If you're following along with the 2017 Scripture Memory / Dwell Richly printable, here's the verse for week 22:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
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As of today, we've flown a total of 20+ times with our baby, which certainly does not qualify us as experts but we wanted to share our experiences with you nonetheless! Each flight has been different, ranging from near perfect to pretty awful. Most of them have been fairly decent though. We first flew with Mia Kai when she was around four months old. The following list of baby travel essentials has helped us to maintain our sanity.
Necessary things such as diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths, bottles, baby food, etc. are not mentioned in the list.
Please keep in mind that what works for us may not work for you, and vice versa, so please share your favorite travel essentials and suggestions below in the comment section as well!
Car Seat Carrier // Okay, so this thing looks pretty ridiculous when you (or your husband, in our case) is carrying it but it is a HUGE help!! A friend told me about it when I asked for registry suggestions. I was hesitant to buy it because it's so huge with the car seat in it but it's well worth the money if you travel often and want to take your carseat with you. (You can also rent a carseat from your car rental place if you prefer that instead.) We load the carseat from the curbside when friends drop us off at the airport, toss in whatever else we can to fill the space (we typically toss in diapers, wipes, hiking boots, the Jesus Storybook Bible, Exersaucer Door Jumper and extra baby food) then take it to the front desk for loading along with our other checked luggage. So technically you don't have to walk super long with it on your back. You can check it for free and add some extra odds and ends if needed! The gate attendants have questioned the weight but still let us check it for free.
Teething Necklace // This thing has saved us on numerous accounts. Being the champion of a husband that he is, JD wears it whenever he's holding Mia Kai. She may not always take a paci or a bottle but this necklace is always super soothing for her to chew on!
Ergo, Ergo 360, K'tan, or Baby Carrier // We started out with the K'tan but it didn't fit JD well. So we ended up sticking with the Ergo because it's easily adjustable and super easy to put on. I wish we had gotten the 360 so that Mia Kai could see out of the front now that she's bigger but we still carry her on our chest when we travel. Basically, we carry her in the Ergo, toss our smaller carry-ons in the stroller and stroll to our gate that way. She also sleeps really well in the Ergo when we're on the plane. Flight attendants have told us that babies aren't allowed to be in baby carriers during takeoff or landing but MK is typically asleep in it when they tell us that, and they let us leave her in there anyway. I also like to put Sophie in the front pouch for (1) easy access and (2) because who doesn't love seeing a cute giraffe sticking out of a pouch?
Indestructibles Book // Really, any book in the Indestructibles series would be great but this is one of Mia Kia's favorites. These books are thin and light. Perfect for tossing into a backpack and easy to take out when they get bored and need some distraction. Plus, they're indestructible.
Extra Outfit // We pack several extra outfits, jammies, etc. in our carry-on suitcases (in case our luggage gets lost or flights get delayed) but we also keep two extra onesies in an easily accessible pouch in our backpack for those unexpected blowouts. We also only put MK in onesies on flights because we don't want to mess with pants or shorts. Buttons are way easier to deal with on those small changing pads in the airplane bathrooms.
Changing Pad // We love this Skip Hop changing pad!! It has separate compartments for the wipes and diapers as well as a cushioned changing pad. Perfect for the airplane, airport and hotel room.
Stroller Fan or Handheld Fan // We learned this lesson the hard way... on a four (turned into six) hour drive to my parents' house with my brother and his wife. Mia Kai gets hot. Like sweaty hot. Which makes her very angry. When we learned that we just needed to point the AC vents in her direction, we also decided to get a handheld fan for the airplane. And we are so glad we did! We also use the stroller fan on the stroller when we travel to warmer climates (including summer walks in our hometown). It'd probably be a good idea to pack a light blanket or swaddle in case your baby gets cold if you don't want to use the blankets that the airline offers.
Bottle Warmer // Hopefully you don't have to warm a bottle but if you do, we use (and love) the Tommee Tippee bottle warmer. Just pour hot water in the thermos (we typically ask a coffee shop in the gate area to fill it up for us) or ask a flight attendant to fill up the 'warmer' part with hot water and you can warm the bottle. If you are going to nurse, I personally love the Covered Goods nursing cover (although I mainly used it to cover when pumping in the car or for MK's carseat cover).
Wet Ones // Because germs. ;)
WubbaNub Pacifier // This was Mia Kai's favorite paci. Yes, was. You can read more about that in the upcoming tips post. Long story, short: She stopped taking a paci after her second flight. It worked wonders that first and second flight though! One of the biggest tips you will find when researching babies and airplanes: Nurse or give your baby a paci or bottle during takeoff or landing to help with their ears. Our go-to's for takeoff and landing are sleep and the teething necklace.
Those are our favorite travel essentials for a baby / infant (3 - 9 months old). We'll try to continue updating the list as we continue to fly with our sweet pineapple!