3 Tips for Flying with Infants
Flying can be stressful as is. Getting through TSA is a pain in the butt, hauling your carry-on throughout the airport and then putting it in the overhead bin without causing a head injury to someone or a back injury to yourself is quite the task, and using the bathroom is just…ugh. Now you have to fly with your infant? That just sounds double ugh to put it simply. It’s hard enough to get out of the house on time to make it to your weekly baby and me class-how the heck are you going to fly with your baby and retain your sanity?
It can be done! Pinky promise.
There are some definite things to consider though when you fly with a baby though to make your travels a little bit easier and not so daunting. Remember, infants are actually very easy and there isn’t a ton of things you need to do. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are another story which we’ll cover in a follow-up blog this week!
Pack just the essentials for you and baby in a backpack with plenty of pockets and expandable space. A backpack is the best choice because it will help prevent an achy, breaky back and is much easier to carry when you are wearing your baby in a carrier like a Tula. One shouldered purses/bags are really annoying to deal with as you are traversing busy airports. In that bag though, make sure you have everything you need such as: wallet, phone, charger, t-shirt for you, gum, tablet, two changes of clothes for baby, a teether, gripe water, diapers, wipes, receiving blanket that can be used as intended and as a changing pad, hand towel/burp rag, paci, and bottles. If you need Chapstick and ibuprofen, take that too. Get a thin water bottle that can fit in the side pockets and give up on packing thick, fashionable sweaters, makeup, and any other unnecessary item.
Make sure your baby is well-rested, not overtired. Prevailing advice in years past was to not let your baby take a nap. Do not do this! The more tired your baby is, the more easily stimulated, and thus cranky, they are. So resist the urge to skip naps. Instead, ensure they are well-rested and try to plan your flight to start right after nap time. This works especially well if you are carrying your baby because you’ll be boarding and/or seated while you wait for take-off as they drift off. Strollers are great but the up and down can add to that stimulation, plus the whole folding/fighting business is not fun.
Release all expectations and any guilt. Most importantly, know that flying in general comes with surprises and flying with infants even more so. Allow yourself some flexibility and openness. If you have a mindset that is okay with things cropping up, it makes dealing with inconveniences so much easier. Also, don’t feel guilty (I know this is really hard!) if your baby acts like a…baby. Other people can get earphones and act like adults. There is no reason you should feel bad if your baby starts communicating with you their needs. You and your baby have every right to fly too.
Lastly, do make sure you bring a car seat, if possible. It is safest and gives your arms/back/carrier a break while flying. Attendants at the airport will help you too!
Hopefully, these tidbits helped. They did anytime I flew with my babes. Keep a lookout for our next blog on how to travel with little tornadoes aka toddlers and preschoolers!