Flying with a baby can be challenging at first, but thankfully, there are dozens of tips for flying with an infant! That means that if you follow many of those tips, relax, and are prepared for anything and everything, you will survive from takeoff to landing!
Here are 7 tips for flying with baby:
1. Determine Where Your Baby Will Sit During the Flight
We are sure that you know that your baby can sit on your lap while flying until they are two years of age. However, you must be prepared to hold your little wiggle worm the entire time, and that can get tricky, especially on longer flights. Therefore, you may want to consider purchasing them their own seat and using an FAA approved car seat or airline bassinet during your flight. Some airlines will offer a discounted seat ticket for this option, so make sure that you check into that prior to booking your flight. Oh, and to make your life easier, you may want to sit near the back of the plane, away from the majority of other passengers, and closer to the bathrooms.
2. Determine What Gets Carried On and What Needs to Be Checked
Most airlines will only allow passengers to take one carry on bag and a personal item with them when they are flying, which means that you would need to check everything else. We recommend choosing the diaper bag as your carry-on bag and trying to fit as much as you can inside, without going over the size dimensions that the airline allows. You may want to consider creating a baby travel checklist, so you do not forget to pack crucial items. Please be sure to note that a breast pump is not considered a medical device and therefore is included in the number of bags that you carry on with you. Most airlines will allow you to check strollers at the gate and pick them up at the same location when you land. However, you can also check those items with your checked bags and pick them up in the baggage claim area at your destination. It is more of a personal choice as to which option you choose, but remember, if you check a stroller with your checked luggage, you will not have it to use inside the airport!
3. Choose Smaller Baby Gear
We understand that you love that Cadillac type stroller that you received at your baby shower. However, if it is bulky and not that easy to close, you may want to consider bringing a different stroller with you. The only thing that we do recommend is that you take a stroller that you can connect your baby’s car seat to, so that you do not need to lug that around the airport with the stroller and your baby.
4. Choose When to Board Your Flight Carefully
Almost every airline will allow passengers with small children to board their flights early, but you may want to reconsider that option when you are flying with an infant. Since it can take up to twenty minutes for everyone else to board, you could potentially be sitting there attempting to keep your baby happy in a small space for that much longer. For that reason, we only recommend boarding with your baby early if you do not have a seat assignment. If you are on a flight, where you have already chosen your seat, you may want to wait until everyone else has boarded and then make your way down the ramp. This ensures that you can move around with your baby as much as possible or do one last diaper change before being in cramped quarters for the duration of your flight.
5. Be Prepared to Feed Your Baby During Take Off and Landing
A little baby is going to have quite the problem with their ears during take off and landing, which is why you are going to want to feed them during those times. That means that feeding them while you are waiting to board is not always the best idea, because you will want them to be hungry, or at least willing to suck, during these times. The sucking motion will help prevent the pressure from building up in their ears and keep them popping. This means that they will be more comfortable, and a comfortable baby is a happy baby.
6. Take Breastmilk or Formula Out at the Security Checkpoint
While you are allowed to take a reasonable amount of breastmilk or formula with you through the security checkpoint, you will still need to take it out and show it to the TSA agents. They may need to scan it or pour a little out to check it for safety concerns.
7. Relax and Know it Will be Over Soon
There really isn’t much that you can do once you are up in the air and flying with an infant. You can have every remedy in the book available, and they may or may not work with your child. Therefore, a lot of patience and a relaxed attitude can be the best thing for you and your baby. After all, everyone knows that babies, and children of all ages, know when you are stressed and will act accordingly.
These seven tips for flying with baby will make your flight much smoother from start to finish, which means that you will be more than ready to take on another flight with an infant sooner than later!