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Tips for Traveling with Baby... Alone

Rhett has been traveling since he has 8 weeks old, his first flight was from Orange County, CA to Seattle, Washington last summer when we went to my lovely friend Joy Prouty's Wildflowers Reunion in Bellingham. His next trip was in November 2015, at 4 months, Jacksonville Florida where I shot a video of a beautiful wedding in Fernandina beach. That same weekend we made an impromptu trip to  DisneyWorld in Orlando for the day & sat through a timeshare presentation just to get cheaper tickets.  His next flight was to Salt Lake City Utah for the March to Elite doTERRA team retreat and his 7th flight was a return flight from Chicago this August after a 5 day cross country road trip from the West Coast to the Midwest. Yesterday he flew again and on  Sunday he'll undertake his 9th flight when we return home from ONE doTERRA's annual Convention here in Salt Lake. At 14 months young I'm pretty sure he could be an airline poster child traveler & if he keeps this up he is sure to visit every corner of to world. 

Most of these trips we took with someone usually Mi Amor, my mom was a great help with babysitting while I did my work. But I've had the opportunity to fly on my own with both kids as well. Today I will focus on sharing some tips I think would help any mama thinking of undertaking the crazy and adventurous task of traveling alone with baby. I'll share why I do what I do, and some possible alternatives you could chose to do. 
Buy your ticket, kids under 2 are FREE. Usually I'll start my search on Kayak.com or Priceline.com a few months ahead and I'll buy about 8-5 weeks out. 
Although most of my trips were business, having to buy a ticket for my mom to babysit was a costly expense. But back to flying alone, I chose to have baby on my lap because bottom line, it saves me money. However if you prefer to have baby sit on their own for better safety, you will have to buy them their own ticket, same as an adult's price and they can sit in their car seat just as they would in a car. That means backwards facing for little infants and forward for bigger babies. 

Pack pressurized snacks the change in altitude pressure will result in popped open snack bags,  pressurize those snacks by squeezing out the extra air from any Tupperware or ziplock bags. Prevent spills by bagging all prepackaged snacks that contain liquids like baby food, mandarin orange or applesauce cups. I usually then put all my snacks in a big gallon size baggy to keep them all together in my purse. Make sure to pack some proteins for longer satiety,  a cheese stick or yogurt but have them eat those first!  

Boost your immune system germs are prevalent everywhere but airports are specially notorious for being the perfect hub for infectious disease transmittance. So boost your immune system by preparing for your trip earlier and taking the appropriate precautions. DoTERRA's vitality pack vitamins complete with omegas, 9 essential oils, 100% whole foods derived formula are my go to. I also take Onguard protective blend softgel leading up to and on the days of my trips to help my immune system perform at its best.  

 Wear comfy clothes unless you've got a super important business meeting you'll be heading to immediately when you land wear the comfiest clothes you can. I usually opt for yoga pants, an easy-access shirt for breastfeeding and a light sweater. Same goes for baby, comfy pajama-like pants shirt are airy to keep them comfy. I also try to be conscious to make sure his skin is covered,  there is so many germs circulating in an airport and their skin may come into contact with lots of ickiness so long pants & constant hand washings are a must. 

Wear comfy shoes airport security will require you to take them off, make it easy on yourself and be prepared. I've done anything from workout shoes to slip ons. 

Always Pack a blanket, airplane cabins are cold & uncomfortable. With or without child I will always have a blanket on me when traveling. This also served as a cover for breastfeeding back when I cared what people thought. 

Bring Spray disinfectant I use a DIY doTERRA's OnGuard protective blend oil, spray this usually stays in my purse 24/7. It's diluted with water in a little bottle ready to help stop bacteria, fungi and viruses. I use it to wipe down anything from dropped toys, diaper changing tables and the infamous microbial infested  snack tray in the plane. 

Arrive early that means 2 hours ahead, you never know when an airport will get busy. 

