All You Need To Know About Flying With A Newborn
Traveling with newborn babies is not very hard. You will see that flying with a newborn is just a matter of being prepared.
When you’re getting ready to fly with your newborn, it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many things you have to remember!
Here’s a few tips to help you navigate your little one’s first airborne adventure, as well as the ones that come after it.
Try to book as far in advance, as possible.
Flying with a newborn is not hard but if you plan long in advance, you’ll be able to plan the perfect seats. Planning in advance also gives you options, which you may not have if you book late.
Call the airline when you’re planning your trip to find out about their regulations.
This can include everything from whether your car seat will fit the plane’s seats to what the in-flight snacks are – if any!
Also find out, “do babies fly free?” If you are not bringing your baby’s car seat onto the flight, your baby will be a lap infant. That means that flying with a newborn might be free or subsidized.
Plan your flights based on your child’s mood patterns, if possible, and around the least crowded times of the day.
The middle of the week is the best time; early mornings see fewer delays and mid-afternoon flights have the least passengers. That aside, it’s just plain better not to travel with a fussy baby, so if your little one’s quietest during red-eye hours, you might want to travel then.
You’ll need more diapers than you think. It’s better to have more diapers, than too little. There is no telling when you’ll be able to get to a store to replenish your diapers.
Apart from your checked baggage, also pack at least one change of clothes for both you and baby in case of delays. Babies spill and spit up, so a change of clothes is a necessity.
Also pack snacks, milk or formula (in three-ounce-or-smaller containers, per TSA regulations), and something to keep your little one amused throughout the flight. If you’re nursing, be sure to pack a nursing/udder cover. If your baby is a little older, (so if you’re not flying with a newborn), practice with your nursing/ udder cover at home, before you fly. Older babies will not appreciate being covered unless they are used to it.
If your baby is older, he/she is likely on solids. The baby food on planes can be iffy. You do not want to rely on what they offer, because your baby might not want it. You’d be best advised to pack your own baby food AND baby spoon, because the teaspoons on airplanes are too big to fit into tiny infant mouths.
Also be sure to pack for where you’re going, not where you are at. So if you’re going to a cold climate, make sure you are prepared for that.
Packing appropriately is one of the more important tips for flying with an infant.
Choose your seats well.
Bulkhead seats are roomier. If you are choosing to fly with your baby as a lap infant, choose the bulkhead seat is your bet, particularly if you’re flying internationally. That’s because bulkhead seats come with a bassinet. You’ll then be able to lay your baby in the bassinet when they are asleep.However, if you are taking your baby’s car seat, a bulkhead seat would not be good for you because you won’t have in-front carry-on storage.
Also keep in mind that the back of the plane is noisier, which might cover up a fussy baby’s crying, but the seats may not recline all the way, if at all. The emergency row’s most likely a no-go due to the age restrictions for opening the windows if necessary.
There’s less turbulence if you sit right behind the wing.
When you call the airline, you may want to speak to them for a few minutes to discuss your best available options.
You and baby will both probably be glad for a few layers of clothing – it’s almost always colder on a plane than it is off it. Save your nice clothes for your destination, and wear something you don’t mind getting a little messy if your child has an accident or burps up a lot.
Arrive early at the airport to give yourself plenty of time to get the whole family through security.
Don’t be afraid to ask if there’s a family-friendly security checkpoint because that will make things easier for you. If it can be avoided, you don’t want to get stuck in a long line with a small baby.
If possible, wear slip-on shoes to make the process a little faster.
Are you taking a Stroller or are you Babywearing?
Find out about your airline regulations when it comes to strollers. Some airlines require checking strollers at the ticket counter if they don’t meet certain weight or collapsibility requirements, and even if you can check it at the boarding gate, you just might not want your nice stroller manhandled by strangers that much. On the other hand, going from gate to gate during a layover can be quite a slog, and you might be grateful for a set of wheels.
Babywearing is a great hands-free alternative to maneuvering a stroller around an airport, and many slings and carriers will stow neatly in your carry-on luggage.
Carry-on luggage and boarding
A good idea is to use a backpack as a carry-on piece. It will let you carry everything you need and free up your hands to tend to your little one!
Change baby’s diaper before boarding. You might have to again during the flight, especially if it’s a long one, but at least you won’t have to suffer through takeoff with a smelly baby!
Nurse, feed, or pop a pacifier into your child’s mouth during takeoff and landing, so they can reduce ear popping and don’t get fussy from the changes in air pressure.
Feel free to move about the cabin (when the captain says it’s safe, of course!). Your little one will probably enjoy getting to move around and see all these other people, and it’ll help use up some of their energy.
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