Flying with a baby doesn’t have to be a nightmare! With some planning and patience, it can become a special part of the journey.
1. Call and talk to an airline agent
Not all airlines are equal when it comes to baggage allowance on the plane. Some may allow a carry-on, a personal AND a diaper bag, while others will not. If you’re not 100% loyal to any certain airlines, you may not be familiar with what you can carry on board. Airline websites aren’t always clear and direct, calling the airline ahead of time and speaking to customer service will clear anything up! You can find out what bags you’re allowed and whether there is a charge for bringing a car seat or stroller.
Worst case scenario, you bring too many bags and end up paying to check something small like a personal item. Really silly, but not the end of the world.
2. Bring a stroller or baby carrier
Bringing both can be a real asset, especially if you have a layover! The stroller is helpful because you can use it to carry some of the load. There are 6-inch carabiner hooks that work like magic. Just hook the handle of your suitcase to the handle of the stroller and voila, the stroller pulls the suitcase for you! The hooks are sold in the baby section at many stores and probably available online.
Some airports are huuuuuuge! Imagine trying to juggle – a suitcase, a baby and another bag or two – from one end of the airport to the other, sounds like a hot mess. This is exactly where and why strollers come in handy when flying!
A baby carrier also does the trick by freeing up both hands, so you can easily push, pull, rappel or whatever it is you need to do to get you, the baby and your bags to your next gate.
Bringing both a car seat and stroller, is extra helpful because you are required to drop the stroller at the end of the jet bridge and then carry the luggage and baby on board. If you put the child in the carrier ahead of time, like while you are waiting to board, the transition to finding your seat will be much smoother.
3. Baby Bottles are allowed
No worries, regulations are pretty strict about carrying liquids on board a plane, but baby bottles with liquid are allowed. At the security checkpoint, you will be pulled aside and then they will check all of the liquids.
Sometimes this can be a lengthy process, but it is much easier than dealing with a hungry baby. Just be sure to plan accordingly and give yourself enough to time! Being patient and planning ahead is the key.
4. Always have a bottle ready
It is the quickest way to quiet a fussy baby. A pacifier will often do the trick, as well. Whether you are waiting in line at security or experiencing some unexpected turbulence – when the baby gets upset, you need the quickest possible solution.
On the plane, just like our ears plug and pop, our child’s ears hurt too. The problem is, babies don’t know how to fix it. As adults, we automatically swallow and relieve the pressure. So remember if your ears are popping, so are theirs! Give them a bottle or pacifier and they should be feeling better.
Pacifier clips are a lifesaver when traveling. That way, you cut out the fumbling around, digging in pockets trying to find a pacifier. Who wants to lose a pacifier in the middle of the airport. Instead, if it’s right there, clipped to their shirt, you can be more at ease. The baby can even grab the pacifier and pop it in their own mouth, just perfect!
5. You may need a car seat
If you purchase a plane ticket for your child, they will get their own seat and you are allowed to bring the car seat on board for the child to sit in for the duration of the flight. If you purchase a lap child ticket, then it is expected that the child will ride on your lap during the flight.
6. Bring Baby’s Birth Certificate
It is recommended to carry your child’s birth certificate with you on domestic flights, in case you need to verify your child’s age. If you’re flying international, a passport is required! Don’t forget it!
And there you have it! As you get more experience on the plane with your baby, you will learn little tips and tricks to make it an even smoother flight.