When my oldest son was about 8 months old I decided to plan a trip (sans daddy) to see grandma and grandpa in Texas. After hearing numerous horror stories I was extremely nervous about flying alone with a baby. Due to this, I probably over analyzed and over planned for this short 4 day trip. What I did find was traveling with babies can be FUN and EXCITING if done with the right tools and attitude.
Most airlines are very family friendly but you should follow a few guidelines to ensure a smooth trip:
Arrive at the airport early – You’ll need time to do one last potty break or diaper change prior to boarding the plane. You’ll most likely have a few additional items to check at the gate (car seat & stroller).
Pack plenty of toys, snacks, diapers, and formula/breast milk – Depending on the length of your flight and possible unanticipated delays you need plenty of items to keep your baby occupied. Bring a blanket that can dual as a cover if you need to breast feed on the plane. The seats on a plane are “close quarters” and not the most comfortable for proper feeding. Making sure both you and your neighbors have the best flight possible will be greatly appreciated by both the staff and other passengers.
*You can bring your formula/breast milk and juice for your child (even if it is over 4 ounces), however TSA may require extra testing when you pass through security.
If you can afford it – purchase a seat for your baby – Having your child secure in a seat next to you is much safer and more comfortable for both mom and baby. There are many reports of injuries during turbulent flights. You wouldn’t dream of placing your baby in a car without a car seat or seat belt, bad turbulence on a plane can be just as dangerous. Many car seats, especially carrier seats can be secured with the seat belt on a plane. Check with your airline and car seat manufacturer to see if your seat is FAA approved. If purchasing an extra seat is not possible for your family, make sure you have a good secure hold on your baby.
Babies Cry – it’s ok – Sometimes during a flight, babies cry and it’s ok. This is where having plenty of toys and distractions will help alleviate a stressful situation. Keep your calm and start trying your “distractions” toys, snacks, a bottle. If your child takes a pacifier use it during take off and landing to help alleviate any ear pain your baby may experience.
*Bring your baby’s favorite small toy, stuffed animal, or blanket
Remember – this is an exciting new adventure for your family! The most important thing is to remember to allow yourself a lot of extra time at the airport. Not being in a rush will ensure a great beginning to a stress free flight!
Some carry on suggestions:
*Disposable diapers and wipes – bring enough for double your travel time in case of delay. Cloth diapers are not practical if your flight is delayed as you may not be able to carry soiled diapers in your diaper bag.
*Formula/Breast Milk/baby food – The new “squeezable” food packets are light and easy to pack in your carry on bag. Don’t forget your cheerios and teething biscuits!
*Favorite Toy & Blanket – Helpful during your entire trip.
*Bring a NEW toy – sometimes if your baby is fussy, introducing a new toy your child has never seen will help to calm and distract baby.
*TWO extra sets of clothing for your baby – and an extra set for you! There is a high chance you may need to change your baby’s clothing more than once and you might need to change your shirt. Bring a plastic bag for soiled clothing.
*Sanitizer wipes and hand sanitizer for you – there may be instances where you cannot wash your hands. Sanitizer wipes are also handy to wipe down the arm rests, window, and seat tray surrounding your baby.
What are your carry on suggestions? Comment below!