Traveling with a baby on an airplane may seem daunting. It is already overwhelming enough to pack and get everything organized for your own travels. Adding a baby to the equation changes it all, especially now given everything going on in the world! Here are my tips for a peace of mind before, during, and after your trip!
Make Sure Your Flight Times Are In Line with Your Sleep and Bed times
Always consider the nap and bed times of your baby when booking flights. This is important for so many reasons. One is to make sure your baby is in a good mood during and after the flight. The other is to make sure you do not change your schedule around too much, and if you are taking an international flight, this is one way to avoid being jetlagged. You may not find the perfect flight times, but you can try! It will be worth it!
Go First Class If You Can Afford It; Put Those Airline Points to Use
Go first class if you can afford it! No question, that will make everything so much easier. You will have more space, more attention, and more everything. Even though flights and service during flights have changed due to COVID, you will still have more space and it will be all worth it. Put those airline and credit card points to use. What are you saving them for anyway?
Make Sure You Have a Ticket, Passport/ID for Your Baby
Yes, you need a plane ticket for your baby! You cannot hide the baby. Important to let the airlines know in advance, and get a ticket (paid or not based on the age of the baby.) And make sure you request a bassinet and reserve your seats in advance! You also need identification for the baby. What if you are taking someone else’s baby on a trip? How would TSA know the truth? They need proof that the baby is in fact yours. Yup. Getting a passport for a baby can take a long time given COVID. I would make sure you apply in advance and always request rush service if there is an option to do so.
Remember You Can Only Take One Carry-On and One Bag for the Baby
Most airlines will allow you to take a bag for the baby in addition to your carry-on. You should always call the airline and double-check but this is pretty standard. I would make sure you have the following in your bag:
- Face Masks (Put a few in every bag and also stroller)
- Portable or disposable diaper change pad(s)
- Wipes and I mean lots of wipes
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes both for you and baby
- Soft, plush toys that are not musical (to not bother fellow travelers)
- Extra onesies. If you are taking two-pieces for the baby, make sure you have socks as it may get cool on the plane.
- Formula powder or ready-made bottles (or breast milk)
- Organic pre-packaged baby food for emergencies
- Bottled water once you pass through security or prior, since most airports let you take water in your bag if you have a baby.
- Infant’s Tylenol (this is a must)
- Children’s Benadryl (in case of an allergy attack on the plane and with permission from your pediatrician.)
- Toiletry Kit for the baby (lotion and shampoo)
- Aquaphor (you cannot find this everywhere you go, especially if you are traveling internationally.)
- Pacifier (I would take a few and put it in different bags in case you lose one.)
- Pacifier Clip (you definitely need this going through airports.)
- Travel stroller (This is key! Make sure to get one with lots of storage. Sorry it really doesn’t make sense to take your UppaBaby Vista on the plane!)
- Soft baby carrier (We put this in our carry-on)
- Sheets for the crib at the hotel or rental (yes hotels give you sheets, but if you are a clean freak like me, you take your own sheets.)
- Silicone placemat to use on the plane or elsewhere
- Silicone bowl with suction and utensils
- One extra t-shirt or outfit for mom and dad (this can also go on your carry-on)
- Light swaddle blankets
- Ziploc or dirty diaper bags
- Silicone baby bibs
Before and During Flight
Right before the flight, make sure you change your baby’s diaper, and that you make a full bottle of formula that is ready to go. As soon as you get on the plane, wipe everything down with sanitizing wipes. You will be amazed at what your baby will try to eat on the plane. Everything from the armrest to the remote control. During takeoff and landing, make sure your baby is eating or has a pacifier in mouth. If you are bottle-feeding, make sure your baby is upright while eating. The air pressure may cause the baby’s ears to pop so you want to do everything you can to prevent that.
Stay Calm and Stress-Free
Remember that you will not be the first parents to travel with a baby. Everyone goes through this stress. The best you can do is to be prepared. Don’t argue with your partner over little things that may stress you out. Baby will feel your stress too and act up. And lastly, do not worry about what other people will think if your baby cries on the plane. Try to soothe the baby as much as you can, and make sure the baby has a clean diaper and is fed and is occupied, but that is about all you can do. You probably will never run into those people again, so stop worrying, and try to take pictures of your trip with the baby, and as a family, and enjoy the moment!
Did I miss anything from my list? What are some tips that you have for traveling with babies?