How to Fly with a Baby

Flying with your baby doesn't have to be a disaster.
by Updated January 29, 2009

Having a baby is wonderful experience, and you'd like to go and show off your new arrival to friends and relatives who don't live close by.  But the thought of flying with your baby might put you off.  After all, we've all heard plane travelers complaining about a screaming baby two seats in front of them that drove them crazy, right? 

The good news is that flying with your baby doesn't have to be a total disaster.  If you plan things carefully, and are well prepared, then traveling with your baby can be a reasonably easy experience.  Of course, nobody can guarantee that everything will go perfectly, and there's always a chance it won't go well at all.  Still, the more you do in advance to be prepared, the better your chance of a positive experience.

Firstly, think about your baby's routines.  Is there a particular time of day when your baby generally has a nap?  This is often a good time to fly. So book your flights accordingly. It may be worth getting to the airport early enough that there's no risk of your baby falling asleep during the car trip.  If you can time it, make sure your baby is due for a feed and sleep straight after boarding the plane.  A babys ears will hurt with the change in air pressure, just like yours can, but the difference is they don't know how to make their ears pop.  If they can drink or eat, quite often the movement of their jaw will be enough to make their ears pop by themselves. Remember, have something available for your baby to suck or chew on during the last part of the flight too.

You will also need to be well prepared for the flight - carry on baggage is a definite must!  Have at least two sets of clothing, plenty of diapers, and baby wipes galore.  You might also like to include your baby's favorite rug or toy, to help induce sleep.  If your baby is likely to be awake for at least part of the flight, make sure you have some items you can use to amuse the baby with.  That might be some favorite books or toys, or at the very least, be prepared to spend the time to amuse the baby yourself.  Also include any food or drinks that might be needed, and a couple of pacifiers if your baby uses them.

If your baby is awake and restless, don't be embarrassed to walk up and down the aisle with baby on your shoulder.  Your baby will probably find all the faces quite fascinating, and be highly entertained.  Be prepared to stop and talk to people who will want to admire your baby!

Also, ask around to find out if friends or family have flown with a young baby.  You'll be surprised how much good information they can share with you.  Look up parenting books and magazines at your local library, or ask questions in a parenting forum online.  The secret to a successful flight with a baby is planning, so the more information you have, the better prepared you'll be, and the higher the chance of you having a pleasant flight.

 


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