When traveling with your infant for the first time, there will obviously be many questions and concerns that will come to your mind. It is obvious to think about how to ease the travel, not just for you and the baby, but also for all the other people around you on the flight when flying with a baby.
When I first decided to fly with my baby, I had a hundred things running across my mind. How will I feed my baby? What if my baby cries? How will I soothe her? How will I keep her engaged? What if people around me get annoyed when my baby cries? And, many many more questions. I also remembered the times when I used to be not so comfortable being seated around a baby on the flight. Now it was my turn to not only sit near a baby but care for her and be with her the entire flight. I was looking for guidance, suggestions, and tips on flying with a baby.
After the tickets were booked and it was very much certain that I am traveling with my little one, I did some research. I looked in for how to ease this first-time flight experience for the baby and also how to keep myself composed throughout the flight. So, based on my research and personal experience, here are some tips on flying with a baby.
If you are traveling internationally, contact your baby’s Pediatrician
If you are traveling internationally, make sure you contact your baby’s Pediatrician. The pediatrician will be able to tell if the baby needs any immunization before flying to a certain destination. Also, if your baby has any issues, and should travel only after a certain period of time.
Make sure you don’t forget your baby’s Passport- for International Travel
Yes, your little one has a passport of his or her own. And they definitely need it when they are taking an international flight. So, make sure you keep your baby’s passport when you keep yours.
Keep your Baby’s Birth Certificate handy- for Domestic Travel
Babies under two years of age don’t require a ticket, passport, ID, or any other form of identification. Some airlines do mention that they might ask for your infant’s birth certificate. So, keep it handy, just in case they request you to present it.
Book a flight coinciding with the baby’s sleep schedule
The best time to board or get into a flight is the time when your baby prefers to sleep the most or the longest. This way baby will sleep for the most part of the trip which will definitely make your trip better as well. This way you will not have to entertain your baby much and you will also get some rest. Besides this, your baby will get enough sleep and will not be fussy.
Go to the airport Early
Yes, the sooner the better. Go to the airport ahead of time. Traveling with a baby is not as simple as traveling with adults. There will be more items with you than usual. Car seat, stroller, extra luggage, hand carry, can be quite overwhelming, especially if it is your first time traveling with a baby. Your check-in process will be longer with all the baby gears. Besides this, if you arrive early, you can always request to look at your seating arrangement and if there are empty seats, request to be seated there. It is good to have empty seats, especially if your baby is traveling as a lap baby for free.
Carry your Baby and Diaper Bag
You don’t want your hands to be occupied. So, carry your baby in a baby carrier, and carry your diaper bag as well. It is better to not have a hand carry as you will be fully occupied if you will have to move around with one. This will restrict you from doing many things, so it is better to have your hands free. Imagine going through security and your hands are booked with the carry-on. Yup! That’s the situation you don’t want to be in. So, if you don’t have a baby carrier, please do plan to buy a good one.
Ease the ear pressure
It is normal for us adults to get ear pain while flying due to fluctuating air pressure. It is the same with the babies as well. The only difference is that we are used to this and know how to ease ourselves. But baby’s are not acquainted with this type of pain and they can’t even communicate this to you. All they will do is cry due to the pain. The pressure is most during take-off and landing. So, feed your baby during this time or give them a pacifier. This will help them soothe and lessen the pain.
Bring some toys to keep your baby entertained
It is not unusual for babies to be interested in any other thing than their toys, but it is a good idea to bring some toys to keep babies entertained. It is a good idea to bring some toys which are already familiar to the baby. As babies are exposed to a different and new environment, it is good to have some things which are familiar to them. It is quite a task to keep a baby entertained in a flight, so come prepared.
Dress your Baby in layers
It is best to dress your baby in layers. This way you can remove the layers if needed. It is much better than trying to change a baby’s outfit in a flight, especially if your baby is not too fond of changing outfits. Make sure your baby is comfortable in the clothing, and it is convenient for you as well to change the diaper.
Pack more than you usually need
With babies, things are very unpredictable, and no matter how much you plan, things may go the other way. So, it is better to be prepared than not. Pack extra diapers, wipes, baby formula, snacks, breastmilk, clothes, etc. You might have a poop disaster which usually doesn’t happen, or your baby might feed on more than they usually do. So, you have to plan ahead of time for things like this and pack extra of everything that your baby usually needs. Also, make a list of baby must-haves that you don’t want to forget.
Keep Calm and Focus on your Baby
The most important thing to do as a parent is to Keep Calm and focus only and only on your baby. You should care less about what others might think when your baby is fussy or crying. Your focus should be on your baby and soothing them. Traveling on a plane is a completely different experience for your baby. Remember that they are out of their comfort zone, so they may cry, get fussy, and all. You just need to make them feel better and loved.
Travel Safe and Happy with your Little One!
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