Are you going on a solo flight with your infant?
Are you freaking out a little bit?
I’ve got you covered.
Andrew and I often travel alone. While it can be tricky, it’s not impossible. It’s definitely worth it for the two of us to get away.
I’ve come up with some tips and tricks to get yourself ready for your trip.
1. Make a Packing List
Make a list for both your carry on bag and checked bag. You need to have all of the essentials in your carry on but not overwhelm yourself with too much. Make sure you can manage everything on your own.
2. Evaluate your luggage options
Go over what you will bring with you. Decide on your luggage: a backpack? a shoulder bag? A Big or small rolling suitcase? I usually bring a backpack diaper bag, a rolling suitcase to check, and a small purse to keep important things in. I will also bring my stroller so my hands are free and Andrew is comfortable.
Whatever you decide, make sure you can manage it all by yourself.
3. Consider shipping baby items ahead
If you’re going somewhere that might be difficult to get baby items, you can send your necessities ahead. Companies like Milk Stork will send ahead your stored breast milk. That way you don’t have to lug it around the airport but still have the stockpile you might need for your adventures.
You can also use Jet Set Babies to send ahead any item you need or, what I would suggest is use your amazon account and send diapers, lotions, soaps, whatever to your destination. Just check with your hotel or apartment to make sure you can receive mail.
4. Call the airline to let them now of your lap child
Some airlines will need this information when you book but some, like Southwest, don’t take that while booking. I always call a few days ahead to let them know.
5. If traveling internationally get a notarized note from the 2nd parent who is not traveling
So far I haven’t needed to show this information when going through customs but everyone agrees it’s a necessity. Some countries are more strict than others and if you’re not traveling with the child’s father they might want to know why. I fill out this form and have it notarized just to cover my bases.
If you create your own, make sure you include:
- Child’s name, birth place, date of birth, passport information
- Traveling parent’s full name and passport information
- Countries you will visit and dates
- Non-Traveling Parent’s name word of consent to travel
- Both signatures
6. Practice a few times falling asleep in your lap
Andrew is at a point where he will only fall asleep if he’s in his own crib by himself. He will wiggle around until he finds a comfortable place, make babble to himself for a few minutes, and then drift off.
This is fantastic for sleep training, not fantastic for times where I can’t just put him down and let him do his thing. I practice a few nights just sitting with him on the couch at bed time. I feed him a bottle and hold him like I would during a flight.
7. Go for later flights.
The first trip I took with my son our first flight left at 6PM. The second left at 11. I purposely picked these flights because I knew it was close to his bedtime and I was hoping he would be ready to sleep. I was right and by halfway through our first flight he was asleep. He pretty much stayed asleep until we landed at our final destination.
This is a tricky one though because if you don’t have a good sleeper this could really mess with your kid’s schedule. I knew that once Andrew is asleep for the night, he’s asleep. Even when he wakes to feed he’s never fully awake.
But even so, once we landed and met family who were picking us up, they riled him up at midnight and he was awake until 2. Then the next few days he was a little out of wack and I had a hard time getting him back to his normal happy self.
Since then, I’ve flown at many different times during the day and still think flying at night is the best, despite the possible sleep issues the next day or so. He at least sleeps on the plane and I can even relax a little and not disturb everyone else with an antsy baby.
8. Dress him warm.
I have Andrew wear a body suit while we travel both because there are less pieces to deal with and because it’s warm. The plane and even airport can get pretty chilly and I’d rather take clothes off of him than not have enough on him.
9. Manage your sleep.
Yeah, with a baby, sleep isn’t exactly something you can control, but you can try. What I mean is, maybe get a good night sleep for yourself the night before. If we have a long day of travel ahead, my husband will take over any night duties with the baby so I can at least get 1 sort of restful night. I mean, the time we’re away he’ll have plenty of uninterrupted sleep so I think it’s a fair trade.
If you’re changing time zones, you can also try to ease the transition for baby by pushing bed time a back or forward a little each night leading up to travel. For example, the week or so before traveling to Europe from Texas, I’ll put Andrew to bed a little earlier each night. So instead of trying to transition 7 hours when we get there, it’s only 2 or 3.
This doesn’t work for everyone, especially if you’re on a strict schedule with work or school. But even going to bed an hour or two different might help to take some of the edge off for the little one (and maybe you too).
For more help for flying with your baby check out my post on Having a Stress Free Airport Experience with your Baby.
Solo Travel with baby isn’t the easiest thing to do. But that shouldn’t keep you from getting out there. You just need to be a little more creative.
Have you traveled solo with your little one (or multiple little ones)? Let me know in the comments below!
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