The last time we did a 5-hour flight with a baby and a newborn, I was stressing. It ended up not being so bad because Maddie slept almost the whole time. But this time... we have 2 toddlers. Practically. Maddie will be 1 at the end of next month (!!!) and I'm pretty certain she won't sleep the entire time this flight.
These are a few essentials that I take every time we fly... whether it's a 1 hour trip to So Cal or a 5 hour trip to Maui.
- Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket Even though the girls are way past the swaddling stage, these blankets are perfect for snuggling during a nap (if it happens) or keeping little legs warm on a cold plane. Plus they're lightweight and thin, so, easy to pack.
- Aden + Anais Burp Cloth Although I always take a brand new pack of wipes, this is handy for cleaning any drink mishap or snotty nose plus it doubles as a bib so that pack of Go-go fruit squeeze that your 11 month is going to enjoy mid-flight won't end up on her darling travel outfit.
- Solly Baby Wrap I have always taken a carrier (the Ergo) when I fly with the girls but this will be my first time taking the Solly. I've heard rumors that you don't have to take the baby out for walking through security and it's a lightweight fabric that breathes (these are the only 2 downfalls of the Ergo, which I'm packing in our suitcase in case we decide to do a hike and need to carry both babes. HAHAHAHAHA... Us hiking. On vacation. Oh I make myself laugh...)
- Skip Hop Backpack Between the 4 of us, we have a TON of stuff to bring on the plane. Obviously. An easy solution is have Allie carry all her activities and snacks in her own backpack. She's actually pretty excited whenever she gets to use it because I hide it at home so it seems like a new toy. Plus she gets to wear a backpack "just like Dad's."
- OXO Tot Sippy Cup The airline usually provides a cup with a lid and a straw for Allie but having a sippy cup for Maddie is a necessity since she's getting to the point that a nursing cover is just something to swat at/pull away.
- OXO Tot Snack Cup Food in any shape/size/form is a necessity for a long trip, not just for the babes. The great thing about snack cups is that you can give Cheerios to a baby without worrying that the majority will end up on the floor.
- Melissa & Doug Lace Cards This is representative of all the activities I bring for the girls. I'd rather they not spend the entire time watching a movie on the iPad and I'm actually fairly certain that wouldn't even hold their attention for 5 hours. I usually hit up the $1 bin at Target for small coloring books, toys, stickers, window clings, whatever is small enough to keep them occupied. The iPad has been loaded with a few movies and apps in case we hit panic mode in Hour 4.
- Baby Jogger City Select Stroller I briefly considered getting a lightweight stroller to make travel easier but since they're so expensive, I decided against it. If I were flying alone, I would probably buy a lightweight stroller but since Brian will be with me, it's not too big of a hassle to break it down at the gate. So it depends on you. If you're the type to be easily stressed out, then spring for the lightweight stroller. But for a straight flight (no layovers/connecting flights), having a stroller that both babes can sit in makes life so much easier.
- Brica Car Seat Bag We have this car seat bag for Allie's toddler seat. True a strap has already broken and the bottom tore, but we duct-taped it and it works just fine. I also like that it has a zippered pocket for extra diapers, blankets, sweaters: basically bulky stuff that won't fit in the suitcase.
- JL Childress Stroller Bag We have this stroller bag to hold the stroller and pieces when we check it at the gate. It's survived a few flights already and still holding up pretty well. We have to remove one wheel to get everything to fit, but once we do it all packs up quite nicely. Again, if we had a lightweight stroller, I probably wouldn't need a bag but because ours has the second seat and we bring the car seat adapter, we need a bag to keep everything together.