Whether you’re ready to take a well-deserved vacation, you need to travel for work, or it’s time to visit your relatives, to save time and money you’re probably going to have to fly. However, if you have a baby, you’re probably worried about flying with them, especially if it’s their first flight. Flying with a baby can be very intimidating. You want to make sure they are safe and have a good flight. Luckily there are a few things you can prepare to ensure that flying with your baby goes smoothly. Here are our recommendations for flying with your baby:
Find A Child-Friendly Airline
Airline companies know that flying with children can be challenging at any age. So some companies have implemented special programs and features that make flying with children easier. For example Virgin Atlantic offers special infant seats to make sure their youngest passengers are comfortable. They also offer kid-friendly meals, kid-focused entertainment, and baby formula. Jet Blue also offers tons of kid-friendly options. They allow extra baggage for infants, kid-friendly entertainment, and special airline seats for infants. When booking your flight, talk to your travel agent or the airline representative and let them know you are flying with an infant and see what features you can add on to make your trip run smoothly.
Buy A Separate Ticket For Your Baby
It may be tempting to save money and skip out on a ticket for your baby and just hold them on your lap the whole time. However, you will most likely regret this. It will be very uncomfortable for both you and your baby to share a small seat together. Plus, if you are sitting next to other passengers, it can be difficult for them as well. So make sure that you buy your baby their own seat on the plant. The more comfortable everyone is, the easier the flight will go.
Make Sure You Have A Safety Seat
Some airlines do offer safety seats for their infant passengers. However, if they do not, make sure to bring your own. A standard car seat will fit in an airline seat and will keep your baby comfortable and the familiarity will help them feel safe the whole flight. Also take the time to learn how to install a safety seat properly. The Federal Aviation Administration recommends that a safety seat be less than 16 inches wide. They also recommend, like in cars, if the child weighs less than 20 pounds, they should face the rear of the plane. To review the instructions in more detail, check out the FAA website.
Pack Extra Supplies
Many airlines allow for extra carry-on baggage when traveling with an infant. So do not be afraid to over pack. Air travel isn’t always reliable and sometimes flight delays can lead to overnight stays or hours stuck at an airport. Make sure to bring extra food, clothes, and diapers. Also, make sure to pack a first aid kit in case something happens. Before traveling check the weather of your destination and pack appropriate attire. If you’re worried that you may have forgotten something, Allianz Travel Insurance has a great packing checklist you can use to help make sure you bring everything you need. You can find it on their website here.
Protect Their Ears
Everyone is sensitive to air pressure, especially if they are dealing with congestion. Babies are particularly sensitive to these changes when the plane takes off and lands. So make sure that you bring something to protect their ears. When taking off and landing, make sure to give baby their pacifier or a bottle, this will help reduce pressure in their ears. Also, you should consider picking up a set of baby earplugs. Earplugs guide has a great review of the different earplugs for babies so you can pick a good set for your baby. You can also consider using headphones and even play them some soothing music. Just make sure if you do play music, it isn’t too loud for baby’s delicate ears. Protecting their ears will reduce the chances of fussiness on the flight.
Plan Your Diaper Strategy
Not everyone is as accepting of diaper changes as we are. So make sure when you get on the plane, your baby has a fresh diaper. Then if it’s time for a diaper change, try to make sure that you have everything easily accessible so you can pop into the lavatory and change their diaper will less hassle. Most airline lavatories have diaper changing tables, but it’s a good idea to ask before booking your flight. Without a changing table and the chance of turbulence can lead to an accident. Diaper changes will happen, especially on longer flights, make sure to take the time to put together a plan.
Be Polite And Patient
Not everyone is going to be accepting of baby’s on flights. If you’ve ever been on a flight where the baby cried the entire time, you know how uncomfortable it is. No matter how even tempered your baby is, this may happen. So prepare yourself for the worst. If other passengers start to get uncomfortable, just stay calm and polite. If you are polite about the situation, people are more likely to be empathetic to your situation. There may be one or two people who groans and shuffle the whole time, but most people really do understand that sometimes babies cry on airplanes. Don’t worry, in most cases if you are prepared, your baby may fuss a little bit, but they will be fine for most of the trip.
Flying with your baby for the first time can be very nerve-racking. However if you are prepared and follow these tips, your first time flying will go well. Airline travel isn’t always reliable and sometimes things happen, so just make sure that you are ready for anything. Talk to your airline, pack extra essentials, and be patient and your baby’s first flight should go smoothly.