Lifetime is blessed to work with birth mothers and adoptive families across the nation. As a result, most Lifetime adoptive families end up flying to where their birth mother is in order to adopt. It’s a good idea to prepare while you’re in the adoption waiting stage for air travel with a newborn.
Here are some tips to keep you organized and calm from the moment your plane takes off until the moment you bring your little blessing home.
Scheduling your trip:
- Try to choose an aisle seat, so that you can get up and down freely on the flight to walk with or bounce the baby if he or she gets finicky.
- If your adoption travel plans involve staying in a hotel, request a room that’s at the end of a hallway, away from the pool, restaurant, and any other areas that may be noisy. Rooms located by elevators or common areas mean lots of people around, all the time. If you’re at the end of a hallway, fewer people will walk past your room, meaning quieter conditions for you and baby.
Preparing Your Bags:
- Cram as much as you can in the luggage you’re checking in.
- For your carry-on, include only the things you’ll really need. Chances are you won’t have too much time to relax because you’ll be paying attention to baby (so no need to pack things like books).
- In the diaper bag, pack extra everything in case there are delays. This includes a change of clothes for you AND baby. A good idea is to store the clothing in plastic bags. That way, if you need the extra outfit, you can store the dirty clothing in the plastic bags.
- It shouldn’t be an issue to travel with liquid (such as baby food, ready-to-feed and or formula and breast milk). TSA considers them medically required liquids and says “Passengers going on long trips should only carry on the medically necessary liquids and gels needed for their infant/toddler’s immediate comfort during the flight. Please pack larger amounts of liquids for the remainder of the trip in a checked bag”.
- Inquire about family security lines, because many airports have separate lines for those traveling with small children. Advantages to the family security lines are that you may not have to remove your shoes and jackets, and you may not have to take all electronic devices out of their cases. Another plus: since the other people in line are traveling with babies and kids, they’ll be much more patient as you juggle the baby and your carry-on items!
- Consider bringing along a baby carrier so that you can wear your baby on your body. This way, you can travel hands-free in the airport.
- Know that you can check your stroller (for free!). Make sure to double-check that your airline offers this.
Once you have boarded the plane:
- The option to pre-board is offered by most airlines to families traveling with babies or small children. Take advantage of this lifesaver; it allows you time to organize yourselves without worrying about other passengers trying to get past you.
- Wipe down your area (including armrests, tray tables, and the lights and air vents above you) with disinfectant wipes. This will greatly reduce the amount of germs.
- Stow the diaper bag under your seat, and other items in the overhead compartment.
- Give your baby a pacifier or bottle to help reduce minimize the pressure on your baby’s ears. If your baby is sleeping, then let them sleep!
Traveling for your adoption will take some planning and prep work. But, the payoff will be so sweet when you get to bring your baby home!