Baby carrier linked here.
Well guys, I survived. I was dreading getting on a plane with my six month old but it’s done and over with. It actually was not as bad as I expected, but not something I wanna do often, you know? A lot of you asked me to share my tips for flying with a baby, so here they are.
I do wanna say thank you to my followers on Instagram that shared SO many tips with me! Y’all were so helpful and gave me much more confidence.
Tips for Flying with an Infant
Pack Baby Items in a Carry On
I packed all of Noah’s things in a carry on in case anything happened to our luggage. This was also helpful because if I needed anything for him I could just grab it from the overhead. I also packed an outfit change for myself in his bag in case things got messy.
Pack a Blanket
This is mainly for the plane. We booked the flight during his bedtime so that was definitely key for us! The lights on the plane were off for the most part but they kept going off and on at times. The lights were causing Noah to wake up from his deep sleep, but I covered him to protect him from the lights and that helped from disturbing his sleep.
Bring Minimum Items Needed
So this one might be hard because we all know babies require SO MUCH STUFF! For my first trip, I did not want to worry about caring for Noah AND hauling around all of his things (stroller, car seat, pack and play, etc.). I know not everyone will be able to do this, but if you can- DO IT! For our first flight, we went to visit my in laws and my mother in law tried to have most of the things we use. Not having to worry about the big baby items like a stroller and car seat is one less think that may add stress. I did worry about not having his stuff that he’s used to and that we use on the daily but it was only for a few days.
Obviously, if you’re not visiting family and going on vacation this might be hard to avoid. If this is the case, look into buying a travel stroller that much lightweight and less work for you to carry around.
Check Baby Gear at Gate
If you’re bringing your stroller and car seat, check it at the gate. Like I said, we didn’t bring anything with us, but a bunch of people recommended doing this.
Wear a Baby Carrier
Take advantage while you can! Wearing a baby carrier allowed my hands to be free and I could multi task. It also kept my baby more calm being so close to me. This was super easy to walk round in the airport carrying him and not dealing with a stroller.
Utilize Special Assistance Line at TSA/Security
Traveling with a baby allowed us to go through a special line at security. The line was shorter and the people were more patient. We also packed our pre-packaged formula and water in the baby bottles so we let them know ahead of time. They did a special check on the water but it was all super easy and quick.
Final Change in the Airport Bathroom
They have a changing table on the plane, but we all know it’s probably not going to be ideal. Do a quick change right before the flight boards! I always pack this in my diaper bag and use it religiously when changing Noah on the go. It obviously depends on the length of your flight, but if it’s short- hopefully you won’t have to change them on the plane.
Book a Direct Flight and During an Optimal Time
Booking a direct flight is not always an option, but if you are able to do it, it definitely helps. If you can, avoid booking a flight with a lay over. That’s just an added stress for you and baby, but sometimes they can’t be avoided. We also booked the flight when we knew Noah was going to be sleeping, so an energetic baby with limited legroom was another concern I could potentially not worry about. We booked a super late flight on the way there and a super early flight on the way back. This was way easier on me when trying to put him to bed on the flight and I did not have to worry about entertaining him.
This might be a personal preference, but thought I would offer up the tip. Whenever it was just my husband and I traveling (oh those were the days!-sigh), we would always board last. The reason is because we do not want to be sitting in a hot plane waiting for everyone to board. I would rather wait a the gate with AC and doing other things than being crammed in the plane.
I never really thought about doing this with a baby, until someone suggested it on Instagram. Most families board first and I was planning of taking advantage of the early boarding, but then decided it wasn’t best for us. I thought about Noah and knew he would be just like us. It would be so uncomfortable for us to just be sitting there waiting for everyone to board for 30 mins.
Doing this has its downside of course, and you just have to be quick to get on the plane and have everything in order. It definitely depends on what you prefer and on your situation but for us this worked best!
Paci/Bottle at Take off and Landing
I think this is a pretty well know tip but thought I would include it. The sucking motion that they do helps them with easing the pain in the ears from changes in cabin pressure. Of course, this is just like the recommendation for adults to chew gum and swallow.
Have Zero Expectations
This was the most important piece of advice I received on Instagram. I’m not the most optimistic person so I was already going into this knowing it was going to suck and I was going to have to deal with it. Noah of course got a cold the same day we were flying and was congested, so I knew it was going to be awful. You really have no idea how things are gonna go but you’re already there and there’s no turning back. At the end of the day it’s life and people are just going to have to deal with it.
You can only hope for people to be understanding that it’s a baby and you have no control over how they’re gonna react to everything. Lucky for me, he did not cry except for like 2-3 minutes but it felt like a lifetime. There was one person that kept staring at me but c’est la vie. We flew Delta and the flight attendants were SO HELPFUL and made us felt so welcome, which was nice!
Do you have any tips I missed? Comment below!
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