5 Tips for New Parents when Flying with a Baby!

March 4, 2019

It’s the moment of truth, are you up for the challenge?

Remember the “simpler times” when your biggest worries while flying were what movies to watch or what book to read? Or asking yourselves, “Will the seats be comfortable for this extra-long cross-country flight?” Well, now that you have a new person in your life (your baby!), those days are gone; flying with a baby is whole other ball game. But don’t panic! With these 5 simple hacks, air travel will be an enjoyable family memory, rather than a terrifying experience for mom and dad

1. The “pep talk”

This pep talk is not for your little one, but rather for yourselves! Your little munchkin only knows the universal language of all babies: cry when you need something! Cry when you are hungry; cry when you need a clean-up, or cry just because you can! To psyche yourself up, stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself, “I am the best mom (or dad) there is, ever was, and ever will be!”. Also tell yourself, “This will be the most fun trip ever,” or “I am so excited about this trip.” You can also say, “I have mastered the art of flying with a baby,” and so on. Putting yourselves into a positive frame of mind can have a significant impact on your overall flying experience.
woman in the beach
Image courtesy of flickr.com

2. Your baby’s luggage

As a parent, we all know that traveling light does not exist. Your little pumpkin will require the same essentials regardless of whether it is a short-haul one-hour flight or cross-country overnight flight. Packing ahead of time by at least 2-3 days will give you enough time to buy last-minute essentials that you might be running low on, or even organize your baby’s luggage as per your liking. If it is your first time flying with a baby, it is especially helpful to have a checklist made so you do not forget the essentials like diapers, baby lotion, milk/formula, toys, pacifier, change of clothes, etc

3. Substance over style

It’s all about how good you look…. or is it? When flying with a baby, convenience takes precedence over fashion. Oversized shirts, skinny jeans, and high heels look great, but nothing is more convenient than what’s actually comfortable, such as sweatpants and t-shirt with your hair tied. Another convenient tip: easy access to deep pockets to keep your little one’s pacifier, toys, and other little essentials handy. Wearing comfortable clothes makes it easier for you to carry your baby, especially when going through security and/or boarding the flight.
smiley mom holding a baby
Image courtesy of flickr.com

4. The Game Plan

Planning ahead of time is key when traveling with your little one. Notify your airlines that you are flying with a baby ahead of time so they can help you secure preferred seating. Most airports have expedited security screening for new parents, and most airlines will allow you to pre-board the flight for convenience. Before boarding your flight, ensure that your little munchkin is wearing clean diapers and (ideally) is ready for a feed when you take off and just before landing, as this helps the baby dealing with the air pressure change. The front row of the aircraft, or somewhere close to the restroom, will be the most convenient location for you. Finally, be sure to check ahead of time what you are allowed to take in your carry on and what you might need to check in.
woman biting pen
Image courtesy of flickr.com

5. Entertainment

This is for mom and dad. When you take off and your little angel falls asleep, this is your time to make up for some of that much needed “me-time”. Entertainment can include snacks, books, tv shows, or even playing sudoku in today’s newspaper! Some North American airlines are now charging extra for snacks, wi-fi, and even in-flight entertainment! To avoid these added costs, be sure to download some e-books, movies, or TV shows that you’ve been wanting to watch on Netflix, as this will make your in-flight experience much more enjoyable and relaxing.

Flying with a baby is not easy; it can be complicated and stressful. However, if you are in the right mindset then traveling will your little one, things can be much easier than what most people may say. Some final words of wisdom: apologize to your fellow passengers when necessary, and always remember to ask your flight attendants for help. Most airlines and officials go above-and-beyond their regular duties to help new parents with babies. Remember to relax, be positive, be comfortable, smile, and take a lot of pictures – don’t forget, this is a big moment: your baby’s first time flying!