It’s been some time since I traveled by plane with an infant (my youngest is now four years old). But, I can tell you that those memories of walking up and down the aisle, bouncing my babies to keep them from crying, are still quite vivid.
Recently, the folks who make Taggies, those small, colorful plush blankets, came out with a short list of tips to help new moms and dads survive their next family plane trip. I shared them below and also added in a couple of my own to help you make it through your next flight with your baby. Take a look:
1. Bring Everything (and More): With a baby in tow, bring everything you might need, like bottles, baby food, toys, diapers, baby wipes, an extra change of clothes. You really don’t know what your baby will want, and you’re better off bringing more than less. The baby may just want to play with the in-flight magazine the entire flight, but then you might not be that lucky.
2. Power Up Before the Flight: Babies don’t need a lot of screen time (some say they don’t need any at all), but sometimes putting on a cartoon on the iPad makes the difference between a calm, quiet flight and the complete opposite. I favor relaxing flights where I’m not thinking about whether my baby is disturbing other passengers, so I’m all for bringing along fully charged iPads, iPhones, etc.
3. Feed Your Baby on Take-Off and Landing: Even today, my ten-year-old still complains about her ears hurting when the plane takes off and lands, so I try to keep gum and mints in my purse for her. For babies, give them a bottle or breastfeed during these times to help your baby’s ears quickly adjust to the changing air pressure on the plane.
4. Get an Aisle Seat. At some point during the flight, you’ll no doubt be walking up and down the aisle trying to rock and comfort your baby. So, get an aisle seat so you can easily get up and walk about the plane. Or, better yet, get an aisle seat, and then have your spouse or partner sit there so he or she can easily get up to walk the baby up and down the aisle.
5. Try to Relax: I know it’s hard to relax when your baby is crying on the plane. It can feel as though every passenger’s eyes are staring right at you, wondering when you’ll get your infant to quiet down. I’ve been there, as have many other passengers who are empathizing with you, believe it or not. If you can relax, it makes it easier for your baby to calm down and relax too.
You may also want to read this article I wrote last year for SmarterTravel.com called 10 Tips to Make Flying with Kids a Breeze for even more tips on flying with little ones. Do you have any other great tips for traveling with babies? Just let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Robert Occhialini