A couple weeks ago was William’s first airplane ride as my family headed to Ohio for my little brother’s wedding. To say I was a bit nervous to fly with a newborn is right on. Luckily, we had a direct flight lasting only an hour and a half which was perfect for my little two and a half month old baby. Here are some general tips for flying with a baby:
Travel with family (or friends… or anyone who is willing to help). While I understand this may not always be possible, if itz a choice, definitely choose to travel with people who are willing to help. Jonny and I traveled with my entire family, so there were more than enough helpers which was fantastic! Changing William’s diaper became a four-man process: my mom changed him while my grandma held his binky in his mouth and made sure it didn’t fall to the gross airport floor, I handed my mom the materials (diaper, wipes, and new outfit because of course William had a blowout right before we boarded), and my dad threw away the diaper. Now could any one of us have done it on our own? Yes, but itz much easier with teamwork!
Dress baby in a lightweight sleeper. This was my mom’s suggestion, and I’m glad I listened because there are so many germs in airports and airplanes that anything you can do to keep them off baby is important.
Pack extra clothes! I packed an extra onesie, romper, and sleeper all in the diaper bag. We ended up needing the sleeper right away, so two would not have been a bad thing. Also, someone told me to throw in an extra shirt for me in case I were to get spit up or pooped on. I ended up not needing it, but it was a good suggestion.
Get your baby to suck during take off and landing. This could mean nursing, bottle feeding, or sucking on a pacifier. I intended to nurse during takeoff, but William was sleeping, and you know what they say – never wake a sleeping baby! I did make sure he had his binky in and was sucking, just in case. I ended up nursing him mid-flight. He stayed up to play for a bit after, and then fell asleep again for landing. I believe the sucking helps with possible ear pressure/pain just like many adults chew gum.
Take your car seat and stroller. Not only does this make getting through the airport easier when you already have a large load, it also helps to keep the germs away as people are less likely to touch the baby when he’s strapped in. You do have to disassemble everything and take the baby out while going through security though. That’s the only downside. Also, if you have any hanging toys on the car seat, take them off prior to security. When they put the car seat on the belt, they turn it upside down which means that toy touches that nasty belt with who knows how many germs. You can wheel your stroller all the way to the plane. You leave it right before you get on, they take it, and then they bring it out to your as your get off at your destination. Easy peasy.
Allow more than enough time. New mommas know – nothing with a newborn is easy or fast. We got to the airport about an hour and a half early and needed every bit of it. Going through security takes longer since you do have to disassemble the stroller. And if you’re lucky and your baby poops before the plane, you’ll need to change him too. You just never know with a baby and if you have plenty of time, you can always walk the airport. After all, babies love movement and itz better to be moving before you’re sedentary throughout the flight.
Hopefully these tips will help making flying with a baby just a bit easier. After all, a happy baby makes for a happy flight!
Mommas – what would you add to the list?