Have Twins, Will Travel: Tips to Flying with Infants
I just flew out to Idaho to see my family with all three of my boys! My son, Timothy, is now three and a half years old and my twins, Robert and William, just turned three months. Everyone thought I was insane for traveling alone with three boys three years of age and under; but I was confident I could do it. Ever since Timothy was a tiny baby, I started flying with him. He is such an amazing traveler at this point because he is used to it. I would take him to Idaho with me to see my family. I toted him to HSN every time I worked on air. I also flew with him to LA, Minnesota, even Berlin to shoot a beginner’s yoga series for Do You Yoga. He has more frequent flier miles than most adults I know!
I needed to get my boys out West and my husband had to stay in NYC. I figured if I can do it easily with one, why would it be that much worse with three? I have some amazing tricks for traveling with babies and toddlers, here are some of them:
Invest in a snap and go: I highly recommend getting a Snap-N-Go base for your carseat and using that as your main stroller when your baby is little. The car seat can go in the airplane seat, or be checked through if you are carrying your baby on your lap. The base collapses easily and when you get to your next destination, you have a car seat and something to push your baby in as well as store things underneath. I bought William a ticket and kept him in the carseat. I had Robert as my infant-in-arms, and Timothy had his own seat. We shared one row and it was perfect.
Have a great carrier: In order to have my arms free, I wore Robert in my Baby Bjorn carrier. Even if you’re just traveling with one, it’s so great to have a carrier. You can store the carrier up above overhead easily. I personally love Weego (use code Kri12201 for $10 off a Weego), Bjorn, the TwinGo carriers. I actually kept my carrier on a majority of the flight with Robert in it.
Pack your diaper bag wisely: When you pack your diaper bag, make things easily accessible. It will be by your feet most likely on the floor and you want to be able to reach down and grab what you need. Robert is mainly breastfeed; but William really likes a bottle. I pump for him and supplement with Similac. The smaller pre-made formulas are more expensive, but so worth it for travel. I carry them and pour in to a bottle when he gets hungry. I could easily nurse Robert in my lap and feed William his bottle when he needed it. Keep diapers and wipes on one side and formula and burp cloths on the other side. Don’t worry about bringing an extra changing pad, it takes up room and you can use an airline blanket to lie them on when you use the changing table.
Wear the right clothes: This sounds silly, but you definitely want to wear something with an elastic waistband or yoga type pants that pull up and down easily. You’ll often only have one hand free and when you use the restroom you don’t want to have to deal with jeans and buttons and zippers etc. Invest in a great nursing top. I love Loyal Hana, they make the prettiest, comfiest, most discreet nursing tops with zippers on both sides. I could nurse Robert easily and discreetly without having to bring any extra throws or covers that get in the way.
Have a great attitude: Babies and toddlers can really feed off of your energy. If you’re nervous or stressed, they will be too. Keep a smile on your face, go with the flow, remember everyone is on your side and most people have had kids or been around babies before. Your baby’s cry is always loudest to you as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: I find that so many people offer a hand when they see a mom traveling with her kids alone. I had a ton of people offer to help me through security. I asked someone to help me outside of the airplane when I needed to collapse my stroller and carry William in his car seat. Everyone on the airplane was great! The flight attendant offered to hold Robert when I took William in to change his diaper and someone sat with William and Timothy when I changed Robert. Just remember everyone is on your side! The flight attendants are more than happy to hold a baby, especially when you need to use the restroom. I also asked one of them on our flight to take pics for me!
Bring food for all of you: A fueled mama is a sane mama; and same goes for the kiddos. Make sure to try and nurse or bottle feed your baby on take off and landing in case they have ear issues. Thank goodness my boys have never had problems; but this definitely works. You can also use a pacifier. Keep your little girl or guy full and they will be less fussy. Also pack healthy snacks for yourself, especially if you’re nursing. I love oatmeal cups/muffins, pb on an Ezekial english muffin, hard boiled eggs, baby carrots, apples, quest bars or raw almonds. I pack some fun snacks in Timothy’s backpack such as M&M’s and lollipops. He doesn’t eat these daily and on the plane it’s a treat. He also has his healthy fare and gets pretzels and Delta cookies as well which he loves.
Download some good movies, programs and educational games on an iPad or your iPhone: Screen time is like the sweets, it’s not always that your kids are on an iPad or iPhone; but on the plane, it can be a lifesaver. Download educational apps and games. I love FisherPrice Story Book, PlayKids, Endless ABC & Endless 123, Peppa Paintbox, ABC Aquarium, Toca Monsters, BRIO railroad and Curious World to name a few. Make sure to download movies or TV shows before you leave so you can watch them without using wifi.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!