Traveling with twin babies… Double the fun, triple the suitcases lol!
If you’re an expecting mama or you’re looking to travel with your baby (or two!) anytime soon, this post should have you feeling more prepared for your first family holiday and hopefully help to ease some of your stress! Before we get into the thick of it, I’ll offer up my best piece of advice first: GO WITH THE FLOW. I know sometimes that sounds easier said than done, but if you go into your travel day with less strictness about schedules, you will have a better time traveling with your littles. You can also read this post on our Baby’s Schedule While On Vacation for once you get to your destination!
The Best Age to Travel with New Twin Babies
The best age to travel with your babies depends fully on when YOU feel up for it! Our twins were just over three months old on their first travel day and it felt right for us to wait to travel until after their 8 week shots… but while they were still easy sleepers! My husband and I each wore a baby (more on that later) and they both slept on us for most of each flight. Traveling with them while they were still immobile made it easier when we were delayed as well! I can’t speak to traveling with toddlers yet (or two toddlers!) but I can imagine it would be MUCH more difficult to corral walkers when you’re getting through or are stuck at the airport.
Booking Your Flight
We’ve found that the best time of day to fly with your younger babies is in the morning, during their nap time if possible! Why? Babies and kids in general are usually in better moods in the morning (probably due to their full night’s sleep) and there’s more of a chance that they’ll sleep during the flight if it’s during a normal nap. They will get rocked to sleep in the baby carrier – just like how they used to sleep all day in your belly! But if they don’t sleep while traveling, that’s okay too. Try to get them into a solid crib nap (blackout, cool, noise machine, etc.) in the afternoon to allow them to reset. It is okay if they get out of sync on travel days!
Sometimes flight times won’t allow you to choose a time that’s convenient for your baby’s schedule. If so, just look for the earlier flight options so that if you are delayed, you’re not hindering with their night time sleep. I feel like all is well in our world if the babies get good night time sleep!
Choosing Your Seats on the Airplane
This rule applies specifically to twin parents: you will not be able to sit altogether as a family on the airplane! This was a newsflash to us so I was glad to have learned this ahead of time.
Here’s why: Each airplane row only offers four oxygen masks (on some smaller planes where there are two seats per side, only three masks). If you and your partner each have a baby and are sitting in two seats, then you’d be taking all four masks between you — leaving the third person in the row mask-less.
The Best Seating Arrangement
The best arrangement we’ve found was was sitting one in front of the other or across the aisle from each other, both sitting aisle/aisle. I know the window shade is coveted to control the lighting in your row, but I would much rather be able to get up on a dime to soothe a crying baby, change them in the restroom, etc. It also makes it easy for you to swap babies if needed!
Avoid the bulkhead seats (first row after business/first class) — you absolutely want to have space under the seat in front of you to stow your diaper bag. It is NOT convenient to stand up and get your bag from overhead multiple times during the flight. Another lesson learned 🙂
What to Pack
Here’s a cumulative list of everything we brought… I will say, it’s a lot. But don’t think that waiting until the babies are older makes the list any shorter… I think it’s just the opposite! We didn’t have to bring too many “toys” or things to entertain the twins because they aren’t yet an age where they need much to stimulate them outside of you & everything there is to see! So just accept there will be a lot of bags regardless – you’ll feel better about being away from the nest if you have what you need.
Carry On Luggage
- Travel stroller – we love our Zoe Twin Double Travel Stroller that collapses easily to gate check
- Baby carriers – stash underneath the stroller and put on before the flight
- Muslin swaddle blankets – work as covers for the stroller, burp cloths, to lay on airplane seats, etc.
- Diapers for diaper bag (either Amazon more diapers + wipes to your hotel or buy when you arrive)
- Wipes for diaper bag
- Pacifiers + pacifier wipes — they WILL drop them on the airplane floor
- Deodorizing doggie bags for dirty diapers (pack the extra – they’re great for using away from your diaper pail)
- Travel outfits – something warmer with feet and/or bring baby socks
- Absorbent burp cloths for diaper bag
- Portable changing table pad
- Bottle washing brush travel kit (keep with you in case you need to feed more than once while traveling/delayed etc.)
- Breast pump if using (with collection bags)
- Formula if using in formula dispenser (so nice to have it pre-measured)
You are allowed to bring all types of baby food through security – powdered, premixed and breastmilk. All food though will take additional screening. Another reason to get there early!!!
Last quick note: if you use formula to feed your baby be sure to get a big water bottle once you’re through security to mix your powder.
- Carseat bags – *most* airlines will allow you to check your car seat bags FOR FREE. We took full advantage and stuffed them full with the kids’ clothing backpacks and one foldable Baby Bjorn bouncer chair per bag with the carseats.
- More formula if using
- Pack and Play – we use this Twin Double Pack and Play or you can look to rent a pack and play where you’re traveling
- Pack and Play crib sheet
- Swaddles/sleep sacks
- Slumberpod – a lifesaver if you’re sharing the room with your babes!
