Let’s be honest – flying with your baby isn’t easy. What do you need to bring on the plane? How can you keep your baby from crying? Does she need her own seat? Don’t fret! Although you’ll need to take a few extra steps as you prepare for your trip, these simple tips to help make flying with your baby a little less stressful.
1. Make a List and Check It Twice
Babies require a lot of gear – we all know that. A few days before your trip, make a list of everything your baby will need on the plane and start gathering all of her supplies. Don’t wait until the day of your trip! Frantically running around and packing a few hours before your flight is a recipe for disaster, and you’re bound to forget something important.
2. Prepare Your Bottles Ahead of Time
Unlike other liquids, you are allowed to carry more than 3.4 ounces of breastmilk or baby formula onto the plane. If your baby takes a bottle, prepare them all ahead of time, and keep them separate from any other liquids you might have. Let the TSA agent know when you go through screening that you have breastmilk or baby formula in your bag. These liquids are typically x-rayed, but the agents can take other safety precautions if you prefer otherwise.
In addition, ice packs, freezer packs, and frozen gel packs needed to keep your liquids cold are also allowed in your carry-on and are subject to the same screening procedures as other liquids.
3. Have a Bottle Ready for Takeoff / Landing
Ear pressure during takeoff and landing can be painful for anyone, so it’s no wonder babies cry! Breastfeeding or giving your baby a bottle during the ascent and descent can help alleviate the pressure in your baby’s ears and (hopefully!) keep his tears at bay.
4. Use a Stroller
Strollers can be brought through security and checked at your airline’s gate, making it easy to tote your baby (and your carry-ons!) around the airport. Plus, your stroller will be waiting for when you get off the plane, too – pretty cool!
If a stroller sounds too clunky and cumbersome to deal with, a baby carrier can be another great option. Wearing your baby will help keep your hands free and can make it easier to run to your gate in the event you’re running late.
5. Make Sure Your Diaper Bag is Well-Stocked
It may sound obvious, but a well-stocked diaper bag can be a lifesaver in the event of a delay or (gasp!) cancelled flight. Make sure to include diapers, wipes, bottles, nipples, an extra outfit or two, an extra shirt for yourself, and a few small toys. Plan on packing more than you think you need – you’ll be grateful you did if you end up getting to your destination later than you originally planned.
6. Think About Where You Sit
A little strategic thinking can go a long way when you’re booking your flight. Babies under two years old are not required to have their own seat and can sit on a parent’s lap for the duration of the flight. If you are traveling with your partner, and your baby will be sitting on your lap, book an aisle seat and a window seat. If you are traveling on an airline that doesn’t have assigned seating, follow this same logic. Unless the flight is completely full, it’s unlikely anyone will choose to sit between a couple traveling with an infant.
If you are traveling alone, book an aisle seat if possible. This will make it easier to access your carryon in the overhead bin, go to the restroom, and walk the aisles if you need to soothe a crying baby.
Although it isn’t mandatory, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all babies travel in a safety seat that is age- and weight-appropriate when on a plane. If you chose to book your baby a seat, make sure your baby’s car seat is FAA-approved. Additionally, if you will need a car seat at your destination, most airlines will allow you to check your child’s car seat for no additional baggage fee. Make sure to check your airlines website for their policy.
7. Ignore Any Dirty Looks
Babies cry. Sometimes no matter what you do, your baby will still cry and there will be nothing you can do about it. Most people understand this, but you might still get a few dirty looks from fellow passengers if your child has decided to have a meltdown mid-flight. Do you best to ignore any looks and try your best to relax – stressing out won’t make your baby stop crying. Do your best to go with the flow, but still feel free to cheer when your plane touches down.
Traveling with a baby might mean you need to adhere to a schedule, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some cool experiences! Whether you’re looking for baby-friendly activities or date night ideas, PlacePass.com has hundreds of great experiences in more than 180 destinations, from food tours to outdoor adventures and more.
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