Tips for Flying with Babies and Little Kids

We asked our Twiniversity fans the following question:

“What are your best tips for flying with little twins? Did you bring your own car seats? Stroller? Where did you check all this stuff, at check-in or at the gate? What other tips will help for navigating the airport and making it through the flight?”

Here’s what they had to say!

UPDATE! American Airlines is no longer allowing you to gate check a stroller that weighs more than 20 lbs. Since most double strollers are over 20 lbs, this is a great inconvenience to parents of multiples. Our advice is to fly on a different airline if you can (JetBlue and Southwest have no weight restrictions on gate checking strollers) but if you must fly American plan to take 2 single umbrella strollers (with connectors to make it a double if you are alone), or the Kinderwagon Hop weighs in at exactly 20 lbs. if you take off the canopy and cup holder. Be sure to check with your airline before booking on their gate checking policies. 

flying1– Gate check the stroller. Take the infant seats on the plane and put them in the overhead if your not buying a seat for the babies. If there is an open seat you can get the infant down and use it. I book an aisle and window seat… assuming there MAY be more than 4 of you… no one wants to sit BETWEEN a baby… You can only have one lap baby in a row so you’ll have to sit in front of each other or across the aisle from each other. If that’s the case, book two aisle seats on the side of the plane that has two seats (if that’s the kind of plane you’re flying on). If they are in toddler seats – I checked car seats at the curb with our luggage while my husband parked the car. Be sure all straps are short and secure – buy a car seat bag if you can. Take a change of clothes for EVERYONE – in Ziploc bags, then you have a place to put the dirty (thrown up on, peed on, or pooped on) clothes.

– I use a backpack as opposed to a diaper bag. I put my wallet in the backpack and anything I need in it (like Advil). I then put my empty purse (no valuables) in my checked luggage for use on the trip once we arrive.

flying12– We flew across country when our boys were 3 months old. We did not bring a stroller as we knew we weren’t going to be really using one when we went out. However if you do plan to use it at your destination then check stroller and car seats at the gate. Otherwise we checked the car seats ahead of time and used baby carriers for both while walking through the airport. My husband took one and I took the other. We tried to keep their regular schedule. And we took a red eye which was actually the best out of the 4 flights we took. They slept the whole way. We waited to feed them until we got on the plane, so if they were hungry and crying we figured we would rather have that off the plane then on, so we held them off as long as we could until we at least we’re boarded. That way they ate and got tired quickly while on the plane. Bring toys or things for them to do and snacks depending on how old they are. It wasn’t that bad! We did all of this while also having 2 other children ages 4 and 5.

flying18– I packed 2 diaper bags so if we got split up we would always have what we needed.

– We have flown many times with our now 7 year old twins (flew at 9 months, 15 months, and 3 years and up). Best thing for babies…feed them during take off and landing if possible. Our son had ear issues (tubes), and he never had a problem. Our ENT said to make sure they aren’t just sucking but actually swallowing. We would check our car seats with the bags (in a protective cover) and gate check the double stroller. FYI…you can’t sit in a row of 3 seats with your spouse and the twins in your lap (=5 people)…there are ONLY 4 OXYGEN MASKS in each row. I knew this on our first flight, but everyone assigning us seats didn’t know that. The flight attendant about had a heart attack that there were 5 of us in a row and only 4 masks. I told her that I knew that but evidently no one else at the airline did. LOL! The person next to us didn’t want to switch seats, so hubby had to switch seats with someone on the plane.

flying8– I traveled with my 3 month old twin boys, cross country. It was to visit my husband in the military so my mom was my other ‘lap’… It is doable. #1 – pack 2 diaper bags. You aren’t allowed to sit in the same row so this helps all the shuffle. #2 – for little ones gate check the car seats and stroller. Saves a ton of money and is convenient when your hands are full with bags! #3 – also take carriers! Prior to boarding I put them in carriers. Made folding up the stroller, getting bags put away, and sleeping on the plane MUCH easier! #4 – bottles, nursing, or pacifiers at take off keeps their ears from hurting.

