8 Tips for Flying with a Baby or Toddler
Some people have a fear of flying. But pretty much everybody has a fear of flying with a baby. (Being trapped in a confined space with an inconsolable infant is right up there with root canals and dinner with your ex.) Here, eight easy tips for making plane travel with a tiny human just a hair easier.
Rely on snacks and screens
What happens on the plane, stays on a the plane. Like Vegas, an airplane is a rule-free zone where screen time limits don't exist and your child can be hooked up to an IV drip of Goldfish. As long as he or she is quiet and happy, you can go back to serving organic whole grains once you're wheels down.
Plan flights around sleep schedules
Remember how cranky you get when you have to wake up for a red-eye? Now apply that fatigue to a pre-verbal, non-coffee-drinking person. If you're a “take the cheapest ticket without looking at the times” type of person, you might want to rethink your approach. It's worth the extra $30 dollars to ensure your baby gets a full night’s sleep before the flight, or arrives at your destination in time to take a proper nap.
Pack a full change of clothes (for everybody) in your carry-on
We’re talking shirts, pants, etc. for you, your husband, your kid and anybody else who might be in your crew. Because when puke happens, it gets everywhere.
Check your car seat at the curb...and stuff it with diapers
Babies may be tiny, but they sure do need a lot of stuff. Most airlines let you check a car seat for free, so take advantage of that valuable real estate and fill it with anything you can't fit in your bag.
Breast/Bottle feed on takeoff and landing
If it seems like every baby screams at the beginning and end of a flight, that’s actually not a coincidence: The cabin pressure changes can make their ears and heads really uncomfortable. (Aw, poor guys!) Breastfeed, give a bottle or pop in a pacifier to help alleviate the pressure.
Ditch the stroller
You might feel like the queen of your neighborhood with your full-service Cadillac stroller, but if you can't fold it with one hand, do not attempt to bring it to the airport. Use your handy carrier to keep your hands free...and maybe even transport a sleeping baby onto the plane without waking her.
Remember sleep crutches
Speaking of sleep...obviously you can't bring a sound machine and blackout curtains on the plane (maybe if you have your own private plane?), but you can do your best to recreate a normal sleep environment by packing a lovey or sleep sack. By giving your kiddo some sleep cues, you just might be able to get a little shut-eye yourself. (Hey, a girl can dream.)