Wear your baby this was so much easier when he wasn't 30+ pounds, I've turned over to pushing an umbrella stroller now  that he is so big but I'd recommend wearing baby definitely if he's small. I use the Tula baby carrier, it distributes  the weight so you are not just carrying with your shoulders. I've actually recently mastered the backwards carry so I have free 2 hands now! Yay! Tuck your carrier under your seat along with your snacks in your purse for easiest access. Note: if you wear baby you will not be made to go into the dreaded X-Ray machines. You might however be subjected to a different test where they swab your hands with an instrument, takes 30 seconds for both hands. 

 Check In your car seat and stroller it's FREE, if you are a penny pincher like me you will have chosen to sit baby on your lap. I pack super light usually bringing just the right amount of diapers and clothes so I can fit his and my things in just one carry on. And then snacks, immediate necessities and electronics in my purse. I don't check bags unless it's free but I invested In a good rolling Jessica Simpson carry on bag. I usually just pull this along as I walk, I can set my purse on it or I'll attach my purse to the stroller and pull the carry on simultaneously as I lush the stroller.  Note: if you are military or have a military spouse ID some airlines will allow you one free bag check, JetBlue will do this for sure, just ask! 

Formula is Good to Go In my experience TSA was baby-needs conscious. Baby needs to eat and you need  water for formula. They can't force you to buy the  $5 water bottles inside so Just let them know the water is for baby, they may have you open the bottles and they will perform a test to make sure it's ok. I've also had ready made bottles of formula and breastmilk too those passed just fine.  

Baby exercise ok so you've got your shoes back on, you found your way through the terminal maze but now what? You know baby is about to embark in a long journey across land and maybe even time so while you wait have them burn some of that extra energy. This tip is especially big for the bigger babies, some airports have a child play areas. If yours is not that mobile, play with them while you wait, tummy time on your chest or peddling their feet should help them wiggle out and prep them for a long nap during flight. & if you couldn't find a play area you can always use an empty gate near a bathroom with a changing table. I've also walked back and forth in our terminal following baby as he waves friendly hellos to all our fellow flying mates. 

Board first or last Most airlines allow families with young kids to pre board, depending on how you feel I've sometimes chosen to board at the tail end to avoid all the other passengers rushing to get on,  It also minimizes the chances of someone dropping a carry on luggage on baby. 

Use Gate Check sometimes airlines will offer complimentary check in of your bags at the gate. That means you don't have to carry your carry on into the plane at all and you will pick up your bag at the carousel in bag claim. Other times they will just tag your bag and bring it back to you as you exit the plane. This is also good as you still don't have to lift the carry on into the upper storage cubbies. If you do end up having to take your carry on into the plane don't be afraid to ask for help, there is always a flight attendant or another passenger willing to help. Hooray for human goodness!

Sit at the middle or closer to the back of the plane, closer to the bathroom in case of a poopy diaper but not close enough to smell other people's 😖

Request a window seat whenever possible, baby might enjoy looking out the window and you can feel a little more relaxed knowing you can rest your head of the hard wall, well at least one arm rest is completely yours 
Protect their little ears  we instinctively know to swallow when our ears feel stuffy but baby does not, Protect their ears from popping by using a pacifier if your baby will take one, or feed them formula or mama milk when the plane is ascending and again when it's descending 

Pack an empty water bottle   idk what it is about traveling but it makes me super thirsty. Now that baby is covered make sure to Keep yourself hidrated too.  Drink lots of water, I use a glass water bottle I got at  Target. I can fill it at the water fountain and add a drop of my favorite essential oil, usually Lemon or wild orange. 

Last tips, Be Mom, some people don't have kids so they may not understand why you look frazzled, tired all the while your baby insists on standing on the seat or reaching in between the seat to touch your neighbor. Just apologize politely and never mind them. Don't be afraid to pull the boob out I learned this in our first trip to Bellingham, I lost my baby cover and I was panicking, at first I would use a blanket or a the wrap I carried baby in but now I just don't really care what anyone thinks, this is my baby and he needs me. If someone doesn't like it then they can look away. 

With that my sweet mama friend I Welcome you to the trenches, Happy Traveling! 

xoxo 




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