– Young babies sleep most the time. I was totally stressed and both my boys didn’t make a peep the whole time. Getting on and off the plane has a bit more steps and chaos, but will restore your faith in humanity. Tons of people were willing to lend a hand! I would do it again without hesitation.

flying3– Just traveled out of the country 3 days ago with b/g twins 2 1/2 years and a 18 month girl. 3rd flight for the twins and first for the youngest. I really recommend using the CARE harness. Easier than a car seat and you can rent them on eBay. It gives them a sense of security and it helps you have your hands free. Used the CARE harness for the twins, me sitting between them. And the baby was on lap with my husband on a different row. Take different diaper bags (always be prepared to be seated separately). Use disposable bibs, disposable changing pads and pack individual things in Ziploc bags. Pack change of clothes for each in Ziploc bags and diapers as well. Try to bring dry snacks and extra water bottles (they take long to bring you some in the airplane). I prepared a special bag with never seen or forgotten toys (nothing with sound or batteries) packed about 12 different activities. Lots of stickers and magnet puzzles. You can get a lot of stuff at the dollar store. We checked a double stroller and an umbrella stroller at the gate. We picked to be the last to board the plane as well. Talk to your kids, prepare them for the flight beforehand if possible. Rented some books and a movie from the library. This really helped them not to be scared. The flight there was great! The one back not as much. But we expected worst. Have fun!

flying17– Flew from Seattle to Southern California by myself with my 9 month old twins, including changing planes in San Francisco! It was hard, but doable. Alaska Airlines staff were very helpful, Southwest not so much. Lots of very helpful passengers as well. Gate checked the Joovy snap n go and one of the car seats at the gate, smaller baby on my lap and bigger one in the second seat in a car seat. Get car seat bags at check in/curb- they don’t have them at the gate (I found out the hard way). Ask for and accept all help – people can be very generous. It CAN be done!

– Take an umbrella stroller and gate check it. Get CARES harnesses for the plane if they’re old enough for their own seat. Check your car seats, you don’t want to rent, and most airlines will let you check them for free. On the plane – lots and lots of snacks.

flying14-1– Use the car seats on the plane, gate check the stroller. Bring a backpack with extra clothes, snacks, new toys. When they were older, stickers and a new sticker book kept them occupied for hours!

– We flew with our twins when they were around 6 months old. We used Ergos and no strollers. The Ergos helped so much. We had a blanket for them to stretch out on during layovers. We both kept a bag full of things the kids would need. Put outfits for blowouts and changes in Ziploc bags along with diapers included. That way we could put the dirty clothes in the Ziploc without having to worry about it. We used the already made formula bottles and that was awesome. However, now we will be traveling with 2 year olds, and I have no clue.

flying19– I have flown twice with my twins. They were 6 months the first time and 13 months the second time. We live in Oklahoma and flew home to Alaska the first time. So it was 2 plane rides there and back. Gate check your stroller and car seats. We always check on how full the flight was when we got to the gate. If there were open seats they really tried to get us a spot next to them. The second trip was to Hawaii and we purchased an extra seat on the 6 hour portion of the trip so we could all be in the same row and the girls could sleep. Bring snacks and toys!

– Gate checked car seats & stroller (only if we need them at destination) and definitely put them in a protective case. My hubby and I each wore a twin in the Ergo….that way we are hands free and can help our 4 year old. I highly recommend a backpack instead of a shoulder bag…much easier when walking down the aisle. Most important thing is bring antibacterial wipes and wipe everything down when you get in your seat….the plane is rarely cleaned and it just sucks to have a sick kid on vacay.

flying16– Been flying with my little ones since they were 3 months! Always be prepared extra of everything; pacifiers, blankets, bibs, bottles, formula, etc! Stroller was checked in at gate so it made strolling around the airport easy. Keep them awake as much as you can before flight! That’s what we do and then they sleep during flight My twins are 14 months now and we are leaving for Florida Friday and I still do all these lots of preparation!

