Airplane Travel with Baby

Traveling on an Airplane can be very stressful for anyone, but especially for a new parent. Whenever possible if you can travel with your partner, or travel companion it is recommended. Having a second set of hands will make things easier. For babies less than two years of age you can travel with the baby in your lap for free but your trip could be made much more convenient if you travel with your baby in their own seat. Many airlines offer half price tickets for Baby seats so be sure to check on this.

If you are nursing your baby carrying them in a sling on your lap can be very comfortable. It is recommended that you try and choose a window seat as this gives you slightly more room, your older baby can look out the window for entertainment, and with a pillow or a blanket against the window you can lean while holding your baby in one arm.

Changing a baby on an airplane can be tricky. Some planes do have changing tables giving you a little bit more room, but ask before you get up from your seat with the baby. If they don’t changing the baby in your seat on the tray table is quite doable, and if you have a travel partner you can do this together, (one whipping while the other changes the diaper) In your diaper bag be sure to come stocked with toys for your child. Ones that have clips or a place where you can add a ribbon to tie the toy to your wrist are get options because babies often drop or even throw their toys and reaching them from the floor can be quite a challenge, even when you have help.

Make friends with the other passenger’s in your row, they can be invaluable. One passenger might be willing to hold your baby while you make a bottle or get settled in your seat, another, maybe not so comfortable with babies could perhaps reach your bag for you. Also use the help and assistance of the stewardess, that’s what they are there for.

If you are still nursing then you don’t have to worry about bottles or formula, if you are not there are several options for you. You can ask for bottled water and use powder mixes, but I recommend using the readymade kind. Even though the bottle says it needs to be refrigerated after opening it, you will be fine if you give your baby one bottle and then the other half up to two or three hours later. However leave the formula in the container, and don’t reuse the same bottle. Once the baby has drunk from it, the bacteria can start to form. The formula will stay good longer in the original container.

Whenever possible travel on an overnight flight. You will find there are often other babies and families on these flights. Even though you have the option to board early, if you have an older active baby, wait until the end of boarding and let them play and crawl around the airport terminal for as long as possible, once on the plane they will be confined for several hours, so let them use their energy. If possible wait to feed them until the plane is taking off. When tired babies will often fall asleep while drinking there late night or evening bottle, doing this at takeoff will likely allow for them to sleep through the flight. Wait until takeoff however because there can often be delays at the gate or runway, and none of the other passengers have settled yet so they won’t mind if your baby is fussing.

Wearing your baby in a sling or carrier will make things more convenient but some airlines require that you are actually holding them outside the carrier during take-off so check on that, and then strap them to you for a feeding and hopeful good rest.

If you are traveling during the day and your baby won’t nap, some airlines will offer free television for children, so ask, and even if it is not in your philosophy, watching the animal channel or Noggin could easily distract your baby for an hour or more. Take advantage of your layover to change a diaper, and let your baby crawl and play but wait until you are back on the plane for your feeding. Most babies will not be effected by the change in air pressure because there fontanels have not yet closed (soft spot) but it doesn’t hurt to give them a pacifier or bottle during take-off and landing.