Saturday, October 1, 2011

Travel with Infants-- Getting to the aircraft.

Traveling with infants is easier than you think. Infants often sleep much of the flight so you can at least breathe once you settle in your seat. The toughest part is getting through security, so that's why I start here.

Do yourself a favor and check your suitcase. Even if you have to pay a checked bag fee, it's worth it. Can you imagine lifting it into the overhead bin while juggling your infant? Even if you have baby in a carrier, it will be nearly impossible to safely lift that bag. Yes, it would be nice if someone helped you, but you can't count on that. Simplify the trip in any area you can. I carry on only a backpack and diaper bag (or combine the two).

You can check your car seat (airlines do not charge for car seats/pack 'n' plays/strollers), or do what I do: Use Go-Go Babyz Wheelz.

One hand to carry, unfold, secure car seat, and push
Go-Go Babyz Infant Cruizer AT

Go-Go Babyz  has amazing products to assist in air travel and if you fly with the baby more than once a year, the cost is DEFINITELY worth it! The Infant Cruizer comes with an adapter to allow you to use it with a convertible car seat once the baby gets bigger so it's a great investment.

Even if the baby will be in your lap, not in her own seat, it's nice to have wheels to push the baby or the bags through the airport. Leave the wheels attached and gate check if the baby does not have a seat on the plane and will be held in your lap.

Getting through Security:

Many large airports have a line at security dedicated to families with children. Look for this line where there will be less pressure to rush from the passengers in line behind you.

It's nice to have baby in a front pack/sling/or infant carrier while setting everything on the scanner belt so you can have both hands free.
-Remove your Ziploc baggie of liquids and place in
their own bin. (Add to this bin liquid for bottles, if bringing. More advice on this next week.)
-Put the backpack and diaper bag straight on the belt (no bin).
-Remove your shoes. Even though you no longer have to remove shoes on children under 12, it's best to not put shoes on your infant for travel. They slip off unnoticed. I recommend Trumpette Shoe Socks. All the cuteness of shoes but much more cozy.

-If you have the car seat and wheels, detach the wheels and put both through the scanner.
-Last, remove baby from carrier and put carrier on the belt.
After walking through the scanner don't feel you have to rush in reassembling, but move out of everyone's way. Push all your belongings to the end of the belt and assemble in reverse of how you put bags on in the first place:
-put on front pack/sling
-put baby in carrier
-shoes on
-wheels on car seat
-backpack on car seat
diaper bag stacked on backpack

Or, of course you can use the Infant Cruizer the way it's intended and put the baby in. Then wear the backpack and carry the diaper bag. (Go-Go Babyz also has a great Diaper Bag that attaches to the Infant Cruizer handle.)

You made it though the toughest part of travel with an infant! Next week I'll show you how I pack for the airplane with an infant.

**I do not represent any of the above mentioned companies. I am simply a fan of their products and want to share them with you.**


Sharon said...

Instead of the Gogo product, I used a "Stroller Frame". The idea of this is kind of like a Travel System but instead of a bulky stroller, It's just a frame. It holds the infant seat up high like a Travel System. Then I simply gate-checked it, using the infant seat on board. I was able to fly along with both a bird and a baby on a transatlantic this way. I believe it's more cost effective as well!

Sharon said...

To get through security, I throw the car seat plus luggage cart (still attached) on FIRST. No need to disassemble it. The shoes go through last. I reassemble my things first and then put the shoes on last. We've done countless flights this way and I found this to be the easiest way of doing it.

Another security tip; push everything to the END of the belt. Most people grab their stuff right away but don't do this. Just keep pushing yours' out of everyone elses' way.

If they have to check any of your bags, you can stay there and organize your other things while the security agent is digging through the selected bag.

Cloud Surfing With Kids (Surviving air travel with children) said...

Thanks for your input, Sharon! I've seen stroller frames like that. They look convenient.