Airplane Travel with Infant Twins

            The summer travel season is almost here, and many of you are probably pondering a trip to visit family, meet Mickey Mouse, or get away from the stress of daily life. Unfortunately, getting there can be just as stressful, especially if you’re traveling with infant twins. If you plan an airplane trip with your twins, planning ahead is key to ensuring that you have a smooth trip.

            In my book, It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence, one mother describes the many mishaps she’s encountered when traveling with her twins to her native Australia. For instance, while changing one of her twin son’s diapers, he chose the opportunity to pee all over Hugh Grant on the movie screen! Needless to say, she got plenty of nasty looks from her fellow travelers on that trip. Of course, nobody can be completely prepared for that type of fiasco, but there are a few things you can do to make the trip as pleasant as possible.

            Call the airline or check the airline’s website ahead of time to make sure the flight is on time. You don’t want to spend five hours at the airport with infant twins because your flight’s been delayed. Also ask how early you should show up before the flight . . . and then add a little extra time because everything takes longer with twins! You’ll want to allow yourself enough time for unexpected diaper changes, and so on.

            Ask for bulkhead seats, which allow for a little more leg room that makes it easier to move the kids around and store your supplies. It also prevents some nasty looks as your little ones can’t kick the seat in front of them.

            If you can afford it, buy separate seats for your children, especially if it’s a cross-country or international flight. Even if you can only afford one extra seat, it’s worth the money to have the additional room. If you haven’t bought an extra seat or two, ask if your flight is full when you check in. They may be able to place you next to an empty seat.

            Pack plenty of supplies, including snacks, formula, diapers, wipes, bottles, sippy cups, etc. Pack more than you think you need in case your flight is delayed or you miss a connecting flight. Start keeping a list weeks in advance and add to it as you think of more items.

            Include extra clothing for the babies—and yourself, in case you get spit up on! You can also layer on clothes if the plane gets cold. Bring a few extra receiving blankets for this purpose, as well.

            If your children use pacifiers, bring extras in case they get dropped on the floor or lost. Sucking also helps soothe their ears as the plane is going up or down. If your twins don’t use pacifiers, have them suck on a bottle or breastfeed.

            Pack lots of entertainment for your children. Bring some new things along that they’ve never seen so they won’t be bored with their old things and dole them out slowly. If you’re okay with your kids watching TV, you might want to bring a portable DVD player with their favorite movies.

            Be sure to look up current security restrictions so you’re not held up during check-in if you’re carrying items that aren’t allowed.

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About Susan Heim

Susan M. Heim is an author and editor, specializing in multiples, parenting, women’s and Christian issues. Her books include "Boosting Your Baby's Brain Power"; "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More"; "It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence"; "Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons"; and, "Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year." Upcoming books include "Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family," "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women," and "Moms of Multiples' Devotions to Go." Susan's articles and essays have appeared in many books, magazines and Web sites. She is a member of the National Association of Women Writers and the Southeastern Writers Association, and has a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. Susan lives with her husband and four sons (two teenagers and twin grade-schoolers) in Florida.

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