Flying with a Baby: Advice from a Real Mom

“What do we need to know if we are planning on flying with a baby?” That is the question many parents are wondering before their first flight with a little one. What can we do to make getting through the airport easier? What can we do to make the flight easier on the baby, or us, or the other passengers? We've done quite a bit of traveling with our little guy. Check out my advice below!

Image via Flickr/ Dan Harrelson

1. Wear your baby in the airport. Security will send you and baby through the metal detector and will not make you remove your baby. 

2. Ask when you check in/drop bags if the flight is full. If it's not, bring on your car seat. They'll let you! If it's full, we gate check our car seat to try to decrease damage to it. But the last couple of times we have not flown with a stroller. The car seat is heavy, so this is a personal choice. 

3. Our diaper bag is a Camelbak backpack we've converted to this purpose. A baby on your front and a diaper bag on your back means free hands!

4. Pack favorite toys, new toys, a change of clothes, and some food (if your baby is eating solids). You'll probably need some distractions!

5. If you didn't want to bring your car seat on board and the flight isn't full, sit in the window and aisle seats. It's unlikely someone will sit next to a baby if they don't have to. 

6. Bring Clorox wipes and wipe down the seat in front of you. Wipe down the tray table, arm rests, belt, and head rest immediately. Have your husband watch the baby or give the baby something to play with while you do this.  

{ MORE: 4 Tips for Flying While Pregnant }

7. Feed your baby breast milk or a bottle during takeoff and landing to help with ears popping. If at all possible, try to time your flight with a nap so that your baby will eat and then fall asleep in your arms. Make sure you're comfy as you can get first! 

8. Bring your baby's pacifier if your baby will take one. This will help with ear popping if for some reason baby won't eat. And it also helps with any fussy moments! 

9. Get up and walk down the aisle if you need to! The flight attendants will also let you hang in the back for a bit and are usually very sweet to moms and babies. 

10. On our last flight, our boy decided he didn't want to sleep so we entertained him but feeding him a bunch of solids that I brought on the plane. It used up some flight time! 

11. Bust out toys, read books, play peek-a-boo, do what you have to do to entertain! Our son just so happened to fall in love with my plastic water cup and was entertained for a long while with it.

12. Don't worry about what other people think! If your baby cries a bit, whatever, it's a baby. Your fellow passengers will understand/get over it, and the bonus is you're not likely to see any of them ever again! 

{ MORE: 4 Unexpected Things That Can Happen at Birth }

Good luck, and have fun! 

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Do you have any other advice for flying with a baby? Tell us in the comments!

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Flying with a Baby: Advice from a Real Mom

I have a constant craving for adventure and love to pack as much fun into life as I can. Becoming a mom to one sweet boy has caused me to slow down - a little, and provided me with a wonderful new way to find joy in life. I try my darndest to soak it all in, as I have already found life to move a lot quicker since welcoming this little hunk of love into it. I am married to an amazing man, and I'm still trying to figure out how to embrace the changes in our relationship that have come with new pa ... More

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