Thursday, December 4, 2008

flying with twins

We just got back from a great trip to visit family and friends in Utah over the Thanksgiving holiday.

This was the babies first trip outside of Texas...or even really outside of the Houston area. We were more than just a little bit nervous about the flight. The babies did fairly well. They didn't cry or even fuss on the take-off and landing, it actually put them right to sleep. On the way out to Utah we were even fortunate enough to get an extra seat so we were able to take one car seat on board which allowed Maya to sleep in her chair and then Lonnie and I were able to take turns holding Max.

We don't have any photos of us on the plane or awkwardly trying to get through the security line or waiting at the airport. Our hands were full enough as it was. I will also spare you the details of me trying to use the airplane bathroom while holding a baby in my arms.

Some advice on flying with twins:
1. Give both babies to one parent to walk through security (make sure to take off your shoes first) then have the other parent put all the gear and bags through the x-ray machine.
2. Pack two diaper bags, there is a good chance you will get separated.
3. Fly at a time of day that your babies are most likely to be in a good mood.
4. Bring a couple of bottles, even if you nurse. You might have a hard time nursing while in your seat or you may not be able to get to one of the babies if the fasten seat belt sign is on for a long period of time.
5. You and your husband can not sit on the same row. There is only one extra oxygen mask in each row (in our case this was also only on the C/D side of the plane) so only one lap infant can be in each row of seats.
6. There is a good chance that even if you reserve seats that you will be reassigned when you get to the gate so arrive early.
7. Hope that you sit next to someone who has had children, preferably a grandmother. (The poor single businessman who say next to me on our flight home didn't know what hit him.)
8. Consider sitting a couple rows apart, that way your neighbors won't have to deal with two crying children.
9. Go to the bathroom, eat and drink BEFORE you get on the plane. Trying to do any of these things while holding a wiggly baby in your arms is almost impossible.
10. Changing a diaper on an airplane is next to impossible. I had to change Max's diaper while he was laying on top of the toilet lid. Poor kid thankfully didn't fuss too much about it.
11. Different airlines have different policies on the documentation required for flying with an infant within the US- Delta doesn't require anything , Southwest requires a birth certificate or vaccination record.
12. On most airlines, currently, car seats and strollers do not count as baggage. You can take them up to the gate and check them right before you get on the plane.
13. Try to fly in the middle of the day or on Saturday during non-peak travel time. Flying with babies is much easier if the plane is not full.
14. When you check in ask if the flight is very full. If there is a possibility that there will be extra seats bring the car seats with you to the gate. We have had very good luck with being able to bring the babies' car seats on the plane. Car seats are not only safer, they also give the babies a great place for the babies to sit, nap and give the parents an extra set of hands.
15. Make friends with the flight attendants.

One more I had to add on.....
Don't forget to clip the babies finger nails before your trip. The only thing harder than holding on to a wiggly baby is holding on to a wiggly baby with razor sharp claws.


  1. I can't believe that you were in Utah and you didn't call me! Next time....

  2. The oxygen mask thing gets us every time. I have been known (since having #3 anyway) to loudly demand exactly WHERE the oxygen masks are located, thus endearing myself to the flight attendants before I have even walked 2 steps into the plane (NOT). Other helpful tips (for anyone with any number of babies) that I can think of: If you are lucky enough to have a row to yourself, don't try to furtively change a baby's diaper and deposit dirty diaper in the flight attendant's trash bag as it comes by - the attendant will have a massive coronary and act like you are violating the Geneva Convention. Always pack a clean onesie (or whatever) to put on upon arrival, just in case. Always wear pants with elastic waists (no buttons or zips) in case you do have to go the bathroom while holding a baby. And last but not least: Always, always fly WITH Grandma! :> I hope you guys had an awesome time in Utah and spent some quality time with the cousins, especially pretty little Kalia.

  3. Flying with baby times two sounds incredibly challenging. I don't fly very often but if I ever have twins (unlikely) I'll try to remember your tips.