TLDR: Flying with baby. How to prepare and keep your flight chill.
Good morning, Smart Moms!
I think everyone dreads flying with babies.
At least I know a lot of parents who do—being someone who runs in travel circles.
Parents are worried about how to keep their little one distracted and quiet. Passengers are worried as they see you come side-stepping down the aisle, arms full, trying not to hit other passengers in the head with the diaper bag, all while talk-a-lot-sally asks questions from your carry on.
There’s already a lot of things to think about packing for baby. Furthermore, narrowing it down when you realize you’ve overloaded yourself can be tough.
If at all possible, try to plan flights during Junior’s naps. Of course budget and people come into your ability to do this. But if it’s possible, this timing can really help you out.
Talk to your health care professional about when your baby is old enough to fly. This could depend on your situation, though I preferred my kids being at least a few months old before I exposed them to recycled plane air.
Tips on what to bring
I brought tons of wipes and didn’t ever regret it. You can use them for cleaning hands and face, wiping butt, surface cleaning, wiping up the gross you get on your shirt sometimes, etc.
Consider slip on diapers because it can be super difficult to change Junior. Airplane bathrooms? Please, that’s not going to happen. (2)
Using a baby sling could be a great way to keep your hands free and baby close. My daughter was really good in them right off the bat, so that was my go to.
An easy way to get through security is just waiting to fill the bottles with bottled water when you get to the other side. You can add your formula later. I did both…waited until past security and hauled around pre-made bottles…you’ll just have to decide what’s easiest or what works best for you and Junior. I think I preferred just carrying baby formula and then mixing it in later.
Havebabywilltravel.com suggests getting your baby used to room temperature bottles/food so that you hopefully don’t’ have to heat it up. (2)
If your baby is on solids, it’s a good idea to try and compress as much as possible. So that means taking things out of boxes and putting them in bags so you have more room.
Bringing anti-bacterial wipes is also a good idea so that you can keep your baby’s space and toys clean. Hand sanitizer for you and your partner can easily keep your hands clean while you’re running around the airport and handling Junior.
Quieter toys might be a good idea to be considerate to other passengers. If a certain noisy toy keeps baby happy though, I think everyone is going to prefer a happy baby to a bawling baby. So you’re the best judge on that. You don’t want to overload yourself with toys but do bring enough to hold baby’s attention once they get bored of certain toys.
Make a check list and go over it twice, three times! Make sure you have everything. This young mom forgot a bottle top nipples on one flight. She handled it the best she could, and her experience led her to share some really great tips—on how not to do that—but the point, is don’t do that.
Tips for flying
Check out the guidelines of the airline you’re flying with. Most of them have a section about what you can do to make your flight easier, what you will need to bring for Junior, and how you can travel with an FAA-approved car seat. They will also inform you how baby can fly for free if that’s possible, though that usually means they can’t occupy a seat. (3) You’ll want to remember to bring things like their birth certificate and important documents. Nateandrachael.com has some good tips on what to bring and some good reminders before you fly out. (5)
Get strategic seats. This could mean manipulating how you sit with your spouse on open-seating flights so that you can put Junior between you for free. (4) Pick aisle seats and the front of the plane tends to be quieter than the back…so it might be easier on baby to be towards the front of the plane.
Flying is rough on baby’s ears. So if your baby has a cold or an ear infection, it might even be a good idea to postpone the flight. (1) Bummer? Yes. But maybe it’s worth it. If not, just be prepared for Junior’s possible struggles with that.
It’s recommended that you get Junior sucking on something before, during, and after take-off and landing. It helps them similar to yawning helps us pop our ears. Also, rub their ears and soothe them, keep them calm, sing a happy or soothing song. (1)
Most importantly, stay calm and kind. You’re probably going to run into grouchy people. Don’t get on their level. Just try your best with Junior.
I think you’ll be surprised at how many people are understanding. After all, we’ve all at least been babies…if not had them. I’ve had more experiences with people being helpful and offering an extra hand than I have with negative people.
So travel, have fun, be prepared, and don’t worry.
Street Smart Favorites
Speaking of baby wipes to bring, I love the Pamper Sensitive Travel Pack Wipes. They come in bulk (which you know I am all about,) and my babies love that they are sensitive, and I appreciate that they are a little thicker. They tend to be a little more durable, you know?