10 Tips For Flying With Your Baby

When you are flying with your infant or baby very first time, it can be overwhelming and worrying, it was sure the case with us. I am sure many new parents will be same shoes as I am, so I thought of sharing tips and tricks that I have learned with traveling with my kids since then; With little planning and little preparedness, you and your baby can be pro traveler, or at least comfortable enough to enjoy the plane trip.

Here are the 10 tips for Flying with your baby;

1. Choose a best flight for you and your baby.

Try to take a direct flight whenever possible, specially when flying with an infant or toddler. Layover and connecting flights may save you bit money however, it will be frustrating for your baby in airport with lot of people and noise.

If you know your baby’s sleep schedule try to take a flight during nap time or even red eye flight so baby can stay asleep. I know sometimes it may not be possible but trying close to sleep time may ease some issues.

2. Seating arrangement:

Baby under 2 years of age do not require private seating. If you airplane is empty, you can use your baby car seat next to your seat. In event of full plane, you can carry your baby on your lap. There are special connection belt for baby that you can request from air hostess.

If you are flying long distance to other countries, you may ask for special parent seating such that you can have portable bassinet for your baby to sleep during long journey. However, in time of turbulence, baby must be carried on your lap. Here are some suggestions for babies seating in addition to car seat or lap you can have bit free hand during flight. Following products can help during air flights and can be used as traveling high chair to feed baby.

Fly Baby Airplane Seat Child Comfort System

My Little Seat Infant Travel

3. Feeding Baby on Plane.

You can feed baby formula (just bring the powder as liquids and gel are not allowed in US flights since 911). You can breastfeed your baby in flight too. Yes, some people may frown upon it and frown on crying infant but it is legal. You may decide your seating near windows you can breastfeed discreetly or carry breastfeeding blanket to cover-all for comfort for you while you feed your baby.

4. During Take off and Landing:

Little babies and toddler get ear popped during plane landing and take off, and they may cry in pain as they do not understand what is happening. You can soothe that pain by breastfeeding during those time, or let them suck on baby nipple or milk/water bottle with nipple to ease the pain. It gets better as babies grow older. Sometimes buying earmuff may help older babies but for infant it may or may not work.

If you child is older, you can give something to suck such as sippy cup or milk bottle to ease the ear pain. Most of all, keep them busy with showing things out of window, or toys, reading books if they are feeling afraid of new surrounding.

Check out more Airplane Flying With Kids : Parent Resouces

5. Know your baby’s schedule and temperament.

No two babies are alike, so knowing your baby’s schedule and temperament may help during flight. Some babies are perfectly fine with noises and sleep off without any problem while other babies may cry a lot. You will know certain things as you fly first time with your baby. However, as a parent you have more clue to your child’s temperament from home life. If your baby gets cranky without nap, or noise then you can plan for these issues by bringing things your baby usually loves to sooth him/her. It is always a good idea to distract baby with a toy, feeding, or holding and walking about (when plane is airborne and seat belt sign is off). Taking small toys like shown below works best in air plane.

Here are some inexpensive suggestions to bring around $5 and under.

6. Give yourself plenty of time.

Now a days, airport security is much more tight, and you are advised to go to within US flights 2 hours ahead of time and 3 hours before for international flights. It is always a good idea to go bit early, as for unexpected traffic, and any unseen issues,  so that you are not stressed out while in airport. Babies can sense parent’s stress, and may get cranky or hyper due to your own worries, so make sure not in mad rush and extra stress.

7. Bring good sturdy Stroller or Baby carrier

Bring baby carrier for your baby or sturdy and compact stroller. You can check in stroller at the entrance with air hostess and baby car seat carrier. You can use car seat inside the flight or check it in at the boarding. Having baby carrier or stroller will help you carrying the baby after you have checked in your luggage and waiting to board the plane. We like things to carry that does multiple things so we have to carry less. One of the life savior for us was to us car seat traveler that can be attached to carry on bag!  Best part about is, it is about $15 and value of comfort is priceless. If you have that, you will not need stroller.

Click here for best Value on: Traveling Infant/Toddler Carseat Carrier

This a video of how to attach a carry-on bag to it so you can carry your child and bag both, it is easy enough for any mom or dad to do it. Check it out.

8. Expect the unexpected

With babies, sometimes predicting how things will be in flight can be hard. Your baby might be fussy at home and simple angel in plane or it could be opposite. You can have fussy, crying baby at hand while everyone is looking at you. Hence, expect the unexpected, bring baby’s favorite toys, and some small brand news shiny toys to distract the baby. You can feed your baby to sooth him or her. If baby likes pacifier then try that. Keep small toys, books and shiny things in diaper front pouch for crying emergency to distract the baby.

Recently TSA have made it bit easier for traveler for not asking your baby and toddler’s shoes and jacket in most airport, but when in doubt call airline or airport to make sure so you can be prepared.

Check out our other post: Savvy Parent’s Security Check-in Tips

9. Ask for help

If you are traveling with a spouse or someone else, plan things such as practicing who will hold the carry on bag, diaper bag and boarding pass and how will hold the baby. If you need to swap the baby, you can swap the bags as well. If you are traveling alone, ask air hostess or other people for help. Many people are nice and will help but just in case if you do not get much help, have a back up plan ready so you can carry baby, and bags yourself.

10. Bring things you need plus extra

Bring baby’s extra change of clothes, 2 more diapers than you think you need, toys, burp clothes, towel and diapers, books, iphone for showing videos (during flight) and so on just in case your baby is awake and getting fussy. Do not pack too much extra as you will have to carry it all but extra enough just in case of unexpected event. I know a mom, whose infant got diarrhea in the plane all of sudden and she was panicking after using up her last diapers in carry on bag. In such event, ask air hostess, they may have it, specially during international flights. In local flights, they may not, so carry everything you need and bit more that you can carry.

Bonus Tip

You want to be 100% planned, get this book instant download in kindle/ebook format below. We thought we know thing or two about flying twice with our infant but boy, we learned lot more from this book and it saved us so much headache on later flights. This book is a gold mine! Do your self a favor and buy one for yourself and a few more to have on hand for gifts in the future!!! I consider myself pretty well organized when it comes to travel with our daughter, but this book gave me so many more ideas and tips. Well worth it, and enjoyable to read!

Traveling With Baby

Have a great and uneventful flight!

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