For new and experienced parents alike, taking a trip on an airplane with baby can be a daunting task. Mostly because you just don’t know how your little one will do once up in the air. Some babies experience pain during take-off and landing, while some simply sleep the entire time. There will be circumstances you can’t control, such as flight delays and lost baggage, but being prepared for anything will help. So here are 5 tips for flying with baby.
Let it Go
This one is easier said than done. But it is really the foundation for a successful flight. Let’s say the change in altitude bothers your baby and she starts to cry. Staying calm is key here. If your little one senses that you’re tense, she’ll be more apt to stay upset. So take long slow breaths, work your soothing magic, and don’t worry about disturbing passengers around you. Chances are, many have “been there,” will sympathize with you, and will barely notice your baby’s cries. Some parents have chosen to buy drinks for those around them or even prepare “care packages” with earplugs ahead of time, just in case baby cries for long periods. Whatever your preference, try not to worry about anyone else but your baby.
Have Plenty of Food
You can help baby avoid ear pain during take-off and landing by making sure he is swallowing during those times. If you breastfeed, breastfeed. If not, simply prepare a bottle so it’s ready to go for those parts of the flight. You’ll need to buy bottled water to make formula once you’ve gone through security, and don’t hesitate to speak with flight crew before boarding about any assistance you’ll need in warming up water, etc. If your baby’s a bit older, have a jar of food, something to drink and snacks handy. Sucking on a thumb or pacifier can do the trick too.
Bring Extra Clothes for Baby (and Yourself!)
From spills and spit up to leaks and diaper blow outs, there are a variety of things that can soil your clothes mid flight. Thus, you’re going to want an extra set of clothing for yourself (including underwear and bra), and at least two extra outfits and onesies for baby. Depending on the length of your flight, also pack extra diapers (one or two per hour you’ll be on board, just in case!), some wash cloths and a few small blankets, since it can get chilly up there. This will also all pay off if your luggage is lost for some reason.
Bring teethers, baby’s favorite books and some toys for entertainment during the flight. Also take along a few things that baby has never seen before–something new and attention-grabbing to explore.
Talk to Your Doc
It’s always a good idea to speak to your baby’s pediatrician before you go on a trip, to make sure you’ve got all the health bases covered. They’ll probably suggest bringing infant Tylenol and/or Motrin for the flight in case of any pain or fever, and they may have other suggestions based on your baby’s specific needs and where you are headed to.
Any other travel suggestions you’d add? Tell us in the comments below!