Whether your baby is a few weeks old or several months old, when you realize that you’re about to go on Baby’s First Plane Trip you might get a little nervous. What if the baby gets hungry? What if she cries and the other passengers are rude about it? Am I supposed to take the car seat?
Don’t worry – parents fly out of Colorado airports with little ones every day and you can do it too if you know what to expect. Here are five tips on flying with an infant to help you have a smooth ride.
1. Feed your baby during takeoff and landing.
Your baby may experience ear discomfort from the pressure that occurs during takeoff and landing. Offering the breast or bottle will help them swallow and pop their ears, to minimize fussing.
2. Babywear through security.
While you and your belongings are going through the X-ray process, consider wearing your baby in a sling or soft-structured carrier. You will have your hands free to remove your shoes and coat, and you will eliminate any anxiety around passing your baby through separately. Easy-peasy!
3. Check your car seat manual.
Both the FAA and the AAP recommend the use of infant car seats for babies traveling on planes, so that settles that question. However, not every car seat is approved for air travel, so save yourself some hassle by checking ahead of time to ensure your baby’s safety.
4. Find out ahead of time what luggage has to be checked.
These days it feels like you can’t take a baby somewhere without bringing your entire house with you, but that doesn’t work so well on a plane. Call the airline ahead of time to find out what size diaper bag you can bring along, and if you have to pay fees to check your stroller, breast pump, etc. If you’re going to visit relatives, consider asking them to have bulky items on hand for you such as wipes, blankets, and a playpen so you aren’t too loaded down.
5. Consider getting a window seat.
Sure, it’s a little more difficult to get in and out if the plane is full, but if you have any anxiety around the possibility of disturbing other passengers this strategy might help you a little. Your baby won’t be able to flail about and accidentally kick your seatmates – or people walking down the aisle – and they might be distracted for a while by the view out the window.
Flying with a baby is a bit less convenient and luggage-heavy than going solo, but by getting your ducks in a row ahead of time you will save time and potentially expensive surprises.
Are you nervous about pumping during travel or flying with breast milk? Check out this helpful guide to pumping on a plane.