6 Tips for a Successful First Flight with Baby

Image via Flickr/ Janet McKnight

Flying with your baby can be both stressful and exciting. While you may be worried about keeping baby calm and happy, you’re also probably excited about showing your baby the clouds and about the fun you’ll have wherever your destination may be. Check out the tips below to help you and baby stay happy and relaxed on their very first flight. 

1. Pack light

While packing light may seem impossible with a little one, do your best to minimize what you’re bringing along so that your hands remain free. Check in with your host to see what sort of baby gear they may have on hand (an extra stroller? A crib you can reserve?) and think about shipping things like diapers, formula or baby food directly from an online retailer to your destination to avoid packing them in your suitcase. 

2. Arrive early

While you may have been fine cutting it close at the airport before baby, plan to give yourself extra time now that you have a baby in tow. While they may not slow you down by much, moving through security may take a bit longer and, if you’re bringing a stroller you’ll likely be spending some extra time locating elevators as opposed to stairs and escalators.

3. Fly at the right time 

As much as possible, do your best to keep baby’s schedule in mind when you book your flight. Many parents find that it’s easiest to fly with your baby when they’re naturally sleepy so looking for flights that overlap with baby’s regular nap time can be helpful.  

{ MORE: Flying with a Baby: Advice from a Real Mom }

4. Bring along an extra set of hands

While it’s totally doable to fly on your own with your baby it can be much easier if you have someone who can come along for the ride. Even if they just end up holding your baby while you run to the restroom or purchase snacks or drinks in the terminal, having someone you can count on can make a big difference.

5. Keep your expectations in check

Airports are big, loud, crowded places. No matter how calm and easy-going your baby is you should recognize that this new experience may be a little nerve-wracking for them. If your baby seems a little more fussy or clingy than usual during your travels, give them an extra hug and don’t stress about other people’s reactions.

6. Snacks, snacks, snacks

A full baby is a happy baby. Avoid your little one getting overly hungry (and cranky) on your travels by bringing along whatever it is they like to eat. If they’re nursing, offer your breast more than usual. If their eating solids consider bringing along a few of their favorites to help they stay full and happy throughout. 

{ MORE: 4 Tips for Flying While Pregnant }

Good luck!

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6 Tips for a Successful First Flight with Baby

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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