There are many tips for flying with a baby on the internet, a lot of them may differ depending on personal experiences. I have flown many times with my boys, as babies and as toddlers. On these occasions, I have had good experiences and bad when flying with a baby. It may also sound daunting, but from my experience, it’s a lot easier flying with a baby than a toddler/pre-schooler. No terrible twos tantrums to put up with…well, I hope not.
Most airlines will allow your baby to fly from two weeks old (14 days). However, it is best checking with individual airlines on their policy on flying with babies, as it can be as early as two days old with some airlines.
Top Tips For Flying With A Baby
Flying With An Infant
If your baby is under 2 then normally they would be sitting on your lap for the duration of the flight. Unless you buy them a sit (although during take off/landing then usually they have to be on your lap again) From my experiences of flying with a baby, I have found several items that are must-haves. Here are my top tips for flying with a baby.
Pram or Carrier
The big debate which usually no ones agrees on! I have a dedicated post on whether or not to take a pram with you. I also find using a baby carrier or baby wrap to get your baby around the airport very useful. On holiday I find both a pram and carrier useful, so use what is best for your family.
Top Tip For Flying With A Baby: Remember most airlines let you take your pram up to the plane door. So you could use your pram to be the “donkey” and carry all your bags, while you put your baby in the carrier.
Milk or Dummy
A dummy or milk to use during takeoff and landing is really useful. If your baby is awake, then let them feed (bottle or breast) or if they take a dummy let them suck on it. It will help their ears and hopefully stop them crying; if they get sore ears they will be unhappy and cry/scream. If they are sleeping, you don’t have to wake them as I have found it doesn’t seem to affect them if they are fast asleep.
Extra clothes when flying with a baby can come in very handy. You never know what will happen, so just in case they are sick or have an exploda poo, you can then clean them up and get them clean and dry again.
Tip For Flying With A Baby: Have a plastic bag or nappy sacks with you so you can put dirty/wet clothes in them. It will save your baby changing bag getting dirty and wet.
Extra Tops for Mum and Dad
Having an extra top for mummy and/or daddy while flying with a baby can also be helpful. Again, this is just in case you get covered in the above – it does happen. Both my sons have had bad reflux so I had to take beach sized towels with us to catch what comes back up!
Taking toys with you while flying with a baby will depend on the age of your baby. Newborn babies don’t tend to need any toys as they just sleep, eat and poo! The older your baby you may wish to take some books, favourite toys or a DVD player/tablet with some of their favourite cartoons on them.
Enough milk/food to last first 24 hours
Taking enough food/milk with you while flying with your baby is also we find necessary. Especially useful if you bottle feed. Make sure you take enough formula in your hand luggage along with the bottles. This is just in case bags are lost or you are delayed.
I also find having enough snacks to last as they do come in handy (if your baby is old enough). My sons have both been on prescription formula for been dairy intolerant, so I always make sure I have enough with us while flying. As you never know it may not be available in the country you are going too (do your research before you go and see if the formula you use is available where you are going.)
A blanket can come in handy as planes do get cold when flying, so a blanket in your hand luggage can be helpful to keep baby warm. You can also use this as part of your baby bedding when you get to your accommodation. (multiple uses is good when travelling with a baby!)
Seat for baby
Depending on if you are flying long haul or not, you can purchase a seat for your baby. This means as mentioned below they don’t have to sit on your lap the whole time. If you didn’t want to buy a seat for them, then you can always chance your luck and ask when onboard and see if there is a spare seat available for them to sit in. Check with your airline to see what their policy is for babies having their own seat.
Does anyone else have any of their own top tips for flying with a baby? Then let me know! If you are flying with a toddler then check out our flying with a toddler/pre-schooler top tips blog.
If you are looking for general travel essentials, then check out our post on travel essentials for travelling with babies.
First Published April 2015