It’s time for baby’s first plane ride! I’m sure you’re excited and also anxious. Don’t fret, flying with a newborn isn’t as hard as it might seem. Just like at home, they mostly want to be fed, rocked and sleep. Thankfully, you can easily do all of those from an airline seat. Following, check out these tips for flying with a new baby.
By the time my baby boy was 7 months he had been on 8 flights. 4 of those flights it was just he and I. Here is what I learned:
Flying with a young baby can be cheap. Infants under 2 travel free if they are on your lap. You do need to register them with the airline so after you book your ticket give a call and have your little bub added to your reservation. Tell them you are flying with a lap baby. If you are getting your little one his own seat with the intent of putting him in a car seat inflight, he’ll need a window seat. Call the airline reservation desk to ensure you can get him in a window and you in the middle seat. When you make your reservation you can also ask for a bassinet seat, not all but many planes have a bassinet option for infants. This is particularly helpful on long (5+ hour) flights.
Getting to the airport
Get there early. The last thing you want, when flying with a newborn baby, is to be stressed about getting through security while your baby is crying. Get there early and then just breathe and take your time.
Strollers and car seats
When traveling with a baby, you will need a stroller, you may need a car seat. Most airlines will check your car seat and stroller for free either at check-in or at the gate. Most rental car companies will rent you a car seat, they are safe and the fewer things you need to lug through the airport the better. Having said that if you can get a car seat stroller combo go with that. We used the Zen yoyo with the car seat attachment. Sometimes Baby Boy would have his own seat and sometimes he wouldn’t. We he did I would just fold down the stroller and put it in the overhead bin and put the car seat in the window seat. If we didn’t I would fold everything down put it into a stroller bag and check it at the gate.
When traveling with a newborn, wear your carrier. You can choose to carry or stroll your baby through the airport. I recommend strolling so that you can hang your bags on the stroller. Believe it or not, you can push a stroller and pull a suitcase on with just two hands if you chose to. Once you’re inflight even if your little bub has his own seat he is going to want to be held. Simply holding him will be exhausting. Sitting with him in the carrier is more than doable and frees up your hands so you can read or eat or maybe even use your computer. It’s also very helpful if you need to use the restroom. You can pee, with your baby in the carrier and not need leave him with someone. It’s feat but it can be done. Having said that, flight attendants do seem to love to hold our little ones.
Check it. You can manage pushing a baby in a stroller and dragging a carry on. It’s just not fun. So if you are traveling with a baby and you can, check your luggage.
Our little ones can’t “pop their ears”, feeding helps. Plan to nurse or bottle feed during take-off and landing.
When flying with your baby, bring his favorite toys to distract him. Keep them in your bag and put them in the seat pocket once you’re situated. You won’t want to fish for them once you need them.
There are 1000 other things you could bring. One thing I found very helpful was an inflatable breast feeding pillow. Deflated it fits easily in the diaper bag and inflated it serves as a make shift bed when your little one is tired of being in the carrier.
The Kindness of Strangers
Rely on the kindness of strangers. People will want to help. Whether you are traveling alone or with someone people will go out of their way to help you. Let them.
Flying with your baby for the first time, feels daunting but it’s very doable. If you give yourself plenty of time and follow the above tips you and baby will be just fine.