10 Great Tips for Flying With a Baby

July 30, 2015

These 10 tips will help you prepare for your baby's first flight!

Are you worried about your baby's first plane ride? Whether you're visiting relatives or taking the vacation of a lifetime, planning ahead is the key when flying with a baby.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your big trip:


  1. Check in With Your Baby's Pediatrician Beforehand
    Before you plan a trip, you should check in with your baby's pediatrician to make sure that your little one is healthy enough to fly. You should also take this time to refill any and all prescriptions. While you're at the office, you can even ask if your baby's pediatrician has a handout about flying with a baby.
  2. Book a Window Seat
    You and your little one will enjoy the sights out the window. And, more importantly, you can control the level of light on your napping baby's face by closing the window shutter.
  3. Bring All the Essentials
    You should "always bring a pacifier, a favorite toy, a blanket and food" says Chelsea Johnson, the blogger behind Life With My Littles.
  4. Pack Double What You Think You'll Need
    "Make sure you have enough diapers, food, formula, snacks and changes of clothes to last double your travel time in case of delays," says Corinne McDermott, the founder of Have Baby Will Travel. To make sure you have everything that you need, you should check your luggage and use an extra duffle bag for your baby's stuff. If your little one is traveling as a lap baby, you can check her car seat as luggage, too.
  5. Bring a Change of Clothes for Yourself
    Babies are unpredictable. Your bundle of joy might get sick or have an accident during the flight, and your outfit might be tarnished in the process.
  6. Nurse or Use a Pacifier During Takeoff and Landing
    You should nurse or feed your baby a bottle when the plane takes off and lands. If it's not feeding time, "the pacifier is super important during takeoff and landing," says Johnson. Just as chewing gum helps your ears pop during a flight, sucking on a pacifier will help your little one with the pressure change that accompanies takeoff and landing.
  7. Use a Baby Carrier in the Airport
    "Something that is super helpful is to bring a chest carrier to walk around the airport," says Johnson. "It helps you have your hands free and your baby close, and you don't have to check anything or worry about extra luggage."
  8. Gate Check Your Umbrella Stroller
    An umbrella stroller is great for the airport. To make things easier for yourself, you can gate check your stroller. That way, it will be waiting for you when you step off the plane.
  9. Plan Around Your Baby's Sleep and Feeding Schedules
    Whenever possible, you should time your flight with your baby's nap time in mind, and keep sleep and feeding schedules the same as at home. Running to catch your connecting flight with a hungry, cranky baby is no fun.
  10. Pack Books and Toys in Your Carry-on Bag
    A bored baby is a cranky baby. You should always bring along some of your little one's favorite books and toys. It's easier to pull out all the stops when needed with a few extra props.

"There's typically little to no help available for parents with infants on most flights," says McDermott. "Although there are a few magical airlines in the Middle East that offer in-flight nannies, the best that parents on North American carriers can hope for is family pre-boarding and the privilege of sitting together without an additional fee." Planning ahead will save the day when you're flying with an infant.

Traveling with older kiddos? Check out these 10 Tips for Traveling With Kids.

Sandy Wallace is a seasoned traveler whose little ones enjoyed cross-country flights to visit family. Sandy enjoys family life and sharing tips for busy families.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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