We are back home from our week long trip in Alaska and what a difference it made on the flight now that Oakley is 9 months old and crawling! The last long flight we took (Hawaii at 6 months), she was barely sitting up on her own! And now- eating snacks and wanting to crawl around like a big girl!
Luckily- I have some tips that I wanted to share with anyone who is looking to fly with a baby at this stage!
Tips, Tricks, and Toys
We had a 45 minute flight to MSP and then a 6 hour flight from MSP into Anchorage. I chose the flight path that put us in the air for a majority of the evening so she would sleep for the better part of the second flight. She slept for the entire first flight and then for 2.5 hours of the second flight- which worked out great because it kept her on the proper timezone when we landed in Anchorage! Planning around naps and bedtime is huge with a crawler!
In order to get the best sleep possible for baby, I think emulating as much as you can for them to make it feel like home is vital. For this reason, I highly recommend downloading the Guva app (I have talked about it a few times on the blog). The free version has a ton of white noise sounds and even though a plane is somewhat loud, it still an help to get baby to fall asleep. I also bring a thin cover up to cover myself and her up (like a tent, never place a cover up directly on to your baby), for complete darkness while she is trying to fall asleep!
If possible, select the front row of whatever cabin you are flying. This makes it much easier to set baby down if they are getting squirmy and you don’t have to worry about them kicking the person in front of you. It worked great for us to allow her to sit on the ground and play with toys and books when the seat belt sign was off (flight attendant said it was fine to do).
A new toy I brought this trip was a set of window clings. This kept her entertained for about an hour (which is a godsend) and she liked playing with them even when they weren’t on the window. I also bought her a new farm book that makes noises that I didn’t let her have until we got on the long flight- she played with it for about another hour, cumulatively.
Snacks were also huge for us on this long trip- now that she is eating a ton of solid food and airlines hardly serving anything, we had to come prepared with finger foods that she loves (and that would keep her occupied). She has been loving the magic spoon cereal and I bought some cups to bring them in to prevent her from throwing everything across the airplane. I also brought her sip cup for water on top of her bottles with formula.
One last tip- during any layovers- let baby crawl as much as humanely possible. We fly a lot and I always trying to look for gates or areas with only one entrance and not a lot of traffic. During our 3 hour layover on the way home, I found an elevator corridor that her and I sat in for about two hours and we maybe saw ten people use the elevators during that time. It was a dead end hallway and it was perfect for her to crawl and play the entire time without having to worry about chasing her in the busy part of the airport. This does mean though that I didn’t eat lunch but I had a few snacks and it was the best option for us given our layover!
I hope these tips helped, please reference my other blogs as well when it comes to flying with a baby!