7 Mistakes I’ve Made while Flying with Baby

Are you worried about traveling with your littles?

Do you think you’ll mess up?

Well, you probably will.

But don’t worry about it!

I’ve messed up plenty and have been in some awkward situations but, you know what? it all ended up fine.  We survived, had a great time on our travels, and I definitely wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Andrew is still young and we definitely have a lot more to learn about travel with him as he grows, we have been on plenty of flights and I’ve already made plenty of mistakes.  The good thing about making those mistakes is that I have now learned from them and can pass on some knowledge to you in case you haven’t already made these mistakes already. 

I also have packing lists, destination guides, and other advice for making your travels easier.

Here are 7 Mistakes I’ve Made while Traveling

  1. Not bringing a stroller or wrap-  I first travelled alone when Andrew just turned 3 months old.  I flew to my home town with him.  I didn’t take my stroller because I didn’t think I’d use it in the airport and I had one waiting with family when I arrived.  I thought it would be bulk and in the way.  Instead I took his car seat which at that point was still the carry seat.  I carried him around the airport.  At that point it wasn’t that bad because because he was only probably 10 or so pounds but still.  I was tired.  I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea.  Now I always bring the stroller and check the car seat if needed.
  2. Not bringing enough extra clothes- We’ve had a few mishaps while flying.  Andrew is usually a really clean baby in that our diaper leaks or blowouts happen so irregularly that he lulls me into a false sense of security.  But of course, when we do have major leaks or messes, it’s always when we’re out and about with no extra outfit.  There have been times where we had to quickly wash and dry some pants in the bathroom, or pretend we’re wearing pants under the blanket when we’re in our stroller napping.  I’ve definitely learned my lesson and I now bring at least 2 outfits wherever we go, especially going on a plane where you have no escape from that mess. 
  3. Getting baby riled up once we reach our destination– I still think it’s a great idea to fly or drive while it’s typical nap or bed time. But it’s hard when you arrive at your destination while it’s still bed time.  My kid is a great sleeper.  He’s always gone right back to sleep whenever he wakes up at night.  But when he’s riled up when we arrive somewhere, say 2 AM, he will not by any means go back down easy.  He’s so excited by our new location or the new people he sees that he can’t seem to settle back down.  So now, when I know we’re meeting family who will be excited to see him, or it’s going to be a big ordeal getting from the airport to our hotel, I make sure it’s not a crazy bed time to totally screw up both of our schedules. 
  4. Only thinking about babies needs- I was so busy worrying if Andrew had food, if Andrew had clothes, and if Andrew was happy.  Those are all important things obviously, but I forgot that I might need a snack or water or… yeah, a change of clothes.  A few times I hadn’t drank any water during my hours of travel because I was so anxious about making sure Andrew was happy and making sure no one around us was even aware of him (in the sense that I didn’t want them to think “oh, god, another fussy baby.) Obviously we have to take care of ourselves before we can keep our kids happy.  I’m not talking about in-airport spa treatments or anything, but I could have made sure I had a bottle of water or brought a snack so I didn’t feel so on edge the entire time.  I don’t know about you but I am a whole lot happier after a meal.
  5. Not using the family bathroom- I kind of knew these were a thing but I didn’t really think about them once I had a baby.  I started going in the regular bathroom to change his diaper.  This is perfectly fine but once I found the family bathroom I feel like I’ll never go back.  First it’s a full room to yourselves.  You can have privacy and a little calm from the bustling airport outside.  I sometimes feel the pressure of changing a diaper in public like either someone is watching me or I’m taking too long or it’s too smelly or maybe even Andrew is fussing because he doesn’t want to lie down.  In privacy I can handle it with less stress and even sing silly songs to Andrew to distract him without giving everyone in the bathroom a free (unwanted) performance.  Not to mention I can have Andrew in his stroller and take care of my own business without trying to cram us both in a handicap stall and worrying about our stuff lying around everywhere.  If you have older kids I’m sure you’ve found this bathroom is more than necessary for keeping them both contained.  I don’t know why it took me so long.
  6. Not finding a child’s play area right away- While Andrew can’t really play in these yet as he can only army crawl or roll around, a child’s play area is a great place to get away from the rest of the airport.  It’s usually not crowded or is completely empty, so you can have a small, out of the way, place to hang out while waiting for your flight.  You can set out a blanket and let baby roll around and stretch out. 
  7. Thinking everyone would hate us for existing- While there are definitely rude people out there who will immediately judge you for bringing a baby on their journey, I’ve found that these people are few and far between.  I’ve only had once instance where someone was outrightly rude to us on a plane for just existing.  Everyone else I’ve met was nice, polite, and sometimes went out of their way to help us.  TSA have entertained Andrew while we waited for his bottles to be checked in the machine and helped me fold up the stroller to go through the X-Ray.  Flight attendant’s have let me know- while getting on the plane- where the bathrooms were that had the changing table.  I think this is probably a mixture of Andrew giggling and laughing at everyone to help put them in a good mood and just that the bad stories we always hear are the exception to many polite, helpful, and caring people out there. Once I realized no one was going to yell at me the moment my kid came into view it made for a less stressful journey.     

Andrew Flying

Travel with a baby, like anything, is definitely a learning experience. Travel with a baby or any child is hard to prepare for no matter how many blogs or books you read. But that’s the great thing about travel, you don’t need to be perfect at it to do it. Just getting out there is an adventure and accomplishment.

Have you made any big mistakes while traveling with your baby?  Let me know in the comments!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at you extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links. You can also see my full Disclosure and Terms and Conditions (you know, the real boring stuff).

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Mistakes I made When Flying With Baby

About the Author:

Hey, I’m Mackenzie, a writer, traveler, and photographer living in North Texas. Been to 65 countries solo, now taking the baby along. I blog about family travel while writing novels and binge-watching British TV.

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