“Flying with a baby is awesome,” said no parent ever! Although these tips may not turn your little one into a jet-setter, they will definitely help prepare you and your family to fly more peacefully and get you where you’re going a little less frazzled and a little more relaxed.
No Pack Rats
Unless you are traveling to a third world country, you don’t need to pack so much that you’ll need to bring a donkey along to haul all your stuff (do as I say, not as I did on this one!). Generally speaking, bring the essentials, bring the unique items, and leave the rest at home. There will be a store willing and able to provide whatever you might need wherever you go.
Arrive Early (Not Anxious)
It’s no fun running through an airport rushing to make your flight like the McCallister family in Home Alone. Now imagine doing that with your little one (and all their stuff) in tow. Better to be a little early than starting off your trip sweaty and stressed.
According to the TSA, formula, breast milk, and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted in “reasonable quantities” through the security checkpoint. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.
Hope for the Best/Prepare for the Worst
Always, and I mean always, bring a change of clothes for your baby and an extra shirt for yourself while you’re at it. The one time I forgot to do this, I and my fellow cross-country passengers, suffered dearly.
Bring one diaper for every hour of travel. The math doesn’t lie.
Some babies are sensitive to the changing air pressure in the cabin. Drinking or sucking can help alleviate some of this pressure (and the pain) during take-off and landings.
Baby’s Got Bounce
Bring your baby carrier on board. You might not mind holding your baby to bounce in the back of the plane if you’re crossing a single state – not so much when you’re crossing all of them. You (and your back) will be happy you have it.
I’m the crazy mom on the plane wiping down every square inch my children will be touching. You will be fine if you don’t do this, but planes aren’t cleaned nearly as often as you’d think they should or want them to be. Germs abound, and a quick wipe of your area may be well worth a few off-putting looks from your neighbors.
Red Eye, No More
Don’t book a flight just because you think it’s when your baby will sleep (i.e. the red eye). Busy airports and planes are stimulating environments and can throw off your baby’s rhythms. Book the flight that works best for you, and if you baby sleeps, great! If he doesn’t, not so great, but you’re (hopefully) headed somewhere awesome and you will be okay!