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.
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.
-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
-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.**