The airport has the propensity to bring out the worst in people for a number of different reasons, but no reason is more prevalent than stress. Flying is stressful for many full-grown adults, so try not to put too much pressure on your baby to be the perfect traveler because that unfortunately just will not happen! However, here are some tips for new parents everywhere that will help make flying as stress-free as possible!
Step 1: Pack Light
Know your baggage: Make sure to look up how many carry-on items you’re allowed and what the dimensions of the overhead bins are on your plane. Between the car seat, the diaper bag, baby’s belongings, and your own, you’re going to have a lot to handle,so don’t save packing to the last minute because you won’t want to pay extra fees to check bags that won’t fit, and worse, you don't want to become separated from critical supplies. Also, most airlines will check baby gear (strollers, car seats, travel cribs) for free if you don’t want to carry them on or gate check them.
Step 2: Buy Your Baby a Seat
While many airlines offer free travel with an infant or toddler who will sit on your lap, we strongly recommend against it. Bottom line: it’s just not safe.Always buy a seat for your baby: It’s a smart idea to buy the seat next to you in order to hold a car seat. This is safer for your little one in the event of turbulence, and provides you with extra room to relax a little—it is a vacation, after all.
Step 3: Prepare for Takeoff
If you ever flew as a child, you know how painful takeoff can be on a little one’s ears. Infants and toddlers are especially susceptible to ear pain thanks to changes in pressure that occur during takeoff and landing. One way to minimize this pressure (and keep your little one distracted) is to give your baby something to suck on during takeoff, whether it’s a bottle, a pacifier, or a toy.
Step 4: Be Patient and Polite
Be polite to other passengers: While this might go without saying, it never hurts to be friendly with the passengers around you and let them know it’s your first vacation with your baby. Some parents even put together “goodie bags” for passengers in their immediate vicinity that include ear plugs, candy, and a fun note to introduce your family.
Step 5: Travel Safe and Enjoy Your First Vacation As a Family
Traveling with an infant can be challenging, but with the right tips and baby must-haves, you’ll be well-equipped to take on this adventure with your family. A little bit of preparation can go a long way for both you and your baby. Happy travels!