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Top Tips for Flying with a Baby

September 15, 2022

Traveling can be stressful on its own. Add in a baby or a toddler and the day might seem like a bit of a nightmare. But, with a little bit of preparation (and maybe a little wine for mom and dad), flying with a baby or toddler can be doable. We've compiled a list of our top tips for flying with a baby. Follow these guidelines and your flight will go smoothly, even with a little one in tow!

Can You Fly While Pregnant?

First off, let's address the age-old question: can you fly when pregnant? The answer is... maybe. Every pregnancy is different and each woman's body will react to flying differently. If you have a relatively normal and low-risk pregnancy, flying should pose no problem. However, if you are pregnant with twins or have a history of miscarriages, your doctor may advise against flying. It's always best to check with your doctor before booking a flight to ensure that flying is safe for you and your baby.

25 Tips for Flying with a Baby

Preparing for the Flight

1. Request a bulkhead seat (seats that are directly behind the bulkheads—or walls—separating the cabin sections in a plane). This will give you extra leg room and a place to store the diaper bag and other baby gear.

2. Check with the airline in advance to see if they have any special requirements for flying with a baby. Some airlines require that you purchase a ticket for your baby, even if they will be sitting on your lap.

3. Call the airport ahead of time to find out if they have family-friendly amenities like changing tables and strollers. This will help you make your trip more comfortable and stress-free.

4. Dress your baby in comfortable clothing that won't irritate their skin during the flight. It's also a good idea to dress them in layers so that you can adjust their clothing if the temperature on the plane changes.

5. Pack plenty of diapers, wipes, and snacks for both you and your baby. It's always better to have too much than not enough!

6. Don't forget to pack a favorite toy or blanket for your baby to cuddle with during the flight. This will help them feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment.

7. If your baby is formula-fed, bring along enough bottles for the entire flight. It's always better to have too many than not enough!

8. Try to book a direct flight or a flight with a longer layover. This will give you more time to get off the plane and stretch your legs. Plus, you can make sure Baby gets a diaper change and a feeding before the next leg.

9. If you have a longer layover, consider bringing along a portable crib or playpen. This will give your baby a place to sleep or play while you wait for your next flight.

10. When packing your carry-on bag, make sure to put all of your baby's essential items in there (as opposed to stowed away in your checked luggage). This includes diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, and snacks.

11. Dress yourself (and Baby) in layers. The temperature on the plane can fluctuate, so it’s best to be prepared.

12. Bring along a change of clothes for yourself and your baby, just in case there are any accidents.

Before the Flight

13. Make sure you (both) go to the restroom before the flight. This will save you having to get up and down during the flight with a baby in your arms.

14. Take advantage of boarding before the general public. This will give you more time to get settled with your baby before everyone else gets on the flight.

15. Consider buying a separate seat for your child, even if they're an infant. This will give you more room and make it easier to care for your child during the flight.

16. If you have a stroller, check with the airline to see if you can gate check it. This will save you from having to carry it through the airport.

17. An empty sippy cup can be a lifesaver on a long flight. Fill it up with water or juice before boarding and let your baby sip on it during the flight. This will help them stay hydrated and avoid ear pain.

During the Flight

18. Flying can be dehydrating, so make sure to drink plenty of water (and make sure your baby is hydrated too) during the flight.

19. If your baby is breastfed, try to time their feedings so that they eat right before takeoff and right as the plane is landing. This will help reduce the risk of ear pain.

20. Be sensitive to your baby's ear pain. If they're crying and rubbing their ears, try to soothe them with a pacifier or bottle.

21. Keep your baby buckled up during the flight. If they're sitting on your lap, make sure to use the seat belt extender to secure them.

22. Use a baby carrier or wrap to keep your hands free while on the plane. This will allow you to eat, drink, and use the restroom without having to ask for someone to watch your baby.

23. If your baby starts to cry, try not to get too frazzled. Take a few deep breaths and remember that everyone on the plane is probably a parent too. They understand!

24. If your baby gets fussy during the flight, try walking up and down the aisle with them. This will help them stay calm and hopefully fall asleep.

25. Don't be afraid to ask for help from the flight attendants. They are there to assist you and make your flight as comfortable as possible.

Flying With a Baby During Covid

Flying with a baby may already seem stressful on its own. But with the added concerns of Covid-19, it may seem downright impossible. However, there are some steps you can take to make the experience safer for both you and your child.

1. Make sure you and your child are healthy before flying. If either of you has any symptoms of Covid-19, postpone your trip.

2. Regardless of whether it’s an actual requirement, get tested for Covid-19 before your flight. If you test positive, stay home and rest until you feel better to tracel.

3. Wear a face mask while at the airport and on the plane.

4. Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer. Make sure you keep Baby’s hands clean and sanitized, too!

6. Try to avoid touching surfaces as much as possible. If you do have to touch something, clean it off with disinfecting wipes before you do.

Flying with a baby can be daunting, but if you prepare ahead of time and pack the right items, it will (hopefully) be a breeze! Safe travels.

Author Bio

Madelyn Harris

Hailing from Southern California, copywriter Madelyn Harris has lived and worked in a number of domestic and international locations. Her favorite spots include Hoi An, Vietnam and Napier, New Zealand. She’s a big fan of Jeopardy, hot yoga, and the Oxford comma.