Flying Solo

Travelling tips from a Dad who flew from NZ to LA with his 10 week old baby...

“Frankie is officially my number one travel companion. He doesn’t talk back; he sleeps anywhere, anytime; he goes along with all my ideas; and he loves the warmth.

He sleeps on long haul flights; gets us bumped to the front of the line at security; and he’s the biggest cutie so we always get special attention. It’s bloody great!”

Frankie’s arrival in June this year changed our lives, but it hasn’t stopped our active lifestyle. In fact, we haven’t been home much since he was born as I’d rather get out and about with my wee man instead of sitting at home all day.

Because I’m a self-proclaimed ‘avid traveller on steroids’ (not really…), I’ve got Grab-A-Seat notifications set up on my phone and had diarised Grab-A-Seat’s birthday sale back in July. Sure enough, I managed to bag several great deals in the sale including a return flight to LA for myself and Frankie and return flights to Bali for the three of us (Mark included this time!)

It wasn’t a long wait until the holiday, so the pressure was on to sort out Frankie’s passport – a bit of a rigmarole considering Mark and I are yet to become his legal guardians. You can follow Mark and Christian’s journey on their Instagram page @lovefromyourdads

Surrogate Mum, Aleisha, was able to complete the passport forms and get everything in order – it was definitely a relief when Frankie’s passport showed up the day before we were set to fly.

Time to pack and go…

I am lucky to have an amazing husband who sorts me out with all my Edwards and Co gears. I used the Travel Bag to take Frankie’s Carry Cot and all of his clothes, nappies, formula etc.

With most airlines (I flew Air NZ and United domestically in the US), you get two free checked bags when travelling with an infant – one for your stroller and the second for your car seat.

Because I took Otto as a carry-on stroller, I told the airline the travel bag had my second ‘off-road’ stroller in it, which did the trick! Air NZ and United also allow you to check the stroller at the gate as you enter the plane and pick it up at the door. This is awesome if you don’t want to carry on and try and find space in the overhead locker (this can be a major mission on US airlines as everyone takes EVERYTHING on board).

Flying solo! Ready to board Air NZ flight to LA...no need to disturb Frankie as Otto can be stored in the overhead locker.

Summer packing check list:

  • Ed & Co Otto – compact/carry-on stroller
  • Ed & Co capsule
  • Ed & Co carry cot
  • Cool, loose fitting, sun smart clothes
  • Lots of bibs
  • Dummy
  • Muslin wraps for shade cover
  • Singlets / summer rompers
  • Swim nappy & matching togs 
  • Change of clothes for both of us on the plane
  • Pamol for Frankie and Nurofen for Dad
  • Temperature gauge
  • Babu baby sunscreen
  • Formula
  • Bottles
  • Milton tablets
  • Nappies
  • Cloth nappies / cloths to wipe up mess
  • Bath wash
  • Change mat pack (sudocream, plastic bags, wipes)
  • Lula Doll & Shusher
  • Ecosprout merino blanket

Security screening

Both NZ and US security allow water, made up formula and milk powder above the normal limits of 100ml/100g.

Going through security in NZ and the USA I carried on:

  • 4 x 150ml of water in his bottles
  • 1 x 150ml milk
  • 1 x 900g can of milk formula
  • Edwards & Co Otto

NZ was slightly more relaxed than the US and I was able to push the stroller through the security screener and got ‘security wanded’. In the US, they folded the stroller up themselves (must be easy!) and put it through the conveyer belt X-ray.

They also had a machine that tested the water and milk before letting me go through.

Both NZ and US (LAX and SFO) were really easy and having a baby sure helped as we got ushered to the front and also got to use ‘stroller’ friendly lanes. I definitely recommend taking a stroller, not only for easy navigation and being able to use your hands to shop, but also to get through security quickly.

Also, a lot of people asked how I warm Frankie’s milk. I don’t. From birth Frankie has had room temperature milk, which makes everything so much easier.

Onboard and ready to fly…

I was lucky enough to have the row to myself so the spare seats beside me became the perfect place to hold all of Frankie stuff. How can such a little person have so much bloody stuff?!

I took off his ‘street clothes’ and had his onesie and LFOH merino underneath for sleeping. I then wrapped him up and put his little infant seat belt on, ready to fly. I made sure I had his bottle at the ready for take-off and landing.

Number One Tip: Feed baby (either from the bottle or breastfeed) on take-off and landing to help ease air pressure in little one’s ears.

And just like that, father and son were in LA. Ready for a week of sightseeing, sunshine and good times.

Dad, Christian, with then-10 week old Frankie.