The Caseys have just settled in after our first familial cross-continental flights and 2.5 weeks on the West Coast! We are wiped out but we are happy. The trip was energizing and gave us a major confidence boost in traveling as a family. Since this was the first, of (hopefully) many trips, I was all about soaking it up and finding ways to do it better the next time.
Our traveling party consisted of me, my partner in life Sean, our baby CC and our maltese, Chibi. This was CC's very first flight (and Chibi's 7th). Carmine sat in our laps, Chibi under the seat in front of us. We read a bunch of blogs, we formulated our plan, and got a bunch of stuff wrong. As mentioned above, I was all about improving our process. See below for a summary of my various a-ha moments.
1. On long haul flights, get the aisle
On our outbound flight, my husband had the window and I had the aisle. Carmine is at a stage that requires a diaper change every 60-90 minutes. He has a zero tolerance policy for any degree of wetness so I had to do the excuse me, pardon me song and dance multiple times throughout the flight disrupting our seat mate.
2. For the love of god, bring extra onesies!
We brought 3 onesies for a 5 hour flight. We were out of clean onesies 4 hours into the flight. Once we landed and grabbed our luggage we still had an hour long car ride in front of us. We somehow made it without any meltdowns or further blowouts. Next flight, I will take 1 onesie for every two hours of door to door travel. With this calculation I would have packed 5 onesies, a seemingly safe number. Will test in future.
3. Baby carriers are your friend
Getting through security and making our way around the airport was a breeze all because our hands were free! It was wonderful having our hands totally free, not pushing a stroller or carrying a baby. Pro-tip, carry your baby in your arms without the carry when going through security to avoid having to wait for the hand-wipe screening. If you carry the baby in the carrier TSA will need to perform the additional security measure. Sometimes it adds 30 seconds to your journey, other times it adds several minutes.
4. Take out all your baby things at security
I did some research beforehand and knew that I was allowed to bring pumped milk, pre-made formula bottles or formula and bottled water so long as I had the baby. They would test any liquids before letting us through. To be safe I took out all my baby things, little cooler with pre-pumped milk bottles, formula, small bottle of water, full size ointment. Nothing was taken away. They did test the milk.
Good luck on your family travels! What are your newborn travel tips?