Flying with a baby can be challenging, but sometimes parents don’t always have a choice. You also shouldn’t have to forgo a vacation just because you have a baby. We’ve all heard the tips about nursing or providing a bottle during takeoff and landing, but what other tips can help your trip?
We asked a variety of experts for tips, and here are our favorites:
Arrive at the airport early. The process of checking in, heading through security, and getting settled at the gate will take much longer than you think. Purchase an inexpensive umbrella stroller for use at the airport. There is no need to lug an expensive stroller with you. – Carrie E. Carroll Founder & Twin Mom www.thetwinsource.com
Many airlines allow families with children to board first. However, if traveling with a squirmy toddler, or an overtired baby, being the first to board the plane may not be the best thing to do. If you are traveling with another adult, have them board first, secure the seats and the overhead storage, and then bring the child onto the plane right before takeoff. With any luck it will be wheels up & eyes shut! – Dr. Alanna Levine, spokesperson for Summer Infant.
Make it an adventure. If you’re dreading the experience, your child will sense it. Pack special treats that you normally don’t have at home, get a new book or two, and maybe even invest in a cool new toy. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and view your surroundings as if you were a child. Everything is suddenly big and exciting! – Shalon Ironroad, mother of 3 founder of NonBonsai.com
Make advanced seat reservations or check in 24 hours before departure online. Try and make your seat reservations early to ensure that your whole family sits together. Having your partner sit two rows in front while you sit in the back with your kids won’t make your travel experience any better. The best time to make a seat reservation is when you purchase your ticket. If the airline won’t let you do that, check in 24 hours before online and grab these seats together. Even if the airline charges you for an advanced seat reservation, it’s probably worth it just to be on the safe side. (Editor’s note, we have some tips on how to get seats together if you aren’t seated together) – Mathias Friess, CEO of Webjet.com
As they say, timing is everything – and that applies to every level of your getaway. From your journeys to and from, to how you plan your days, good timing can make all the difference. Try to arrange your flights (or drive times) based on two things – when your child is the most cheerful and when they are likely to sleep. Some mums swear by overnight flights, but others say first thing in the morning is the only time to go. You know your child best so try to make arrangements accordingly. – Corinne McDermott of http://havebabywilltravel.com
Pack 3 extra diapers and an extra outfit in a separate ziploc bag. Carol Aubin of http://www.vacationwithkids.blogspot.com/
Secure a seat behind the bulkhead, with the vertical wall, there is more space if your little one(s) need to move around/sit on the floor, etc. – Ariella Randle Rogge Director/Program Director Sanborn Western Camps
What are your tips for flying with babies? See first time flying tips here.