Flying with Baby: A Go-To Guide for a Smooth Flight
Sigh. We have all been there at one point. Before we even board the plane, we scan through the audience, hoping that we don’t wind up sitting next to that precious little baby turned mad inside a confined airplane, unless of course, we are the one holding that precious little baby… Traveling with infants is a stressful situation, and with the holidays approaching, a flight may be inevitable. So, how can you make it more bearable?
Here is some advice for a smooth flight when flying with baby:
- Try to nab a flight that fits in line with your daily routine. If you can get a flight that aligns closely with your baby’s nap-time, book it!
- Conversely, break routine, just ever so slightly.
- Allow less time for naps prior to the flight. If they have to nap before, make it a short one so that they will be sleepy on the plane.
- Feed your baby less prior to flight time. Not only will this keep your little one busy for awhile (hopefully resulting in a peaceful slumber), but swallowing during a flight (especially during take-off and landing) really helps keep popped ears at bay. Consider packing a Boon Snack Ball which doubles as a toy and container or the fun and healthy fresh food feeder named The Nibbler. Even when it’s not feeding time, something for them to suck on so that they do swallow throughout the flight will help those precious little ears tremendously.
- Choose your seat. If you call the airline ahead of time, you may be able to request a seat with a bassinet. It will make traveling with your little one much easier. Also, grabbing an aisle seat might be best as you may want to get up often and walk with baby. On the other hand, grabbing a window seat might be the better option if you plan to breast feed and would like some privacy. *Check with your airline prior to the flight as policy regarding breast feeding on the plane differs by airline. If you get a written form of approval before the flight, bring it with you in case a flight attendant/passenger raises concern. Another basic rule-of-thumb, wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to breastfeed discreetly and bring along a blanket/breastfeeding cover.
- Toys galore. Bring new toys and fun activities for them to play with on the plane. The more sensory options to keep them occupied, the better.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you are flying alone. Most flight attendants will be more than happy to help minimize the burden by grabbing some water for formula, setting up the changing table in the restroom, holding your baby while you use the restroom, etc.
- Worried about their safety? Check out the Baby B’Air Flight Vest.
- If your budget allows for it, paying for an extra seat might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Most airlines require that you to pay for a seat if your child is two or older, but having space for baby to kick around and play with toys might be the best splurge you ever indulged in. Can’t afford the luxury? If you are traveling with your spouse/partner/a friend, make sure you’re sitting next to them so that you have a little extra room to move around.
- Don’t forget about Big Bro and/or Big Sis. If baby is just a portion of your family, it can be overwhelming and downright near impossible to maintain control of your kiddos. Make sure to bring lots of quiet activities for them to work on, plenty of snacks for them to munch on, and maybe a pillow for them to kick instead of the seat in front of them. Divide and conquer if traveling with your spouse so you can keep an eye on the crew. And don’t underestimate the power of praise and a wings badge!
- And lastly, take a deep breath and forget the stress. Babies get fussy and cry. It’s a simple fact of life. In fact, more than most of your fellow passengers are sympathizing with you. Stay calm and don’t worry about a couple icy glares shot your way; you’ve got enough to deal with as it is.
Did you find these tips helpful? What worked for you to have a smooth flight? Spill your secrets here!