Flying With A Newborn

Flying with a two month old was much easier than I had presumed it would be. Though it can depend on the personality and fussiness of the baby as well as the length of the flight, with the right planning it can be quite simple and surprisingly quiet (especially with the help of the white noise from the plane).

First: Pack appropriately.

Don’t try to carry too much on the plane. (We asked for them to check our bags at the gate so we didn’t have to pay, and it was helpful for getting on and off the plane.) Always bring a change of clothes for the baby, diapering gear and a big burp cloth (as there is a lot of extra jostling around through security and such). Organize it in a way that it is easy to access.

Second: Plan accordingly.

Give yourself some extra time to get to the airport and get to the gate. Try to take direct flights so there is less to worry about.

Feed, burp and change the babe pre-flight then try to keep them awake so they sleep during the flight. The window seat is best for propping the baby up and privacy if breastfeeding but the aisle is best if you need to get up a lot. On a longer flight where you want to walk around a bit, the aisle might be better for you.

Know how to breakdown your stroller quickly and, if possible, with one hand. But don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Wear slipons!! In general I’ll wear them when flying but it is especially helpful when carrying an infant and trying to remove and put on shoes while holding a baby.

Third: Know airport & airline regulations for parents.

The only thing you need to bring in terms of identification for the baby is the boarding pass which identifies that there is an infant traveling with you. No birth certificate or anything else is needed when flying domestically. While most airlines allow you to select that you are flying with an infant when you purchase your ticket, for some airlines-like Alaska-you should call after purchasing the ticket to add the infant on to the reservation. (Perhaps you can also do this at the airport.)

Going through security was surprisingly delightful because-for one of the first times- TSA agents were actually friendly and helpful! Some airports will put bottles through additional screenings, while others just see that you have a baby and let you go on your way. They can also help you with the stroller if you are flying alone and need an extra hand.

Airlines let you check your stroller and car seat right before you get on the plane, and when you exit it’s waiting for you outside the plane (and typically the strollers are opened up for you already too). Simple!

*Note: if we had known it was this easy, we would have taken our car seat with us instead of renting one from a car rental, which ended up being crappy and much too big for Violet.

Fourth: Don’t forget to feed the baby when ascending and descending.

If the baby is asleep, don’t worry about waking her, but if she’s awake use a nipple, bottle or pacifier while going up and coming down in order to keep any painful ear pressure at bay.

Fifth: Chill!

If you’re struggling to close the stroller while going through security and have fifty eyes staring at you and a fussy baby, laugh it off, ask for help and breath.

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