Flying with Kids

October 2, 2014

In less than 24 hours we’d already ridden in a car, plane, bus, train, subway, taxi, and walked a mile with a hiking backpack, a duffle bag, a rolling suitcase, and two backpacks. We’ve learned a few things I thought I’d share. Let’s start with overnight flights with a 5, 3, and 6 month old:

Dotted Line

+ Comfortable Clothing For an overnight flight, put your kids (& yourself!) in comfortable clothes that can work for sleeping and traveling for the flight. Sweatpants, a t-shirt and sweater withsneakers and cozy socks is ideal for older kids and leggings, tee and a cardigan for baby. Then I only needed an extra set of clothing for the baby.

+ Electronics We went all summer without any screen time besides a Friday night movie, but I have zero regrets about having an iPad, easy cases, and headphones for each of my older children on the plane loaded with educational games, movies they hadn’t seen and one classic, and a few TV shows. I recommend not having much (or any) screen time for a week or longer before you leave so that it will be especially exciting.

+ Solly Baby Wrap Obviously, this is was on my necessity list for Frances. I had our black wrap (better for blocking out light when sleeping and keeping clean) on from the time we arrived at the airport until we made it to our flat the next day in London. She slept and played in it the whole time and, basically, I would’ve died without it. (more details on traveling with your wrap soon)

+ Preflight Stretches While we waited on the plane for takeoff, I had my 5 and 3 year old do little stretches in front of their seats. It was a really fun distraction waiting for the plane to take off and helped prep them to be in their seats for 13 hours.

+ Bassinet This was paramount for our flight. We called the airline ahead and requested a bassinet for Frances. They put us in a larger row with a wall in front of us where the bassinet table comes down from the wall. It was incredible. So much leg room that the kids were able to sit on the floor and play when the seat belt sign was off. She was a little big for it, but in the middle of the night, I was able to make an easy transfer from the wrap to the bassinet so I could sleep as well.

bassinet flying solly baby
+ Forget Bedtimes Although we wanted to get the kids to sleep before they were overly tired, we knew 8PM was not happening 2 hours after taking off on the most exciting trip of their lives. So we let them play and watch shows until the plane started to settle down for the night and the plane lights were dimmed. We didn’t tell them it was bedtime, we just said it was time to relax. Jared and I both took a child and whispered stories and rubbed their feet or backs after getting them comfortable with airline blankets, pillows, and those neck pillow things. They both drifted to sleep easily and stayed asleep until morning.

+ Divvy Up the Kids Before we left we decided we’d each be responsible for certain children while we are out and about for safety and sanity. He primarily watches Solomon while we are out since he’s the most adventurous and needs the most help managing expectations as a 3 year old figuring out what’s going on. I have been in charge of Lucy and Frances since Lucy is 5 and actually quite a help with Frances.

+ Attitude Jared and I made a pact before we left that no matter what, we would be positive, especially on traveling days. So when security at LAX stopped us for literally everything you could possibly be stopped for (bag search, palm swipe, liquid test, etc.) we smiled all the way through it and found a reason to be grateful (even if it was in a funny way) about every single annoying thing that happened. We had literally NO tears on the plane and I am totally confident this is why.

subway london solly baby

(arriving in London the next day)

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Tags : Tips + Tricks

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October 3rd 2014

This is perfect and so helpful! Your tips and insights seem very realistic! Do you have a link to the brown pants you have on?! Thanks!

October 9th 2014

Thanks! I don’t have a link, but they’re from Free People.

October 8th 2014

Hi! Love all the tips. We are traveling in November and December and I’m wondering how security at the airports was with you carrying your baby in the wrap? Did you just go through wearing her with no problem? Thanks!

October 9th 2014

Yes! Security has consistently let me keep her in the wrap in every airport I’ve been in!

October 11th 2014

I have never seen a bassinet on a plane! Which airlines was that? Or do they all offer this and keep it a secret? 🙂

October 16th 2014

I think just about all international flights do it but I’m not sure about domestic. 🙂

October 17th 2014

Thanks for the tips! We flew a year ago with our thirteen-month-old twins on a non-stop 10 hours from SFO to London to visit family. We’re hoping to go again next year when the twins are three, but we’ll have their baby brother as well, who will be thirteen or fourteen months.

October 18th 2014

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October 20th 2014

This has just filled me with some confidence!! I’m pregnant with number three, so will be travelling when he/she will be 10 weeks old with a (just!!) 3 year old and 5 year old! I’m American and my husband is British so long flights are a norm now! Good idea to divide up before you leave, keeps it easy! You make it sound effortless

January 6th 2015

When traveling with a baby or even a toddler, bring a carrier to put the child in so that you can pull the folded stroller to the plane. This way you are not trying to hold the baby and close the stroller at the plane door.Well before boarding time, go to the front desk and ask for a stroller tag so that you are ready to go. Do not ask when it is time for boarding.

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