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The best tips for flying with Baby

  • June 26th 2014, 10pm
  • by Gabi
  • comments: 0

Flying with baby for the first time can be an intimidating thought, but in most cases it’s much less uncomfortable than expected. For most of us it’s a reality we most likely face in the first year of our baby’s life.  For me the hardest time was not when my daughter was a baby but rather a small toddler from 18 to about 24 month. After that our friend the iPad took care of the entertainment program during the flight.

If you travel with a baby or small child, here are a few tips:

Before the flight: 

  • Check airline policy regarding bassinets (age, weight limits)
  • Check if you can reserve a bulk head seat and bassinet at time of booking or only at check-in?
  • If the plane has rows of 3 seats, book an isle and a window seat – if the flight is not full airlines will block middle seat. Otherwise you can always switch seats. Who would want to sit between two parents after all?
  • Try to book a flight that corresponds with the sleep schedule of your baby (regular bed or nap time should be about 1 hour after take-off)

Preparation: 

  • Pack your diaper bag with:
    • sufficient diapers
    • bottles (milk is allowed to bring through TSA control or bring formula)
    • a small bag with just diapers, mat and wipes in the pocket in front of you, so you don’t have to take the big diaper bag in the tiny bathroom
    • Change of clothes for baby
    • Change of clothes for you (at least a top!)
    • Baby Food (check with airlines, LH always has jars on board)
  • If you bought an extra seat for baby:
    • Bring along your car seat for safest travel (check if FAA approved)

Airport: 

  • Some airlines let you skip the check-in and security queue with babies (look helpless :-)
  • Wear shoes you can just slip on or off
  • Practice folding your stroller or instruct someone. TSA personnel is not allowed to hold your baby!
  • Bring stroller with you to the gate
  • Take your baby carrier with you to have your hands free (you need to take it off through security though!)
  • Airlines allow families with small children to board first. I recommend early boarding with small babies, but consider to board last with more mobile kids (you are stuck in that small space long enough)
  • Do one last diaper change before boarding

Take off: 

  • US airlines: you just hold the baby on your lap
  • International airlines: you will be given an extra belt loop for baby for take-off & landing
  • Make sure your baby will feed during take-off and landing (bottle or breast). This will help with the pressure to their ears.

On board: 

  • Bassinet is the best option, if your baby still fits
  • Take your own set of blankets or a sleep sack (instead of the airline blanket)
  • Walk you baby up and down the aisles in your carrier to help fall asleep
  • Don’t be shy to ask for help when flying alone (flight attendants and/or seat neighbors). They can hold your baby while you go to the toilet for example – no way to go anywhere :-)

Have a safe trip and feel free to add some tips to the comments below. 

 

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