The first time you plan to fly with your baby it seems stressful! What should I bring? What can I bring? What do I have to check? Do I have to buy an airline ticket? We flew to Florida with little C in January and actually it was quite simple! Yes, we had more stuff. No, we couldn’t manage to carry-on everything so we had to check some stuff. Yes, we did go to the airport earlier. No, it was not nearly as stressful as we anticipated.
Before You Go
1. Check your airline’s policy on flying with a baby. Most airline’s let children under the age of 2 fly for free if they are riding on your lap.
2. Check your airline’s policy on what they allow you to carry on the plane in addition to your regular carry-on’s when you have a baby flying with you.
3. Be sure that when you get your ticket it says baby on lap on one of the tickets in your party. That is if you are not buying a ticket for your baby.
What should you plan to bring through security/carry-on for baby
1. Stroller – You can push baby throughout airport using your stroller plus it is a great place to put the diaper bag etc. This does have to go through the screening. We brought our umbrella stroller which saved the hassle of our larger stroller. You check this right at the gate for free before you get on the plane.
2. Car seat – You can check this right away if you choose. We brought it both directions in hopes that we would have an empty seat next to us that we could buckle him in. This can be checked at the gate for free before boarding the plane. This also has to fit through the security screening. If you bought your baby a ticket you for sure want to bring the car seat as babies are required to be secured in one in their own seat.
3. Diaper Bag – Put whatever in it that you would plan to use for your baby for the number of hours you plan to be in the airport. You are allowed an extra carry on for baby. So you can have all your own normal carry ons plus a bag for baby.
4. Pump/Breastmilk/Formula – These become considered a medical item and you can bring over the 3oz limit. You do have to take it out and present it as you would any other liquid. I carried on my pump even though I never planned to pump because I did not want it to get lost or tossed and broken. The pump can also be carried on in addition as it is considered a medical supply.
Before Boarding The Plane
1. As soon as you see the gate attendant go make friends with them.
2. This is the time you can request seat changes for instances, if you want a window seat or if you would like a spouse/travel companion sitting next to you for help with the baby.
3. This would also be the time to find out if there is an empty seat next to you or if there is a possibility that you could move seats to get one. It never hurts to ask, on our flight home we were able to get an empty seat and bring C’s car seat on which was really nice.
4. Change your babies diaper just before you board so if you don’t have too far to go you don’t have to worry about doing it on the plane.
5. Check your stroller and car seat (if you couldn’t get a seat) just before you are about to board.
Feeding your baby
1. If you are nursing you can check your airport to see if and where they have nursing areas. For me it was never convenient to where we were boarding the plane so I just found a quite area to nurse him. 2. I also had to nurse him on the plane on both flights. This was actually quite simple. It is smart to get a window seat if you can for nursing purposes.
On the plane
1. For take-off and landing they will often recommend nursing/feeding your baby or using a pacifier for your baby to suck on. For me, he never wanted to eat during take-off or landing so he just used a pacifier and it worked fine with no problems.
2. It is nice to get up and walk a little to give baby a change in scenery. We went back to the bathroom and stood for a few minutes when he started acting antsy.
3. When we had C in the car seat on the flight back he actually slept most of the 3 hours! If you are lucky enough to get a seat it is a nice perk.
4. Make sure you have a toy or book or something that your baby likes to help entertain him/her on the flight.
Once you’ve Landed
1. Your stroller should be waiting for you in the jet way.
2. If you had to check your car seat that you need to get from baggage claim.
3. Don’t forget anything!