– Airport security let me through with boxes of Horizon shelf stabilized organic milk and juice boxes- both EWR and New Orleans; pacifiers did wonderful for take off and landing.

flying4-1– Just flew with my 14 month identical twin boys. Checked car seats with luggage and kept them in a protective bag. Had a double wide umbrella stroller that we used to get to the gate, and then gate checked that. Make sure to have snacks for them to munch on. We got apple juice and water from the flight attendant, but if you will be needing milk, you have to find that in the airport. I suggest to get there at least 2 – 2 1/2 hours before the flight leaves, especially if you need to do feedings or find milk. Plus sometimes going through security takes a little longer with kids.

– We just flew internationally with our 2 yrs old twins. We took their car seats with us and attached it to a luggage cart to wheel through the airport. We didn’t take a stroller with us because we figured we wouldn’t use it much and we’d have no hands for it. Sure enough, the car seats and our 3 carry-ons proved to be a lot to handle. We researched and invested in two baby carriers (toddler sized) before the trip so we could wear our toddlers. That saved us from having to make them go through TSA check points by themselves as we were allowed to wear them through. We have been using their carriers here at our destination country quite a bit (as expected since they are timid in new places and new things, and here we are, in a third world country where some differences are night and day). The baby carriers proved to be an excellent investment. In my opinion, a car seat is great to have on the plane as well as it is safer and the child fits in the seat perfectly. We did hit a problem with that in the sense that our kids were used to being rear facing and now they were forward facing…They kept wanting to get out. We brought in our carry-on Tylenol, Motrin, and baby Benadryl as our pediatrician said he’d really only recommend giving baby Benadryl for motion sickness (first time flying) rather than the usual adult motion sickness pills. Good luck!

flying10– Use curbside check-in with sky cap! We tip $10.

– The first time I flew with the twins was a total disaster. I called Air Tran three different times to be sure I had the proper information about their car seat policy. I informed them I would be flying alone with my boys, that they were 15 months old, and that one would be sitting in my lap and the other in the seat beside me. I asked if the one sitting solo had to be in a car seat. All three times they told me no even though it said that he did have to be in a car seat on their website. So since I didn’t need the car seats on the plane and I didn’t want to risk them getting ruined during travel I opted to rent car seats from the car rental place. When I got on my flight at CMH for my flight to ATL to catch the connecting flight to TPA, the flight attendant gave me crap for the boy sitting solo not being in a car seat. I was LIVID. I explained to her that I called her company three different times to confirm and what I was told. Thankfully the nice lady seated at the end seat offered to hold the solo flyer during take off and landing. The rude flight attendant told me that before I could continue on to TPA from ATL that I had to go to their customer service flying6desk and pay to rent a car seat for the flight from ATL to TPA. I told her there was no way I would be doing that and refused to go to the gate. Upon landing in Atlanta I called my husband back home telling him what happened. Another kind lady held the solo flyer during take off and landing to TPA. By the time I arrived in Tampa my husband had called and complained to Air Tran. They refunded the ticket cost of my solo flyer, promised to reimburse us for the rental fees for the two car seats as well as for the cost of the car seat I would now have to purchase to fly back to CMH. I am glad they did all of that but had they given me the proper information the three times I called this all would have been avoided.

With that said, I now always take (and gate check) their car seats and a stroller. I bought gate check bags for their car seats and that helps protect them. I would always recommend taking a stroller either to contain the children or carry the car seats in. If you can afford to, pay to check everything else. It will make your life A LOT easier! To help with their ears during take off and landing be sure they are chewing or swallowing something. And dose of Tylenol never hurts!

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what to do when you're having two bookAre you a new twin parent? Check out Natalie Diaz’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year”, available in stores now!

The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.

What to Do When You’re Having Two is the definitive how-to guide to parenting twins, covering how to make a Birth Plan checklist, sticking to one sleep schedule, managing double-duty breastfeeding, stocking up on all the necessary gear, building one-on-one relationships with each child, and more.

Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.

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