What we learned traveling as a family of four, with a newborn & a toddler, for the first time…
I was curious about what we should/shouldn’t bring to make things more convenient prior to our trip, so I wanted to share what worked for us!
1) We say this every time we travel, but we couldn’t have meant it more this time. Getting TSA Pre✅ is the best decision we’ve ever made a couple years ago. Not only does it make traveling extremely convenient whether you have kids or not, you don’t have to take off your shoes, you don’t have to take out your laptop, and you don’t have to take out any liquids. Without TSA Pre✅, you aren’t allowed to take a baby through security wearing them in a carrier (from what I’ve read, and people I’ve talked to), and they go through and scan each of your bottles. With TSA Pre✅, I didn’t have to take the baby out of the carrier I was wearing and they didn’t touch our bottles. We got through security in under a minute.
2) Wearing a baby carrier through the airport (these are two great options here and here) couldn’t have made things easier to have free hands to hold Hunter’s hand and roll a carry on or hold the diaper bag
3) Bringing the boppy in our carry on, and using it on the plane (along with a baby blanket.) This was so convenient, not only did I feed Hudson at take off and landing on it, it helped him stay asleep comfortably (for both of us) the entire plane ride. I also used it to change him on, opting out of the tiny plane bathroom. The slipcover is washable so you aren’t bringing all the plane germs home
4) Feeding the baby or letting him/her suck on a binky during take off and landing to ease ear pressure. While doing this, Hudson didn’t seem to mind the pressure.
5) If traveling with formula, the most convenient way to have the bottles pre-measured without having to refrigerate them or bring any liquid, we filled the powder into these and then just bought bottled water once we got through security (we got lucky and found non-refrigerated) and poured them in the bottles and mixed them as needed on the plane (I use these any time I leave the house!)
6) Packing healthy snacks and an iPad with headphones with Netflix or Hulu on it for a toddler to watch movies or their favorite show. Hunter has a bookbag his size so he was excited to pack it with his favorite things and wear it through the airport
7) Always Always Always pack extra clothes for all kids, in case they get sick. An extra outfit, underwear, socks, shoes everything (you never know) we lucked out having extra clothes and shoes in our carry on after an unfortunate incident
8) Purchasing a bag to put the car seat and base in before you check it. This one worked great
9) We purchased bulkhead seats, because they are the “Even More Space” seats on JetBlue, which made it nice to have the extra room to change the baby and not feel so confined
10) Soak it all in and take endless amounts of pictures to savor all of the memories