutes. I asked them to change their gloves before handling the bottles and then they asked me to open each one and they just waved a little test trip over it and then that was it! Hayes ended up not taking the bottles, he’s high maintenance and will only drink if they’re freshly steamed so I ended up just nursing him our entire trip and never needed the bottles or my pump!

Tip #6, it’s OKAY if your baby cries/fusses/is loud…they’re a baby! There will be rude and insensitive people on the plane that may give you dirty looks but there will also be kind and understanding people who have been there or just get that babies cry and it is what it is! Take deep breaths, baby can feel your stress…I’m typically a stress ball but I mentally prepared myself to just laugh everything off that happened on the plane, there’s really nothing you can do so you might as well laugh instead of get super upset!

Tip #7, bring lots of blankets // comfy things for YOU & BABY. We put Hayes in a footed sleeper so he’d be warm and cozy and I brought one of his “big” blankets, a smaller blanky and a muslin swaddle blanket – we used ALL of them & honestly couldve used more. Planes are not comfy so if you’re able to pack some stuff to make the flight more bearable then DO IT. I didn’t bring the boppy pillow but if I would’ve known we were going to have our own row I definitely would’ve brought it or some type of small pillow!

Tip #8, bring an iPad & lots of snacks for mom, dad and baby! Hayes is only 7 months but we were still able to keep him occupied with Mickey Mouse for a little while on the plane, Kyle also used the iPad to watch shows/movies on the flight when Hayes napped. Snacks are a MUST, if your baby is obsessed with food like mine is then make sure you bring snacks that take a while to eat!!

Tip #9, if you’re breastfeeding wear a good easy access nursing bra (preferably one with no clips, one that you can just pull down) & a good loose v neck on the flight! You want your boobs to be easily accessible and don’t want to be fighting with clothing while you’re already stressed and trying to get your baby to latch!
I wore this nursing bra with one of these tees and it was PERFECT, I actually ended up wearing an oversized hoodie on top which worked out great too because I was able to pull down my bra and top and use the hoodie as a cover. Linking exactly what Hayes and I wore on the flight for y’all below!!

Tip # 10, If you’re able too I would honestly just rent baby gear once you get to your destination! We had planned on bringing both Hayes’s car seat and stroller but decided against the stroller last minute. We checked on our luggage as well as the car seat, all at the gate! We ended up renting a crib while we were there which was PERFECT, I just googled “baby rentals in Kauai” and a sweet couple brought and set up the crib for us. I also brought Hayes’s fitted crib sheet so it would smell like home and he’d be more comfortable!

Everyone told me it would go way smoother and be easier than we thought it would and good news, they were right!! Of course we had some stressful moments in the airport and on the plane and moments where we were all just freaking exhausted and DONE but overall, Hayes did SO well and we are so proud of him for being such a trooper! I’m going to go ahead and link some of our “life saving” items below!

Saying big prayers for all of you about to travel with your babes!! YOU GOT THIS MAMA!!
A lot of you asked about sharing what we packed in Hayes’s carry on so I’m going to go back and add those stories to my Instagram highlights so check there!!

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