Travelling with Kids: 5 Top Tips for Airports

Travelling with Kids: 5 Top Tips for Airports

Top tips for navigating airports and travelling with kids - best baby carriers to use, hacks for managing on planes and in airports with babies and much more, all from experienced babywearers and parents.
Review: Rei Reflected by Five Cubs and Us Reading Travelling with Kids: 5 Top Tips for Airports 6 minutes Next How to Breastfeed in an Oscha Sling

Babywearing can make a huge difference in the airport. Whether it's a staycation or further afield, your adventure is just a few hours away, but first, you've got to navigate the chaos of the terminal! We asked our lovely customers in our Clan Oscha group if they had any tips and wisdom to share with us to help you arrive at your destination, cool, relaxed and ready to start your holiday!

1: Arrival

You've made it to the airport - you and lots of cases too. One thing everyone in the Clan agreed on is that while our luggage doesn't tend to run off - our toddlers may - and so carrying your little one in a baby wrap not only helps to be 'hands free' for cases - but helps lower stress levels while you take in the airport, and figure out where to go.

2: Security

This varies from airport to airport, so it's easier to presume you'll be asked to remove your child from the carrier. Then if you don't it's a bonus. One of our customers Kayla had a fabulous tip:

“I would recommend not wearing loose clothing like sweaters under your baby carrier, wear as tight fitted clothing as possible. Then they are less likely to think you could be hiding something on yourself.

The rings in a ring sling may trigger the security alarm if you walk through wearing it - they are however still allowed through, and a ring sling, in particular, can be super quick to pop back on.

One of the things we love for an airport is a short woven baby wrap. A size 2 or 3 can easily fit into your hand luggage, it can double up as a pillow, or a blanket on the flight.

Michelle uses size 3 Zorro Camilla for a simple hip carry

There is a fabulous carry called a 'No No No Hip Carry' that not only mimics a ring sling but involves no rings and no tying either. It's extremely fast to both do and to release your child from which is ideal for the frequent “up and down carrying an airport creates. (See tutorial below)

3: The Waiting

Once you're through security the first of a series of waits begins, waiting to board, waiting to take off, and for the children even being on the plane is just another period of waiting. For children waiting is so much easier when they feel safe and secure. There will be lots of new sights and sounds to take in, and unfamiliar faces, but holding your little one close to you, where they can hear your heart and smell home, will bring calm. A carrier is ideal for your child to still be able to take naps, feed and play, without getting overtired or overstimulated. It also makes it easier to social distance if you are trying to navigate busier areas.

Best Carries for Airports

No No No Hip Carry (Size 2):
Coolest Hip Cross Carry (Size 3):
Front Cross Carry Pre Tied (Size 5/6/7)

4: The Plane

On the plane itself, your child will either be in a flight safe car seat or you'll be given a lap belt to secure around yourself and your baby. Once you're in the air and the seatbelt sign is off, you're often free to use your carrier again. Wrapping on a plane with a longer wrap isn't the easiest, although if you've pre-tied a Front Cross Carry it can be do-able. Using a ring sling, or Cairis Carrier is a much easier choice as you can just pop your wee one back in.

Tips for Entertaining your Child on the Plane

We've got a fair few children between us at Oscha HQ, and so here are some of the things we did to help keep our children occupied and happy:

  • Something for them to suck at takeoff! It can really help with their ears to get something for them to suck - for older children a lolly works really well.
  • Colours and Paper - Ideally a sticker book too! You may arrive looking like you did really well at the Dentist - covered head to toe in stickers - but hopefully, your child will have had fun.
  • Snacks, snacks and more snacks! Ideally, ones that take a long time to get through - popcorn, raisins, crisps, and dried fruit.
  • For younger babies they will want to feed and drink more, this is because babies not only feed for hunger, but for comfort too.
  • Dress your child in light removable layers as the temperature on the plane can vary greatly.

5: Now having said all that what sling would we take?

Best Slings for Short Hops

A Ring Sling or a Size 2

Best Slings for Long Haul

Cairis Baby Carrier or woven wrap.

Best Slings for Walking Adventures

Whatever you usually find best for long walks. Read our piece on Hiking in an Oscha here.

One of our Clan Teruko said

“I hesitated to take both a long (base +2) and non-easy-care wrap with me when we flew cross country, but it was absolutely the right choice. Both my toddler and my baby love this wrap and it allowed me to do any carry I wanted. It's also full of sleepy dust as you can see in the photo. Wearing allowed me to install his car seat onboard without waking him!"

babywearing on a plane

Teruko taking her little one onto the plane fast asleep!

Best Slings for the Beach

Easy Care Ring Slings or Shorter Woven Wraps

If you'd like to read more in-depth about the pro's and con's of each carrier on holiday, read our piece on choosing the best carrier for you here.

We'd love to hear where you've travelled and what sling you took! Post on Clan Oscha to show us your travels and make us all really jealous!

Read more in our Travelling with Kids series:

Which Carrier to Take?
Which Wrap to Use in the Heat?
Quick Guide to Summer Fabrics

Written by Jess Hippey

Jess is a mum to two boys and a Baby Carrying Consultant based in Aberdeen, Scotland.

For more info about the work that she does see: