1. Scout out ahead of time whether or not the airports that you will be in have nursing rooms.
I found out that Birmingham and Boston both had areas for Mother's to nurse, but Baltimore (our layover destination) did not.
To compensate for the lack of nursing areas in Baltimore, I pumped 2 bottles for the layover and nursed in the plane right before we landed. It is much harder to breastfeed in a big open airpot when you are alone, because there is no one to help you with even a small amount of privacy.
2. Think about when you will be able to eat, and plan in advance.
I wasn't sure how Oliver would do sleep-wise on the trip. He usually doesn't like to be put down or sat still in the stroller if he is awake. I made myself some Zucchini Bread in case he wouldn't do well with me stopping to eat. Luckily he slept a ton and I got to eat some Chipotle • HEAVEN• but I'm glad I packed myself a substantial alternative.
3. If you have to take a layover, see if you can plan to see friends or family at the airport.
There are SO many people that want to see babies when they are born. It can seem overwhelming trying to visit everyone if your family and friends are spread out across the country. My mom's parents are from Baltimore, MD, so we used our 3 hour layover to meet them at the airport. Oliver is their first great-grandchild!!
4. Check your carseat base at the ticket counter.
If you will need your carseat base at your destination, most airlines will allow you to check it at the check in counter for free. They will always allow you to check it at the gate, but if you can check it at the ticket counter, it is one less thing to worry about when going through the airport. You also won't have to claim it at the gate and cart it around during your layover. It is worth asking.
* I used our carseat and stroller through the airport. If you want to wear your baby, most airlines will check the entire carseat for free as well. Just call and verify their policies.
5. Bring a Form of Identification for your baby.
I brought a copy of Oliver's Birth Certificate with me. Make sure that you check what documents your airline requires for baby before you leave for the airport.
6. Call ahead of time to declare a lap child.
Because I called this in before I left, he was already programmed into my ticket. I just had to show his birth certificate to get our boarding passes.
7. Pack Strategically.
I packed and organized my diaper bag about a hundred times before we left! The diaper bag was the only item that I brought on the plane with me. I didn't want too many bags to keep track of. Because I had the stroller with me, I simply stowed it underneath while we were moving through the airport. If I had been wearing Oliver, I would have packed his things in a backpack instead. I packed all of his diapering times on one side and toys on the other with his most essential items in the outside pockets.
I packed the following items in his bag with 2 bottles of pumped milk on the outside, my wallet, a small toiletry bag, and my zucchini bread (not shown).
I also packed the following toys to keep him entertained if need be.
8. Change baby before boarding the plane.
Our plane had a changing table in one of the bathrooms, but it was cramped and hot. Neither Oliver or I enjoyed that experience.
9. Invest in a nursing shirt
If you are nursing on your trip, I suggest investing in a nursing shirt. I usually just wear normal shirts and pull them up to nurse, but that is a bit harder to maneuver while trying to nurse by yourself in public. The nursing shirt made things so much easier.
* I couldn't find the one that I wore, but this one is a similar nursing style with short sleeves.
10. Bring tons of sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
I can't tell you the number of times Oliver dropped his Binki on the group while we were traveling!
What would you add at this list?
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.