The thought of traveling with a infant or toddler on a airplane can be a scary one. We personally started traveling with our kids as young as 6 months of age. We have traveled every year, multiple times with both kids under 5. We did a 9 hour flight to England, 6 hour flight to Hawaii ( 4 times), 4 hour flight to Phoenix and 2 hour flights to California. You will see many recommendations for car seats, I highly recommend using a car seat on the plane for two reasons; its 100% safer and it is 100% more comfortable for you. I traveled just once with our son when he was 6 month old on my lap. I was sandwiched in the middle seat between my husband and another passenger. This was only a 3 hour flight but it felt like an eternity. My back, legs, neck, arms.. everything was killing me by the end of the flight. And when we did hit turbulence, he would almost fall every time! Here are some of the greatest products we do not recommend traveling on a plane without:
2. The Shusher
If your lucky enough, your kid can sleep thru anything. Our son was like this as a baby, the more noise the better we used to say. With our daughter, the slightest change in the air speed and she's up, screaming at me. This absolutely amazing device I would bring on every airplane rider and into every hotel room. It simply makes a shushing noise in a rhythmic pattern. Its portable and run on batteries so you can put it right on top of the car seat above your babies ears for a light rhythmic noise that I can guarantee will sooth her. My baby LOVED it.
When you are on the airplane or traveling around, these come in handy big time. Not only do they mask the odor but if you can't find a garbage can, they are perfect for storing until you do find one.
These sound silly but heres the deal. I discovered when I traveled by plane with my babies, they drank a heck of a lot more. Maybe it was a comfort thing? With both my kids, they have always slept really well on planes and as amazing as that sounds, they'd wake up soaked thru their pants & into the car seat. So now we've got a soaking car seat, a wet baby and hours left until we land. I recommend these for long airplane or car rides, well worth it.
You may notice that airports are quite dirty but baby wants to play with toys on the ground. I recommended getting this incredibly compact blanket that takes up hardly any space in your diaper bag. There have been numerous occasions I have brought along a bulky blanket and it ended up being such a hassle. There are lots of knock offs for these blankets, but this one is the real deal.
This may look incredibly goofy but I promise you, its amazing. When your baby is at that age where she can't quite hold the bottle yet, this is a lifesaver. For situations when your on a airplane and your spending hours holding a bottle for your baby while she's strapped in her car seat because the seat belt sign has been on the entire flight, this bottle will seriously make your life so much easier!! We had one for our daughter and it was the best and super comical to watch her use too.
Babies & toddlers make a heck of a mess. When your on a airplane, that mess seems to amplify with being in such a confined area. Baby wipes you will of course need for your diaper changes, but stick to a small travel size to avoid the added weight. These wipes are awesome, you add water and thats it. They can be used up to 20 times and are biodegradable when your all finished. They are gentle & soft for the most sensitive of skin.
I like this one in particular because its so easy to take on and take off. On airplanes, the lights will constantly being going on and off so these are so incredibly happy. They double as a nursing cover too. They also help to drown out the noise on the plane. The amount of times my baby was woken up on a flight because I didn't have a blanket to cover her is enough to drive anyone insane!
A few more tips!
Remember to pack food! And buy water at the airport. If your toddler is drinking whole milk, you will have to buy some at the airport or bring formula. However, we struggled pretty badly to find milk at some airports and found the coffee stands to be our life saver. Pack an extra set of clothes as accidents will happen. Do not go overboard on toys. We found a i-pad with games or movies was our biggest friend on a airplane. Pack a few small, new toys for your baby and some of her favorites too. And remember, do not panic! MOST people are understanding when a baby cries and there is no need to apologize for it. Safe travels!