Traveling has always been something my husband and I have loved to do. Sharing with you our 10 tips for flying with a baby is important since we love to travel and never wanted to stop doing it after having babies. Together we have visited 9 countries and countless cities. When our daughter was born we knew we wouldn’t be able to travel as much, but didn’t want to become paranoid parents that didn’t travel in fear of dealing with the temper tantrum kid crying the entire flight. Yes I did fear being THAT mom. Traveling with babies let alone toddlers isn’t easy, but I can assure you it is much better than you think. I have a few tips, but for an ultimate guide please check out FLYING WITH A BABY website.
Here are a few tips
1. WAIT TO TRAVEL WITH BABY UNTIL THEY ARE 3 MONTHS OLD: This is a suggestion given to me by my pediatrician… At 3 months a baby has built a stronger immune system and also has undergone their first major set of vaccines. An airplane is a giant hub for germs even healthy adults can easily pick up a bug and get sick… Let alone a baby.
2. TRAVEL WITH BABY AS MUCH AS YOU CAN BEFORE THEY START WALKING: Once you have a little moving, exploring human being… Well… Things just become a little more challenging as far as keeping their attention for the duration of the flight. So enjoy travel during those months prior to them becoming mobile.
3. BOOK FLIGHTS AROUND THEIR SLEEP SCHEDULE: Especially true for longer flights. When we traveled to Spain, I booked a nonstop evening flight. It was perfect! Babies sleep anywhere from 10-12 hour night stretches. My 15 month old literally slept almost the entire flight. Making a 12 hour flight more bearable when they are only awake for 1-2 hours.
4. BRING A LIGHTWEIGHT STROLLER AND WEAR YOUR BABY: Yes… Wear your baby like as in use one of those baby carrier things. My fave is the Ergo Carrier. This way when you pass through security you don’t have to worry about taking your baby out of the stroller and having to carry them. For strollers I love the Maclaren Quest… has a huge sunshade, operates nicely with one hand and easy to fold and carry. I prefer it over the Uppababy hands down!
5. WHAT TO PACK ON BOARD: On board, you will want to pack an extra set of clothes, bibs, snacks, favorite toys, bottles yes with your milk! At security they will swab it. Never let them open it up… Test should be done to the bottle not the milk. Extra set of clothes is a must always! I learned the hard way. I had my baby have a nasty poop on a flight and there I was desperately trying to get her clothes out of my check in bag. So instead keep extra with you handy in your baby bag.
6. USE FAMILY PRIORITY BOARDING: Almost all airlines and airports have a designated and usually much shorter line for check in, security and boarding. So ask and look around for this.
7. ASK FOR A BABY COT ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS: If you are planning an international flight contact the airline as soon as possible. Not all airlines and flights offer this, but airlines such as British Airways offer a limited amount of them at no cost baby cots. Not only is this a very helpful feature… The seats where these baby cots are located have TONS of leg room. I’m 5′ 8″ and while seating in one of these rows I was able to fully stretch my legs out.
8. ASK FOR EXTRA SEAT: Get to the gate early and ask the agent if there is an empty seat next to you or if there is any way you can be moved next to an empty seat on the plane. 99% of the time they will if the plane is not full. When she was 3 months old we brought the infant car seat with us and at check in asked for empty seat. They quickly accommodated us.
9. NURSE ON TAKE OFF AND LANDINGS:I don’t know if this is an old wives tale, But I did it and recommend you do it anyway! They say the motion of them sucking when breastfeeding helps them to avoid having ear pressure pain.
**When traveling abroad they will make you attach an orange seatbelt to your seatbelt and fasten the baby in it. So keep that in mind so you aren’t caught off guard.
10. MEAN PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS BE MEAN, BUT MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE SUPER NICE AND HELPFUL: One of my biggest fears when flying with a baby was that my baby would be that baby who would just cry and cry and cry the whole entire flight AND that I would have to pull a mom rage on some passenger if they happen to say something negative to me… yes I would be that mom that would have the United flight stopped because there was a fight on board! Hahahaha. What I have learned is 99% of strangers are actually extremely helpful and understanding of babies. Luckily we have not come across any negative or rude people and I doubt you will too.