Flying with the boys has always been pretty tricky. We've flown back to Iowa twice since they've been born, and will be doing it again over the holidays. I wouldn't say I'm a pro by any means but in the 2 trips we've already taken, I've flown with them alone 3 of the 4 flights. I've learned a few things in this short time and want to share the things I know with all of you!
During a 1 1/2 hour delay while sitting in a hot plane in LA. After waking up at 4 am. We're hardcore.
Things we like to use:
- Baby carrier. It's so much easier to have two free hands to deal with things.
- Detachable wheels for the convertible car seat. We use THIS ONE and detach the wheels before boarding the plane. They'll check them for you at the gate. When traveling with the boys on my own, I pull one boy in the seat/wheels and wear the other.
- Backpack instead of big bulky baby bag. One less thing to slide off of your shoulders.
- Pacifier clip was helpful. Don't want to deal with a paci falling somewhere on the plane or in the airport.
- Last Christmas we kept the boys in footie pj's all day. It was comfy for them and we didn't have to worry about taking shoes on and off.
Getting through security:
- Baby has to come out of the car seat/carrier. So, be ready for quick unbuckling.
- Baby food/ liquids all need to be out. They only let you have one bottle per baby, or enough for them to have just on the flight. I used to always pack extra powder formula and get a bottle of water before getting on the plane.
- Use a bag to cover your car seat and check it with your suitcase if you can. It's one less thing to drag through the airport.
- Let your kids run (if they're big enough). Play with them/wear them out. Getting that energy out before you get on the plane helps.
- ASK FOR HELP. Especially if you're traveling alone or with twins. The airline has people that are there to help carry things onto the plane for you.
- Change diaper before getting on the plane. It lessens the chance you have to change while on the plane (depending on the length of the flight).
- Make sure the things you'll use most are in the outside pockets of your bag, that way they are ready for quick grabbing and you don't have to dig in your bag while balancing baby in the crazy small airplane seats.
Sleepy Julian on his first flight ever, Christmas day 2010.
On the plane:
- Try sitting back toward the engine. The noise will help drown out whatever noises your kids may make. It might also help them fall asleep.
- Have something for them to drink/eat during take off and landing for ear popping. My boys have never really had a problem with this. Isaiah fell asleep once during take off and I thought for sure he'd wake up crying but he was fine.
- Snacks, snacks, snacks. My boys are happiest while eating. Every single flight, they've eaten all the snacks I brought.
- Bring a couple toys but don't over do it. In our case, the boys rarely played with what I brought. And were more entertained with the seat tray and reading materials they have.
- HAND SANITIZER.
- People have suggested using an ipad/iphone, etc. for in flight entertainment. We haven't tried that one yet but now that we both have good iphones we probably will.
- RELAX. I know it's easier said than done but if your kid is the screaming one, who cares. You can't control your kid's voice box. The flight will be over before you know it.
On traveling with twins:
- We fly through Allegiant Air mostly and they have general seating (unless you pay more). I always try to sit on the side of the plane with 3 seats and try to save a seat in the middle. It's nice having that extra room.
- We had one of our parents buy a car seat to keep there and we travel with one of ours. Then we always have the one we need on the plane and don't have to worry about checking the other one. (When you travel alone with twins, you have one lap child and then have to purchase a seat/have car seat for the other child.)
- Definitely ask for help. I've always been able to get a gate pass for someone to go through security with me. Chikezie was even able to get a gate pass at LAX to be at the gate to help us off the plane. THAT was awesome.
Bottom line, be prepared. I do as much as I can before we leave so I'm not caught off guard when we're at the airport. I try to carry/bring the least amount of things possible. The less I have to carry or bring with me, the more free hands I have to tend to the boys.
Traveling with babies and toddlers seems really overwhelming and scary but you can't let that fear keep you locked in the house! I decided early on I wasn't going to be scared of doing things alone just because I had twins. You make it work, you get through it.
If you guys have any questions or extra suggestions to add-please share!