Flying with an infant can be both exciting and daunting for new parents. I would know, my daughter flew more in her first year than I had in my first 20 years. As you prepare for your upcoming adventure, rest assured that with a little planning and the right strategies, you can take the stress out of it and enjoy your trip.
Here are 10 tips for flying with your infant:
Book the right flight:
Whenever possible, opt for a direct flight to reduce travel time and minimize disruptions for your baby, especially if a direct flight is less than 4 hours. Layovers can be exhausting but sometimes necessary on those long-haul flights.
Timing is everything:
Select a flight time that aligns with your baby’s schedule. Consider booking a flight during nap time to increase the chances of your infant sleeping through a significant portion of the journey. A well-rested baby is a happier traveler. Booking an earlier flight will also allow for plenty of daytime to adjust to your new location and give you ample time to get ready for bedtime. Let’s not forget about those unexpected flight delays.
Whether you use breastmilk or formula, ensure you have an adequate supply for the flight. Feeding your baby during takeoff and landing is always helpful since it can help ease ear pressure discomfort. Bring extra snacks and meal pouches for older infants who have started solids.
Pack everything in your carry-on:
Your carry-on bag and/or diaper bag should contain all the essentials. Plan for the worst *cough cough*- lost bags. Include diapers, wipes, a changing pad, extra baby clothes, clothes for you and everyone else traveling, and any necessary medications. Don’t forget your baby’s favorite toys or pacifiers to keep them entertained during the flight. A handy portable sound machine is also great to have on hand during those flight naps. For more travel must-haves, be sure to grab this free travel checklist.
Use a stroller:
Navigating the airport with a stroller can be challenging but sometimes necessary. Some airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, allow families to use the special assistance line at security to bypass those long TSA lines. You know what I mean if you have flown out of Atlanta.
If strollers are not your thing then you can use a baby carrier or wrap and see if they will let you go through the special line. Some are nice and they will let you go through. Many airline carriers also allow you to wear your baby in a carrier during the flight (except takeoff and landing), which can help with those naps during the flight.
Secure a bassinet seat:
If you’re flying long-haul, consider reserving a bassinet seat in advance. These seats have special bassinet attachments where your baby can sleep comfortably, giving you some well-deserved rest as well. They are limited so be sure to call and reserve one ASAP.
Board early or late:
Choose the boarding option that suits your baby’s temperament. Some parents prefer to board early to settle in, while others find it easier to board late to minimize the time spent on the plane. Evaluate your baby’s needs and your own comfort level. I, personally, boarded the plane early when I had infants to ensure my carry-on bag made it on the plane.
Be courteous to fellow passengers:
Don’t be the topic of the next viral TikTok. Traveling with an infant can be a breeze when you’re considerate of those around you. Attend to your baby when they start crying and if the boob, bottle, or pacifier is what they need then give it to them. Do your best to soothe your baby as needed.
Keep calm and stay flexible:
Traveling with a baby can be unpredictable, and your little one may become fussy at times. Remember that babies cry, and it’s okay. Stay calm and reassure your baby with your presence and soothing words.
Relax and enjoy the journey:
Flying with your infant is an opportunity to create lasting memories. Embrace the adventure and cherish the moments with your little one. If you are traveling with older infants and toddlers then please see this gem of a blog I wrote a few months back.
Hoping with these 10 tips, you’re well-equipped to embark on a stress-free flight with your infant. Preparation, flexibility, and a dash of patience are your best allies. Be sure to bookmark this blog so you have it for easy reference when you need it.
Remember to comment below and let me know which of these tips you plan to use on the next flight with your infant out of Hartsfield-Jackson. Bon voyage, and safe travels with your precious bundle of joy!