When your husband has to travel for work for two weeks and you’ve got two kiddos, what’s a mom to do? Well, I am spending the two weeks in Texas with my family. I am so thankful that airline tickets were inexpensive enough for us to make this possible.
When I flew with Seth last August for the birth of my niece, I thought that that would be the last time I would fly by myself with the kids. Flying with two kids did not sound like something I would ever want to do. Having a wiggly toddler, unpredictable baby, stroller and luggage all tramping through an airport with the stress of making to the gate on time, and then being trapped in a plane for 3 hours, only to have to rush to the next gate for another hour flight did not sound like an enjoyable way to spend the day.
But when I thought about spending two weeks of single parenting (I really don’t know how some do it), I decided to brave the unknown: travel with two kids.
I am super excited to report that we survived. Not only that, it went surprisingly well, if you count arriving all smelling like sour milk as “well” (which I do, in comparison to what could have been). Bridget sometimes projectile spit-ups and it happened just as we were taking off for the second flight. We were all a little wet, but fortunately the business man in our row either didn’t notice or politely pretended to not see the performance Bridget was putting on.
After this flight I counted and realized I have flown 7 times with Seth. He’s a well traveled child for sure. With all this flying, I have picked up a few pointers to make the trip more enjoyable (or at least survivable).
Tips for Traveling with Tiny humans:
- Most (if not all) airlines allow under two-year old’s to travel as a “lap child.” Yay, free flying!
- When going through security, have the baby in a front pack (such as an Ergo baby), you will not have to take them out and can just walk through the metal detector. If they are in a stroller or car-seat, you have to take them out and put the stroller/car-seat through the scanner.
- You can bring infant food through security. This includes milk, juice, snacks, etc. Just make sure you take it out of your bags so it can be checked. Also children’s medicine can also be brought through.
- Baby car seats can be either checked before going through security or at the gate for no cost. They are considered “safety equipment” and therefore airlines don’t charge you to bring them.
- Stroller can be brought through security and checked at the gate for free. I find having a stroller very helpful. Even if the child is not in it, luggage can be put in it so that you don’t have to carry it, and if there is a melt down (not that that ever happens…haha), stroller to the rescue…plop the kid in and run through the airport while everyone looks at you in pity.
- Many airlines have “family boarding,” allowing you to get onto the plane a little earlier. I sometimes take advantage of this, depending on the airline. If there is assigned seats, I wait to board, no sense in getting trapped in a small space with baby for longer than you have too. If its Southwest Airlines, I board with family boarding, because I want to be able to get better seat and enough seats together (now that Seth is a ticketed passenger or if I’m traveling with Ian).
- Nurse or bottle feed your baby during take off and landings. It helps them cope with the change of pressure. If they are not interested in eating, at least have them take a pacifier.
- I bring lots and Lots and LOTS of snacks. Easy small, fun packaged food is great. We don’t have it a lot at home, so its a treat and makes for at least a few minutes of contentment.
- I also pack a few small new toys or books that he has never seen before. I have done sticker books, play dough (this was a first for this trip and it worked really well, he played on the fold down table), magic doodle (the dollar store has these), coloring books, and books. I have also just walked the aisle of the dollar store and looked for things that might be fun, some of these have turned into epic failures and other times, a favorite.
Some things never change…its always nice when they fall asleep (left photo, Seth in 2013, right photo, Seth in 2016).