- Portable fan for inside the Slumberpod
- Baby monitor – we love our Nanit Pro Baby Monitor and the Nanit Travel Case
- Portable sound machine
- Stroller fan depending on where you’re traveling
- Pajamas (extra if no laundry where you’re traveling)
- Day Outfits (extra if no laundry where you’re traveling)
- Infant Tylenol
- Gripe water
- Gas drops
- Extra doggie bags
- Baby shampoo/body wash
- Packable baby mat or water-resistant baby blanket for floor time
Baby towels can be filed under things we brought that didn’t need – big hotel towels work perfectly fine! For bath time, you can either rent a baby bathtub, use the sink if it’s large enough (just lay a folded towel in the base for them to lay on comfortably, or hold them in the shower with you (experts only please – babies are slippery).
How to Transport The Babies
I can’t stress this enough: you GOTTA plan for extra time before your flight. Especially with a baby. ESPECIALLY with two babies. There is a lot of logistical arranging you’ve got to work through with one or two extra little people and a whole lot more stuff than you’re probably used to traveling with.
Option One: Drive yourself to the airport
Obviously this will depend on the length of your trip and the cost associated with parking, but driving yourself to the airport avoids having to put your carseat(s) in a new car — which can be overwhelming. And hot haha. But it can be done!
Have one parent drop the other off with both kids in their carseats, along with all of the luggage. Hang out on the curb and wait for the driver to park the vehicle and meet you back at your station. While the parent and kiddos wait, you can start to move the kids from their carseats to the travel stroller and put the carseats into the carseat bags so they’re ready to check. Then when the driver meets you, you’ve got the babies in their stroller, the baby carriers under the stroller for later, and the 87 bags you’ve packed ready to roll into the airport. 🙂 If you can’t bring the suitcases in with just the four of your hands, grab one of those luggage carts and pile it all on.
Option Two: Take a carshare ride to the airport
For parents traveling with one baby, most SUV’s will be fine for your family and your luggage. For parents traveling with two babies, either pay up for a premium SUV (like Uber Black XL) so you’re guaranteed to have enough room, or opt to take two cars to the airport. It sounds silly but we were forced to call a second car on our way to the airport because the trunk space in the first wasn’t ample for our bags. Thank gosh we had planned for extra time!
Putting the carseats in can be tricky the first few times you do it, so PRACTICE beforehand in a car that doesn’t have your carseat base. Again, this might sound silly, but the last thing you want to do during your travel day is want to cry because you can’t figure out how to secure the carseat with another car’s seatbelt. Learn from our experience lol!
While in the Airport
I got a TON of questions on Instagram about if the babies were able to stay in their stroller while going through security. The answer is YES… kind of. You can keep them in the stroller while you put your carry on luggage onto the security belt, but you’ll hold the baby while walking through the security screener. TSA will have you roll your stroller through the side and they’ll do a manual pat down of it (quickly – they were really nice about it at all airports). Put the babies back in the stroller then grab all your stuff that has been screened.
Getting on the Plane
All airlines are going to let you board early (pre-boarding) or during “family boarding” towards the beginning of their boarding process. I promise, it will feel like everyone feels bad for you LOL and if you’re kind, everyone working will be kind to you back. You’ll want to get a gate check tag for your stroller ahead of time so do so once you get to your gate. For boarding, we put the baby carriers on, then each wore a baby while we pushed the stroller to the end of the jetway. Fold it up, make sure your gate check tag is visible, and then onto the plan you go!
Getting to Your Destination
Again, you will have a TON of luggage between your carry ons and checked bags. If you’re taking a carshare service, make sure the vehicle type is going to be large enough for all of your stuff and that you know how to put the carseats in easily.
Babies on Board
When you’re traveling with younger babies, you have the advantage of them being generally sleepier. However, when your schedule goes out the window… they might not sleep a wink. That’s okay!! Just commit to holding and entertaining them throughout your flight. You can go ahead and check your Kindle, haha. If they cry: STAY CALM. I promise you, everyone has heard a baby cry on an airplane. Do not worry about other passengers – they are most likely feeling for you wishing they could help. Also, the babies will feel your energy and if you freak, they will absolutely not calm down. So if you’re able to get up, soothe them in the aisle or back near the restrooms. If you are seat-bound, try to get them against your skin (think skin-to-skin contact in the hospital) — it will bring their cortisol levels down.
Have your baby suck a pacifier or plan to feed them when the plane takes off/is landing — the sucking will help with their ears popping from altitude.
Don’t forget about YOU!
Make sure you feed yourself and drink plenty of water on travel days. The last thing you want to be is hangry and under-caffeinated while trying to soothe a fussy baby! Pack a few snacks that you can eat one handed (we love bringing Perfect Bars on travel days) and take advantage of Starbucks’ new airport store mobile ordering. If you need to go to the bathroom while on the plane, just keep the baby on you.
The Final Note
I know you’ve heard this before but it’s worth repeating here: no one is more well equipped to take care of your baby than YOU. Travel days can be stressful without adding little ones to the picture, so give yourself grace and know going into it that you’re going to have a lot of stuff and a lot of variables out of your control. Since you will most definitely be checking bags, try to get to the airport a full 90 minutes or more before your flight. You will need the extra time to park, transport the luggage, check in, check your bags, go through security, get your water bottle if needed, get your coffee (for sure needed!), get your gate check tags, pre-board… all of the things. Just get there early.
One last thing: you can absolutely do this! It was actually MAGICAL having our four month old twins on vacation with us in Colorado this summer. I would go through double the travel days just to have them there during our trip because they made every memory that much more special. Now let’s get packing!
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