As a first-time mom, in the beginning I was (and sometimes still am) nervous to take my new baby to the grocery store, out to a restaurant, or really anywhere in public where I ran the risk of forgetting a crucial item from his diaper bag or coping with a crying and upset baby in front of strangers. Apparently, these are all super normal new-mom feelings! Thankfully, as he has gotten older and I've learned the ropes a bit, we are much more confident leaving the house. I have somehow moved past my fear of germs on every surface, and I don't break out in hives now when he cries (I'm being a bit dramatic here, but you get the idea). But, by no means am I a seasoned pro travel mom.
When the idea came up at work to put together a blog series all about traveling with babies, I volunteered to document Collin's first flight experience without batting an eyelash. Fast-forward to the night before the big travel day, and I somewhat regretted that decision. On one hand, I was about to have a professional film crew document my son's first flight for the world to see and learn from … and other the other hand, I was volunteering to document what could have been a very crazy, wheels-off situation! Luckily, as you will see, everything went according to plan, and Collin's first flight was a success and super memorable. I owe many thanks to my amazing Southwest Family who helped us through this experience!
Along the way, I learned a few quick tips for flying with a little one:
Make a list the night before you leave with all the items that you'll need for travel. I'm a list maker by nature, so this really helped me make sure I remembered everything! (See attached picture for my list)
Pack enough stuff, but do not over pack! Remember, you'll have to lug that stuff around the airport!
Read through the Southwest Airlines infant policy before you leave the house! Don't forget that birth certificate!
Pack a small container of dish soap so you can clean used bottles and reuse (instead of packing a ton of bottles).
Don't forget to put an extra shirt in your carry-on in case your little one decides to spit-up or spill something on you!
Take pictures! Thankfully, I had an award-winning photographer on hand to capture our experience, but document your journey! Ask the flight crew for a picture with your little peanut!
I'm sure there are many more tips out there for new parents who are excited to fly with their little ones. What tips should we add to this list? Tweet us with #babyonboard to share your ideas!