Planning on traveling with a little one soon? Here are some hot tips to make take off, landing and everything in between a smooth ride.
Listen, I get it. Flying with a baby sounds like trying to get a tooth pulled without novocaine. Let’s not forget all of the stories we hear about parents getting shamed for having a crying baby and we all want to avoid that situation at all costs. But here’s the thing. You can prepare as much as you want and your baby will still cry. Do yourself a favor and let that shit go. You’ll survive much easier if you stop giving AF about your baby crying and what other people think.
Now that we got that out of the way, lets get into my favorite tips to try and survive a flight with a baby.
1. Fly with your car seat
If you can swing it, I highly recommend booking an extra seat and flying with their car seat. Not only is it the safest way to fly with an infant, it also protects your car seat. Checked car seats have been known to be thrown around like luggage therefore causing minute damage that compromises the safety of your car seat. It has been shown that the tossing around done by agents can sometimes be similar to that of a fender bender or similar accident (in which most car seat manufacturers require you to replace your seat).
Another benefit of having that extra seat is you have a place to safely put baby so you can have your hands free while also giving them a place to play safely (and less likely to have an unfriendly neighbor judging your choice to fly with your family LOL). My introverted self hates sitting next to people I don’t know.
My favorite car seat for traveling (linked here) is one that makes flying a breeze. It’s an investment but SO worth it if you plan to travel often with an infant. Its FAA approved and removes the need for an additional stroller.
2. Pack Snacks- for you and baby
The last thing we want is a hangry mom, (or dad!) and baby. Be sure to pack lot of snacks for yourself and baby. If your little isn’t eating solids yet, be sure to have a bottle or boob at the ready, especially for take off and landing. The suckling action can help relieve your little’s ears from the changes in pressure. For older kiddos, gummy snacks are wonderful at helping relieve the pressure in their little ears.
Airports all allow you to bring bottles of formula or breastmilk. They usually test a small sample of it or swipe your hands during security checkpoints, but you should have no issues bringing food for baby.
If you’re nursing or pumping, or just need a quiet space to sit with baby for a moment Mamava has Lactation Suites at many of the airports around the US. Download the app and you’ll have quick access to a nice, quiet area to pump or breastfeed.
3. Bring the toys
When flying with a baby, you may find it’s hard to keep those little hands busy. Try packing new, never seen toys, or favorite toys that you know will be a hit. Another tip, ask the attendant for extra cups. We all know that we spend hundreds on the fancy toys that are guaranteed to bring hours of fun, for them to play with the box. All three of my boys have had the most fun with airline cups on the tray while flying. They loved knocking down the stack and chewing on them as well as watching you put things in it and then dumping them out. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that work the best.
4. Stay calm
I know this one is easier said than done, but trust me. A calm mama (or papa), makes for a calm(er) baby. You can prepare all you want and still have an infant that loses its shit while flying. Thats a fact of life. Babies cry. Long gone are the days of kiddos should be seen and not heard. Sure, you can do your best but ultimately, if your baby is upset or needs something, she will cry and THAT IS OK. Walk the aisles if you need to. Tag another passenger or partner in to help if you need a moment. Many flight attendants are eager to help warm a bottle etc.
I hope this helps you feel more prepared to fly! Enjoy your travels!