6 Tips When Flying with an Infant Posted on July 22, 2014 by Nate.
When flying with a baby, you get one of two looks. Well, sometimes a combo. It’s either the “aww, so cute” or the “shit, I hope they are not sitting by me!” Here’s 6 tips to help you when flying with an infant.
1) Bring Extra Food
Bring plenty of food for the baby, as well as snacks for yourself. In regards to the wifey, it can be very uncomfortable to nurse in the middle of a row of strangers. Having plenty of milk or pre made bottles allow for quick access to keep that baby from crying.
Never have I had issues of flight status before baby. Now it seems like this little dude brings along with him a magical curse that delays any flight he is on. Just when you thought you were going to be able to take off, they announce you will be waiting on the Tarmac for 45 min. Which, in turn, sparks up the little dude to get fussy. “Hi everyone, yup that’s us back here. Just bouncing our little boy while he fusses in your ears.” Same goes for when you want to land. It’s approaching the time to feed him, you got 20 min left until they land the bird, and “Good evening everyone. This is Captain BadNews here. Looks like we gotta keep circling around the continent for an hour or so. Oh and for you people in the back with the baby? Heh, get shit on!” Thanks, pal! Moral of the story here is, you never know when delays will strike. Having ample amount of food, at least for the little one, can definitely improve the flying situation for you and other passengers.
2) Allow More Time
It takes you almost double the time to get ready. TSA lines take twice as long now too. You have at least twice the stuff compared to how you traveled before. If you are bringing along a stroller, they have to wipe it down since it doesn’t go through a metal detector. If you are bringing milk along, they will need to run it through a screener. When pushing the arsenal of bags, strollers, carriers, fake zebras, live zebras and the rest of Noah’s arc, I always tend to be self-conscious of how much time we are taking. For a newbie family, I think we fly through pretty well. Any prep you can do in advance is greatly appreciated by your fellow travelers.
3) Use One Bag
Our first flight with the little man introduced the necessity of organization when we pack. We try to condense down to one checked bag and carry on the rest. The wifey is a master-packer. However, when we were on the plane, we quickly realized that the stuff we needed during the flight was spread out through my carry on, wifey’s carry on, and the diaper bag. This made it difficult to prepare a bottle, change a diaper, find a burp cloth along with your own sanity. Now we know to put all of the stuff needed for the flight in one bag, and make sure to have it close to you. Fumbling around in the overhead containers in the dark while people are passing, and your baby is fussing, can be frustrating. Proactive awareness can be your savior here.
4) Check items at gate
Let’s face it, you have a lot of stuff you are carrying. You probably look like one of those mountain hikers with 3 backpacks attached to themselves in a chain. This is where your stroller comes in handy. Let it be your shopping cart and have it carry the load for you. Don’t check it at the desk when you are getting your boarding pass. Check the carrier/stroller at the gate. This allows you to use it as your utility cart to carry everything just up to the door of the plane, which also ensures that minimal time is used when handling your gear. It goes from the tarmac to your plane. Sure you have to wait for it when you land, but then you have it to carry the rest of your belongings to the baggage claim.
5) Use a sling/front pack
Think about carrying your baby for 3 hours straight without putting them down. Now, let the ‘Sling’ remove that grimace from your face. A hands-free solution isn’t just something you need for your cellphone anymore. While the kiddo is sleeping, you can be too with no worries. There is also some discussion on whether you should have your child in your lap when flying. You are not always guaranteed an empty seat next to you, and that third plane ticket can really hurt the wallet. Personally, I feel the sling allows you more security during rough rides than relying on yourself to hold the baby when things hit the fan.
6) Use clothes with footies
You have so many things you are bringing with you. Pacifiers, bottles, and extra clothes are just some things you already need to worry about. You are also limited in space. Moving around in the seat can sometimes remove your baby’s shoes or socks. Pack those away in your luggage and put on a pair of pants that have the feet part of the garment. Then you have no worries on things accidentally slipping off. Last thing you want is to lose a sock or shoe during a flight.
Each time you fly it becomes easier. You tend to get a feeling of what works, and what really doesn’t, for you and your baby. Hopefully, these tips help you parents out there when being world travelers.