Five Tips for Traveling with an Infant

We took our first plane flight with Bean last week! We flew into Boston and visited Vermont and Rhode Island. I’d say it’s a rite of passage for new parents to fly with their wee ones – the packing, the schlepping, the worrying about bothering other people, the inevitable diaper explosions.

But whatever.

Bean was great on both flights. We had juice on hand in case she started screeching from popping ears, but she didn’t. We had tons of toys, but she mostly liked the tray table on the seat back in front of us.

She lasted pretty long in the car as we crossed state lines, though sometimes our vehicle looked like Driving Miss Daisy, what with Drew up front and us gals in the back. But who likes to drive long distances backwards? I couldn’t blame her.

Now we’ve got one flight under our belts. The biggest thing we didn’t expect was how exhausted we would feel carrying, pushing and lifting our family’s stuff from place to place. We were completely spent upon return from our six-day adventure. Here are five pointers we want to share with our fellow new-to-flying parents:

1. Buy most of your diapers, formula and food at your destination. We packed a ton of these items, and still needed to go to grocery stores for more. It’s against my traveler’s savvy to go somewhere without everything essential; however, when traveling to mainstream places in the U.S., you’re going to find diapers and formula. Plus, I realized that when Drew and I travel, we don’t pack all the food we’ll eat on the trip – why would we do so for Bean? Next time, we’ll pack enough to keep us all held over if we get stranded in an airport.

2. Put long socks on the baby. Long (knee-length) socks meant that Bean’s legs were warm even if her pants rode up when we held her or sat her down, and that they wouldn’t fall off and get lost as easily as short socks.

3. Bring scented diapers bags. Did you know that babies poop a lot when they are in airports? Well, ours did. Up to her armpits! Leave no stink behind – use a scented bag, available at baby stores and CVS.

4. Introduce new things you think they’ll like. We brought some new toys that held her interest for a bit. We also gave her apple juice for the first time and She Loved It. Since she’d already had apples, we were pretty sure it was a done deal.

5. Keep bottled water in your car parked at the airport. Because when you get off that return flight, do a diaper change, get your bags and finally reach the car, you are tired and thirsty. Have some water in your car to help bring you back to human on your ride home.

We got home yesterday and I’ve done five loads of laundry already. Back to the salt mines for me!

Bon Voyage!

P.S. Here are some of the favorite places we visited on this trip:

  • In Newport, RI (where it was restaurant week! Score!): Fluke Winebar for an upscale wine bar dinner, the Barking Crab for fish and chips (but watch for other stuff overcooked), 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grill for fancy seafood fare, Jonathan’s Coffee for locally roasted java and breakfast, Ocean Drive to see how old money lives.
  • In Providence, RI: Andino’s Italian Ristorante for ridiculous portion sizes and zesty marinara sauces with friendly service.
  • Killington, VT: Even without the snow, it’s a fun resort town.

Check the Gallery page for more pictures from the trip!


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7 thoughts on “Five Tips for Traveling with an Infant

  1. So Bean will not thank you for those naked and thigh pictures when she’s old enough to care! Well done on your family travel adventure.

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  2. Good tips, Melanie! We haven’t flown with our son, but for our long car trips, we always budget an extra hour of travel time, which helps us plan. Bringing a new toy along is a GREAT idea–my son is always bored by his usual toys.

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  3. I am glad that we went through this experience together. If I had done it alone I would be covered in poop and I would of lost all of her shoes and socks along the way. You did have one more good idea and that was to travel in the morning for both flights so you don’t get too exhausted with an evening flight. I think this it is a very good idea.

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  5. Pingback: 101st Post: Life Is Good | So Very Vienna: A New Mom's Adventures Around Town

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