If you are a new parent, you must have wanted to make every moment of your baby special. Every new parent wants to make all their kids’ firsts memorable. That is also the case when it comes to your child’s first flight. Flying with an infant can be a dismaying experience. All of your responsibilities increase tenfold when you’re taking a baby on a plane for the first time. Plus, you have to keep certain things in mind to make their plane journey safe and worth remembering. With proper preparation, you can prevent your kid’s first air travel from being a nightmare. Now let us discuss those things to remember.
What important things should consider while flying with a baby?
When you are flying with a baby for the first time, remember some important tips. These tips will help you make the journey smoother. Here they are:
Arrive at the airport early
Believe it or not, it is one of the best practices while flying with an infant. However, some parents may be opposed to this idea. Because it demands them to entertain their babies for a longer period of time before the plane leaves the airport. But you should remember something. Your departure time influences your airport stress. The lesser the remaining time, the greater your stress. Don’t forget that traveling with your kid is not the same as traveling solo or just with your partner. It takes a longer time for you to regroup when there’s a baby with you. Thus, arriving early at the airport makes the entire process easier and reduces airport stress.
Utilize the curbside check-in
No matter how simple it sounds, it can make your air travel with a baby much more convenient. You need to carry a lot of extra equipment while flying with a baby. These include a stroller, diaper, car seat, and so on. You don’t carry these gears usually. But with a kid, these are a must. You don’t want to keep carrying them forever, do you? The sooner you can discard them, the better. So instead of waiting for a long time in the check-in queue, use the curbside check-in. It will save you some precious time and reduce your stress. However, don’t forget to tip the porter for the convenience.
Buy a child carrier and a diaper bag
Let’s be real. Your two hands are not enough when you are flying with an infant. You got to carry a lot of equipment. From the luggage to the diaper bag, the list of things is unending. On top of that, you got to hold your infant as well. You can wear a child carrier and a diaper bag to resolve this problem easily. But most airlines won’t allow you to bring a child carrier with you. Also, if possible, try to get yourself a backpack diaper bag. It will make the process more convenient. Plus, it will allow you to carry one less bag.
Be wise while boarding
You might already know that all airlines let parents with an infant board the plane first. But it is not always good. Why? Because it usually takes half an hour for all your co-passengers to get in. That means you get stuck in a situation when you have to entertain your child for half-hours more. It can drain your energy more. So the best practice is to have one parent get on the plane first and arrange things like they want. The other parent keeps the child entertained during that time and boards the plane after everyone is on board.
Book a separate seat for the baby
There is no doubt that not everyone can afford to buy their child a separate seat. But if you are financially capable, go for it. It allows your baby to sit on a seat rather than bouncing up and down on your lap. It can also reduce your stress and save your energy. Booking a separate seat for your child can help them sleep comfortably on the flight. If they sit on your lap, they usually sleep on your arms. That means you’re very much stuck in that particular position until your baby wakes up. Buying an extra seat can save you from this exhaustion.
Determine your kid’s napping routine and book your flight accordingly
It might sound silly, but it works. Not every time because sometimes your kid can’t sleep during their air travel. But there’s no harm in trying, right? What you can do is book your flight at a time when your baby is likely to sleep. It can make your journey smoother. Or, if your flight time does not match your kid’s sleeping routine, do this. Try to book your flight when your infant is likely to stay happy. That is the early morning.
Try to book two aisle seats across one another
Most nursing mothers prefer window seats to maintain privacy. But it is not always your smartest bet. Booking two aisle seats that are across from each other can be helpful. It lets your baby enjoy the scenery outside from time to time. Thus, they don’t get bored as often. Each time your child switches seats or laps, they come across new sceneries and co-passengers. It also allows the parents to get up and entertain them by walking on the aisle.
Bring in some baby food
It is one of the best tips for traveling with an infant on a plane. If your child is of a certain age and knows how to enjoy food, bring some baby food with you. Giving them some solid snacks on the flight can keep them engaged for a long time. When it’s their first time, they may get distracted much often. Keeping them engaged in such an activity can be very useful in these situations. It can keep their mouths full and prevent them from crying or yelling.
Bring some toys
Bringing some cheap toys with you onboard can be a real game-changer. It can help you keep your child engaged and happy. Take your time to buy some toys from the dollar store before getting on the plane. Then wrap them up like Christmas presents. Whenever your child goes out of their track, unwrap and give them a new toy to play with.
How to prepare your baby for their first time flight?
Flying with a baby for the first time is not easy. It takes considerable preparation. If you don’t prepare your child well before boarding the flight, you may face many problems. According to Debbie Dubrow, you can try doing certain things to help your child prepare for their first flight. Here are those tips:
- Talk about your flight prior to the actual trip in front of your child. Try to emphasize the matters that may be new to them regarding air travel.
- Before boarding an infant on airplane, tell them stories about flying or long journeys. Stories like Busy Airport by Rebecca Finn and Airplanes by Byron Barton are suitable in this regard. Telling them stories like these will help them get familiar with the environment of airplanes and airports. So make sure you visit the book store to pick some storybooks up before the trip.
- Instead of packing your kid’s bag, allow your kid to pack their bags on their own. This way, they can choose what they want to put into their bag. Also, you get a chance to tweak their expectations regarding the toys that are okay onboard.
- Set up some chairs to emulate airplane seats. Then show them how to sit on an airplane seat and put the seatbelt on. Use your doorway to mimic the metal detectors at airports. You can also use a box and a towel to show them how the X-ray and the conveyor belt function. Doing this will prepare your child and give them a rough idea about plane journeys.
At what age is it safe to fly with an infant?
Flying with a baby is absolutely fine. But you have to wait for them to reach a certain age before you can take them on a flight. Generally, the doctors suggest the parents wait until their baby’s immune system is fully developed. For some babies, it can take only a month. However, it is not an universal fact. Thus, most doctors conclude that a 3-month-old or 6-month-old can fly safely on a plane.
What do you need to take with you to fly with a baby?
When you’re flying with a baby, your responsibilities increase. So do the number of gears you need to carry. Before you board a plane with a toddler, make sure you have the necessary equipment. These include diaper bags, stroller, baby food, etc.
How do you protect your babies’ ears when flying?
When you are flying with an infant on a plane, it’s important to protect their ears. A flying baby may experience ear pains during this time onboard. To soothe your baby’s ears, you can opt for several methods. These methods include breastfeeding, letting your baby cry, or spray some saline inside their nose.
Can you fly with a 3-month-old baby?
Yes, you can. Doctors recommend taking babies on flight journeys after they have fully developed their immune systems. Most infants develop full immunity by the time they reach the age of three months. So it is perfectly fine and safe to fly with a 3-month-old baby.
It is always something special to be able to take your kid on an airplane journey for the first time. But to make sure it is safe, utilize the tips mentioned here in the article. Flying with a baby for the first time is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make sure it is worth remembering.