Flying with a baby can be extremely challenging. Between crying, squirming, and general baby angst, flying with a baby can be a daunting proposition for you, and sometimes for the other passengers too. But people do it every day so what’s the big secret? Preparation.
Fear not! If you take the right steps, you can limit the amount of baby angst, and make the flight relatively painless for you, for baby, and for everyone else on the plane. Air travel can be challenging for anyone, but it is a necessary part of travelling and it is often more manageable when you plan ahead. Make sure your next family trip is fun from the start with these tips.
Steps to Make Flying with a Baby Easier
Here are a few things that can make flying with a baby so much easier. None of these are guaranteed, and every baby is different, but chances are, they’ll make your flight more pleasant.
Pacifiers, Bottles Or Breastfeeding are Key
Popping ears and turbulence can be upsetting to little ones. Nonetheless there are tools that can help. Pacifiers work well to keep many babies happy. Pacifiers are even more fantastic on a plane. Sucking on a pacifier will help keep your baby’s ears from popping on takeoff and landing. So when the plane starts rolling for take off, and when the captain says it’s time to land, bust out the pacifier. OR you can also try to breast or bottle feed during take off and landing. For older babies you might wish to keep their snacks handy too. A container of Cheerio’s can help keep them chewing, or gumming food and that makes for a happier baby.
Easy Does it Diapering
This is more for your baby’s safety than anything else. Flying isn’t always smooth sailing, so if you’re on a short flight, try to get away with changing little one before you get on the plane and then only when really necessary. If you’re on a longer flight, getting in and out of the plane’s bathroom as quickly as possible is key. A quick in-and-out changing limits the possibility of hitting turbulence mid-change.
When flying with a baby, toys can be important. Depending on your baby’s age, small toys, teething rings, and picture books are great ways to keep your little guy or girl occupied while you travel the friendly skies. Remember, an occupied baby is a happy baby. And a happy baby is a good traveler – usually.
Flying with a baby means gear. That means finding a way to keep that gear where you need it. It pays to be an efficient packer. This probably means at least one adult needs to have and only baby oriented carry-on luggage, but that’s okay. Having everything you need within reach is worth it. Especially if your baby decides he or she is hungry, bored, or has an epic diaper explosion. Keep a couple of important comfort objects handy at all times too. And of course if you travel with any medicine for baby or, for yourself, it should be close at hand.
Seating is important when flying with a baby. Baby’s can be squirmy, so a row seat is ideal. That way, you don’t have to worry as much about logistics of getting in and out of seats. It also makes it easier to head to the bathroom for changes. You might even consider guaranteeing and choosing your seats before you board. It’s not uncommon these days for travellers in same family to be separated. You don’t want that.
I always call ahead or reserve and double check our seating. Even though my children are now older they need to be near me. And frankly family travel is about being together even on the plane so I drive to make that happen. The best seats for flight with baby are the ones with extra leg room. With babies under two you have a choice: buy a seat for baby and bring the car seat with you. Or hold in a sling, in your arms, or on your lap for the flight.
When you are stressed out it’s easy to snap at someone. Always do your best to be polite. This is important for flying with a baby, and equally important for flying with any child. No matter what steps you take, there’s still a possibility that your baby could wail the entire flight. When and if that happens, be polite to the people around you. Kill them with kindness. Even if they’re being jerks about your baby’s crying, still try to be polite. It goes a long way.
Politeness goes a long way when you are trapped with hundreds of strangers in an airplane. Most flight attendants are helpful in making your flight with baby successful. And many passengers are parents and grandparents so chances are they understand and might even be willing to help.
Flying with a Baby Made Easy
Okay, maybe easy is a stretch, but these tips make flying with a baby easier. With these tips, you’ll be able to limit the amount of crying (both yours and babies) and angst that can come with flying with a baby. That makes everything better for everyone!
Do you have any tips on flying with a baby? I’d love to hear them!