Hey guys, it’s Emily here from MiaThrives!
The first time I took a flight with my son Milo he was 3 months old and I had a doctor’s appointment out of province. This seems to be a reality for many others with EB that can’t always find EB care close to home. I did some research before take-off that I thought could be useful to others getting ready for trips. Especially with the Debra America Conference just around the corner hopefully, you can find a hack for packing your bags!
I would recommend not bringing a large everyday stroller but instead bringing an umbrella stroller. There are only a few models that can be adjusted to a laying down position and used at any age. When choosing a travel stroller I would highly recommend one that the car seat can strap into. You will have less to carry around and then can gate check the stroller and car seat together.
The model I went with is called the oxygen, it folds up small and is extremely lightweight. It is one of the only models that can be used for a child under 6 months and a car seat can also be strapped in. I was able to fit my backpack behind the stroller as well so I didn’t need to carry anything!
Always Gate Check
Larger items like playpens are no problem to check but for your stroller and car seat, I would highly recommend Gate Checking to reduce the amount the items are banged around and to hopefully avoid damage. When you are checking in you can also ask for a fragile tag to attach to the item. Another perk of this is you can use your stroller at the airport and it will be there for you when you embark off the plane. I also always put the car seat and stroller in a gate check bag to protect them, you could also use a duffle bag if it is large enough.
Carrier Carry On
When you are going through security you will need to take your baby out of their car seat or stroller, I find the easiest way to get through is wearing the baby in a carrier. I also would carry my son onto the flight this way after gate checking his items. Note you are not able to wear a carrier during take-off and landing but I still find it helpful getting on and off the plane!
Another note when going through security is you do not need to worry about traveling with liquids you are exempt from the liquid guidelines. You can bring formula, distilled water, and any food for your baby and they will swab it. I put all the liquids in a large Ziploc bag to make it easy to pull out and hand over before passing through security.
If you are taking a long-haul flight on a larger plane they often have bassinets if your child is under a certain weight. You need to request this in advance when you book your flight to ensure they seat you in the designated seat with the attachment for the bassinet.
Milo was snug as a bug in a plane bassinet for a 7-hour flight, I put him in his sleepsack so it felt more like his “normal” nighttime routine
Be Over Prepared
Be prepared to miss a flight, connection, or even be stuck somewhere overnight, pack extra clothing, food, formula, sleep sacks whatever you and your baby need for an extra day or two. In case things don’t go as planned you won’t be stressed running around searching for items you know you will use.
A few of my go-to diaper bag items are,
- Dog poop bags, if the baby has a blow out I put the diaper in a bag before throwing it out and also put the dirty clothing in a bag to keep contained until I can wash them.
- Dark swaddle blanket, sometimes traveling during the day it can be challenging to get a baby to nap with all the excitement of the airport\ or plane, I find having a swaddle I can block things out when trying to put my son down for a nap.
- Entertainment, a set of baby keys, remote control, or something to keep baby busy!
Take Off And Landing
To avoid the baby’s ears hurting from the air pressure, give milk during take-off and landing. If the baby is not hungry and doesn’t want to drink you can also give a pacifier. To ensure the baby sucks on the pacifier you can put a few drops of natural teething drops, it is sweet so can ensure they suck harder. This hack has worked well for us and Milo has never had issues with his ears or crying during take-off and landing!
Take Advantage Of The Perks
When traveling with children you can use the special assistance line in security often a much shorter line. You can board the flight first; this is nice to ensure you have your luggage stored nearby. If you are passing through customs there is often a family line you can use to speed up the process! You can also keep your eyes out at the airport for nursing rooms and pods. I was bottle-feeding my baby but was still nice to have a little escape in a quiet room for a feed and change.
Traveling with a baby takes a lot of extra planning and packing and there can be stressful moments but I believe is so worth it! I have even traveled alone with Milo to Budapest that took 3 flights there and 4 to get home, but we managed. Milo just turned One and we are getting ready for his fourth trip, know that he is getting more mobile there will be new challenges to navigate but I am confident he is a good little traveler!
We would love to hear from you if you tried any of these hacks or have any hacks you would like to share with the EB community!
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