Tips for Flying with a Toddler and a Baby
I already have two posts about flying, Tips for Flying Alone With a Baby and Tips for Flying with a Toddler. I got a lot of questions after our last trip to Buffalo about flying with two and what I pack so I thought I would do another quick blog post about how we traveled this time. Also go reference my other two posts because there is some overlap but some things are different, especially if I'm flying by myself versus with Jason. I talk more about how you should feed a baby during takeoff/landing so their ears don't pop and other tips in my baby post. This post just covers a few basic things we always try and do to make our travel day a lot easier, and so far every travel day has been great with the girls!
On this trip Jason and I were both there, so it's really not that hard when you have both parents. Unless your kids have a complete meltdown, then you can throw all of this advice out the window...
Booking Flight Times
If at all possible, I try and pick flight times in the later morning or during the afternoon when they would nap. I don't want to be waking the girls up before they normally do to go catch a flight, because they'll be cranky all day long. A nice slow morning is always good, they get a good breakfast and are excited for a day of travel. Ideally if we can fly around 1pm then Everly will nap which is always a bonus. In my experience the worst times to book are right at their bedtime or late night. This happened to us once with Everly because our flight got delayed and she cried the first half hour of the flight because she was overtired. It was NOT fun.
What to Pack in your Carry-On
I use my Idaho Jones diaper bag which I love because it fits everything I need for me and the girls!
Pack non-messy snacks for your toddler and a water bottle. We usually take some combination of Larabars, Fruit Bars, Pretzels, Annie's Bunnies, Raisins, Nuts and Popcorn.
Pack milk, formula or water in a bottle for the baby. I am still breastfeeding Rosie, but I brought my Pura Stainless bottle for her with water just in case her ears started popping during takeoff or landing and she didn't want to nurse.
Pack games and activities for your toddler. I usually pack coloring, some dollar store toys, the ipad, her headphones and stickers. She doesn't like watching tv so I have to make sure I have enough stuff to keep her busy!
Pack sensory toys for your baby. Depending on what stage they are at, pack something your baby can play with in your lap. Like a light up toy, a sensory book, teething beads, blocks, etc.
Pack change of clothes for both girls - Rosie might have a blowout and Ev might pee her pants.
Pack blankets for both, especially if it's over nap time. If Ev has her blanky and soother she can nap anywhere, which she did on the flight home! (If I ever run out of room for their blankets I tie them onto the side of the bag)
Then obviously the usual diaper bag items - diapers, wipes, medicine, lotion, gum, mints, chapstick, swaddle blanket, soothers, etc.
How We Roll
I always wear Rosie when we fly in her Lillebaby carrier. It's so much easier being hands free and she loves it in there. t also has a zip pocket in front that I can put my phone in, or our passports or anything else I want easy access to. Ev's now old enough to run around, so we always check the stroller under the plane because we never have long layovers. If you do have a long layover and are by yourself with two, it may be easier to use your stroller and gate-check it. Then I wear our diaper bag, and Jason also has a backpack with his stuff and anything else we need. Before we board I let Ev run around and play with whatever toys they have in the airport, and let Rosie sit and play as well. This way they aren't as antsy sitting on the plane for a few hours.
If you've never flown with your kids, don't stress! It honestly always goes way smoother than I think it will. Just make sure you're prepared with the above items and the rest will take care of itself. Also I always put my diaper bag at my feet so I have access to it at all times. You get priority through security, pre-boarding on your flight and so many other perks with kids. Flight attendants are also so helpful if you need anything. Comment below if you have any questions I didn't cover!