We just got back from taking little man on his first overnight flight as well as international flight at 8 months old. Our experience was not the best but thankfully we still had an amazing vacation! Hopefully some of our tips from our experience will help yours go much smoother!
TIPS BASED ON OUR EXPERIENCE
- FEEDINGS: If you are bottle feeding, bring enough formula as if your little one will eat every 2-3 hours. We made the mistake of bringing formula as though he would sleep through the night on the plane and barely had enough to reach our final destination. Don’t cause yourself the extra stress! Just bring a ton of formula!
- CAR SEAT: Call the airline ahead and ask them about their car seat policy if you are bringing a car seat. Also make sure your car seat is airline approved! We have the Nuna Pipa RX and it is approved for airplane travel. The reason I want to stress this is because American Airlines was a hot mess for our experience! One flight attendant told us she knew nothing about car seats and couldn’t help us. Another told us to place it forward facing. When we got on our final leg of the trip, the flight attendant told us we were doing it all wrong and explained how to place the car seat in the chair. The frustrating part of this was on our first flight, the car seat wouldn’t fit! You guys! We pay extra for these dang airplane approved car seats! How the heck didn’t it fit! We quite literally had to shove his car seat into place and hold his little feet because they were pressing against the chair in front of him. Thankfully Casey was with me because I was NOT happy! We found out that if there is a wall behind you, your row will have less room which is why his car seat did not fit. ANOTHER QUICK NOTE, car seats must be placed in the window seat. Okay so get this, they had me in 25A (window) and Cayden in 21C (aisle)…. 4 rows apart!? The gate agent “corrected” this error and put our family in B (middle), C (aisle), and D (aisle)… still no window! Long story short, we ended up needing to be placed in the last row of the plane… can you hear my frustration lol This is where we learned that if there is a wall behind you, the car seat won’t fit.
- BOARDING: Make sure you can board first! Another American Airline aspect I was not aware of, they don’t let families with kids under the age of 2 board first. We had to wait until our group number was called. On the second plane as well as on the way home, I pulled the feisty mom card and asked to board early, which they actually replied and told me they typically don’t allow it. When you have a little one and all their stuff, you want the extra time!
- CAR SEAT COVER: Bring something to cover the car seat. We are so thankful we had a full cover because it was the only way to keep it super dark. We also placed another blanket over his car seat just to make it darker.
- Distractions, entertainment, snacks, all of the above! Our little man does NOT like to sit still and gets bored of an activity after 4 minutes which makes keeping him busy very difficult! We bought him a few new toys that he had never played with before and saved them for the airplane. We also bought some new sippy cups, and snack cups and gave him some snacks we usually never give to him so it helped make things new and exciting!
- We still gave him a bottle on take off and landing. A couple times he was asleep and I just acted as though it was a dream feed. I did not want his little ears to be bothered.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE PASSPORT
All the information you need to know about getting your little one a passport can be found HERE.
Make sure to thoroughly read through all of the information!
THIS is the form you will fill out for your little one, it is also found in the previous link under the very first step but it does’t hurt to have a copy.
For us, it was easiest to make an appointment at a local post office to get his photo taken as well as have them collect all necessary information to obtain his passport and they sent it in for us.
BOTH parents needed to be present, otherwise, look in the middle of page 1 of the form above under “Requirements for Children” if only one parent is able to be present.
I hope you found this helpful! If you are traveling with a newborn, I also have a full newborn travel blog that might help you in more ways in order to prepare for travel!
You can also find my Diaper Bag Packing list HERE!
Even though our first international travel was a bit of a hot mess, we truly had the best vacation and simply learned from our experience!