I put together some things that have really helped me with flying with the twins!! Hope it helps you, too ;).
There are lots of different ways you can do it – with twins it’s more complicated logistically ;). With one baby, you’d be able to take more to the gate, but here’s how we do it with twins: we check the car seats and then use our double umbrella stroller to take the girls to the gate. Then we check the stroller as we get on the plane, and it’s waiting for us right when we step off. Since I worry about our car seats getting trashed with the checked luggage, we use these special covers – they’re super affordable! We also have this one for our stroller.
Extra Baggage allowed
In addition to the carry-ons allowed you (as a regular passenger with a seat), you’re allowed to also carry on a diaper bag, a breast pump, and a car seat per lap child. I either bring my Fawn diaper bag or my MZ Wallace traveler bag, and this battery-powered smart pump (make sure you charge it before you leave, and I would also bring a pumping bra and an extra pump kit!)
Lap children are not given a checked baggage allowance, so you’ll just have to combine your luggage and pay the regular baggage fee for whatever you bring. Hope that made sense!
Formula or breast milk on the plane
My girls are particular in that they need their bottles warm. If your baby doesn’t care, I would just pack dry formula in a container and buy a water bottle after you get through security (or ask for a water bottle on the plane!) if you know that your baby will need their milk warm like ours’ do, I don’t recommend using hot water on the plane. It’s potable water, and probably not the best for drinking. (I have friends who have been flight attendants for years and they all agree that it’s gross to drink that water!) So, what I found works the best for our girls is to boil water on the stove before we leave the house and then keep it warm in an insulated bottle. Our favorites are S’well or Corksicle. I then have clean bottles ready to go with the correct amount of formula powder in them. This way, all you have to do is add water, and the bottle is fresh! When you go through security, you’ll have to have additional screening (so plan for a little extra time!) and will just have you open the bottles and hold a test strip over it.
Make sure you carry on lots of extra formula (we like to use these containers to pre-measure it out) in case of a delay or unexpected layover. If you have room, I’d carry on extra clean bottles as well!
If you’re using breastmilk, they will still want to test it coming through security so be prepared for that. And if you’ll want to breast feed on the plane, I love this cover because it can also be used on the rest of your trip as a cover for the car seat, shopping carts, high chairs, etc.
Most airlines offer pre-boarding for families – I say take advantage of it! It’s really nice to know you’ll be able to store all of your stuff in the overhead bins, and get settled before everyone else gets on.
FYI – If you’re flying with twins, you probably won’t be able to sit in the same row! I didn’t know this before, but apparently only one lap child is allowed per row because there is only one extra oxygen mask. The only way you can sit in the same row is if there is a row with an empty seat. For example, on one flight my sister and I got to sit in a 3-seat row with an empty middle seat, so there were 4 oxygen masks and 4 of us (2 adults and 2 babies).
Feeding at your destination
If I have room in my luggage, I love to just bring a bottle warmer with us. If you don’t have the room, you can feel ok about leaving this out because you can always find a way to warm a bottle! I just like to make things as easy as possible with the twin situation ;). I’ve also brought our entire sanitizer to hotels (it was really important to have our girls’ bottles clean coming out of the NICU) or if there will be a microwave I’ll use these bags to sanitize bottles and pump kits. I also throw in a bottle brush, and even some travel-sized baby dish soap if we’re going to be in a hotel room that doesn’t have it. I love this little travel kit – it’s a mini drying rack and bottle brushes all in one compact. A friend told me about this portable drying rack, and it really is helpful for a clean place to let your bottles and pump kit dry.
Our girls sleep in their Snoos at home, so when we travel we try to mimic that a bit by swaddling them (we love these Velcro swaddles or the Sleepea) and putting them in their Dockatots with a white noise machine next to them. The Dockatot is easy to put anywhere – on the bed with you if there’s room, in a pack and play, on a wide couch – you could even put in on the floor if you needed to! Just make sure you put it somewhere they won’t get stepped on in the middle of the night ;). Dockatot actually makes a carrying case that’s really helpful for travel, and I was surprised that we were actually able to fit both of our Dockatots in the one bag! (I even stuck some things in the middle to help with our baggage situation and they let me check it free as a baby bed!)
Toys and such
Depending on the age of your baby, grab some teething things, toys and board books for the car or the plane and for your destination. You don’t need a ton, just a couple favorites that you know they like at home! Obviously you’ll need more/different things as they get older, but when they are young they really don’t need much to stimulate them!
Also, bring binkies if your baby takes them! It’s always smart to either be feeding your baby or having them suck on a binky as you take off, because it can help their little ears not get plugged.
Here’s a checklist I glance over before each trip:
- Scrub brush
- Dish soap
- Drying rack
- Pump kits
- Pump with charger and bottles
- Cooler bag (for breast milk)
- Hats / headbands
- Burp cloths
- Solly wraps or carriers
With babies, packing for the first time can seem intimidating. What helps me the most is a couple days before we leave, as I go through my day with the babies I make note of all of the things I use throughout the day that I can’t do without. So for example, I wake up and think, “Ok, I just changed the babies and used diapers and wipes. Now I’m making their bottles and I need these things…” etc. Another thing that really helps me is to pack for one person at a time. I get overwhelmed if I try and pack everything at once, so I pack for the babies first without thinking about what I need, than pack for myself.
I hope that helps!! If you’re nervous about flying with your baby (or babies), don’t be! Just plan ahead and then try and be calm when the day comes – I truly believe our babies can read our energy so that goes a long way!