If you know a few bonus details about me, you’d know that from the ages of 7-17, I flew every month to visit my dad. 🙂 I am originally from Southern California, but when I moved up to Northern California with my mom, it was made sure I still got to see my dad. Flying became such second-nature, that when I stopped flying as often, it was the lack of traveling that felt odd more than the frequency of which I used to travel. The opportunity to fly to Iowa to visit my dad’s side of the family fell into place with just a few weeks notice, and it was decided that I would take Reese (7 months,) and Aaron would stay home with Hadley and Sadie.
To be honest, I wasn’t at all intimidated to fly alone with her. As long as she is with me, she is typically as happy as can be. The hardest part of it all was thinking of the things to bring, while still keeping items minimal for ease of packing. I made an Instagram post (you can find me @henleyandhadley) about my diaper bag for flying [with the photo below] to which a few friends suggested I share about what was worth packing on our trip!
1.) Happ Brand Diaper Bag– I will come clean, I LOVE diaper bags. I could have an endless supply (much to my husband’s dismay!) They’re waterproof, hold a ton of stuff, and can be so stylish! I chose this one for our trip, as it is less than 2 pounds (SO light) yet is probably the Suburban (in terms of capacity) of diaper bags. A removable messenger strap, pockets galore, and light as a feather…this was the perfect bag to travel with.
2.) Beaba snack container– maybe it sounds silly for something like this to be essential, but not only did the ability to have 3 different edible treats to distract Reese with help, but she even liked playing with it. The top has a spout to where I could easily pour a few puffs out at a time.
3.) Bebe au Lait muslin nursing cover– always my go-to. It’s light, has great coverage, and is even nice as a blanket or sleep canopy for your baby.
4.) Chicco pacifier holder– I am pretty strict when it comes to getting rid of the Soothie pacifier once they hit 6 months (because it isn’t orthodontic,) but I sure do miss the Wubbanub (stuffed animal attached to it) when it’s time to transition. This is new(ish) and was made to work with any pacifier. Reese has grown so familiar to it, she can find it easily in her crib, and it’s become a source of comfort (even for me, as I can easily find her paci with it attached to this!) 🙂
5.) Jujube Be Quick Wristlet– my friend got me this for my birthday, and I have used it SO much. It’s amazing for holding the “mama stuff ” (wallet, lipgloss, keys) but also keeping a few diapers and wipes in it. Excellent for times when you don’t want to carry an entire diaper bag with you.
6.) Zipadeezip Transition Sleeper– While Reese is out of the beloved Woombie swaddle, she still loves the feeling of being swaddled. This is the perfect halfway, as she can safely roll in it, and even grab things, but it helps prevent the startle reflex. This was a must when having her sleep while traveling. While she didn’t end up needing it on the plane (she was happy snoozing in the baby carrier,) it came in handy every nap and bedtime.
7.) Lillebaby Complete Organic Carrier– I didn’t even bring a stroller for the trip, as Reese is content as can be in the carrier, and this is by far the most comfortable one I have ever used. I was able to fly 3 out of 4 the flights with it on the entire time (on one flight the simply asked I unbuckle the top for takeoff and landing.) No worrying about strollers getting damaged, she took several naps on the comfort of her mama, and my hands were even freer while traveling—all benefits of using this lovely carrier! I was devoted to my Ergo all these years, but after trying Lillebaby, I won’t ever go back! (Added bonus, it can also forward face!)
8.) Hydroflask WITH straw top– You’ve heard me blab about it for almost 2 years…I joke that it is my 4th child, because it goes everywhere with me. The straw top is a must, though! (I have the 18oz, and it fits in my bag perfectly!)
A few extra details about packing and traveling:
-We packed Reese’s car seat in a car seat bag. It is free to fly it! An added sneaky step I do with this, is put a few linens and items in there if I run out of room in our suitcase! I arranged ahead of time for belongings my aunt and cousin were able to borrow, but any kinds of pack-n-plays, etc are free to fly, as it is for a baby’s care.
-If your trip is more than a few days, get diapers & wipes when you arrive—it’s not worth the precious luggage space! Same goes for long-term food for baby (if they’re on solids.)
-I didn’t even bring a stroller for this trip! Since she’s barely in a stroller anyways (I usually keep her big sisters wrangled in the stroller when we are out and about, ha!) I figured I’d save the time, space, and stress of it getting damaged on a flight by just wearing her for the trip. It ended up being great, I honestly didn’t miss having a stroller at all!
-Bring some up-cycled empty plastic bags for putting dirty clothes (and dirty diapers) in 🙂
-Make sure baby has a paci (or you’re comfy nursing) during takeoff and landing—it’ll gently pop their ears.
-I brought a few organic baby food pouches for Reese to have on layovers since she didn’t have dedicated meal times in high chairs.
-While I am normally not shy to nurse in public, I was a bit uncomfortable feeding her on the plane*so* close to the people next to me (all men,) especially as she was trying to kick them. Soooo, with that being said, I asked to go to the back of the plane (think where staff prepares coffee,) where I comfortably nursed her in the Lillebaby, ha!
It ended up being a really mellow trip, and I am so thankful I got to visit with my family that I love so much! If you have any questions for me, please feel free to send them my way. In the meantime, have a wonderful day!
Thanks for reading,