Tips + a Packing Checklist for Parents Nervous about Flying with a Toddler or Baby.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of adults who are nervous about flying so don’t feel embarrassed if you’re nervous about flying with a toddler or baby. Over the years, I’ve had both good and bad experiences traveling with my children. The worst was when my oldest peed on me during a flight and I sat until everyone got off the plane too embarrassed to get out of my seat. The best was flying to London with all three kids who slept through the entire flight — including a then 9-month-old. The key like with anything parenting related is to be as prepared as possible so I wanted to share these tips and a checklist to help you prepare for your summer travel.
Schedule long flights at night.
As I mentioned above, I took my three children to Europe last summer, and many of my friends and family members thought it was insane that we took a seven-hour overnight flight, but it made perfect sense to me. When I booked the flight, I figured that my kids would sleep throughout the trip and wake up fresh in London. My baby was nine months old at the time, and she slept through the entire flight except for the few times she woke up to nurse. The two older kids who were five and seven at the time also slept through the majority of the trip. As we got off the plane, other passengers remarked that they were surprised to know that there were children on the flight and a baby at that.
Fly European Carriers if you can.
If you’re going to have a lap baby, it’s a good idea to fly with a European airline as they provide a seatbelt extension that you can use for your baby. American air carriers do not offer this.
Get a bassinet seat.
When I travelled to Europe, I flew with British Airways and I called after booking my tickets for seating in a row with a baby bassinet. I didn’t end up using the bassinet but it’s a great option to have especially since your hands will get tired holding a baby for a long flight.
Sanitize the area.
Walk with sanitizing wipes or seat covers to clean your seats before settling in because there are lots of germs on planes. You want to minimize the likelihood of your kids picking up an illness during a flight.
Breastfeed during take-off and landing.
When I mentioned to my pediatrician that I was traveling with my 9-month-old, she advised me to breastfeed during takeoff and landing as it helps prevent babies from getting ear pain.
Wear your baby or toddler.
Even if you check your luggage in, you will have your diaper bag and personal bag with all of your necessities for the flight. Do yourself a favor and wear your baby to keep your hands free especially if you’re traveling alone. Keep in mind, you may have to take off the baby carrier at TSA depending on the agent. My ErgoBaby Carrier (affiliate) has been a lifesaver for traveling with my girl.
Don’t worry about your baby getting restless.
It probably will happen, your baby will get restless, your toddler will start singing or squirming around. Don’t worry too much about this. I’ve flown a lot over the years and adults tend to behave worse than kids ever would on a flight. Also, if you’re nervous your child would pick up on your energy and feel the same so just relax. Try to anticipate your child’s needs before they have a meltdown.
Pack only necessities.
Yes, you can’t possibly survive a flight with a baby without packing properly but the key is to pack smart not overpack. Here are a few things will need for flying with your baby or toddler.
I hope these tips are helpful and you enjoy exploring the world with your baby. Share your tips in the comments.