Flying with an infant
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Flying with an Infant can be stressful, trust me! We recently had our first experience flying as a family of three. Our son was 4 months old and to say I was nervous would be a complete understatement. The good news?! It was not as bad as I had mentally prepared in my mind. You know the scenario moms fear? They have been on the plane for 20 minutes and your baby has cried the entire time. Everyone around you is rubbing their head and staring at you like you are a terrible person for 1. not soothing your baby, and 2. bringing a baby onto the same plane as them. Yeah, I was nervous that it was going to be a complete train wreck. Thank goodness it wasn't all that bad! Of course, he cried a little, maybe 3 minutes on the way home, but that was as bad as it got. Don't worry, it won't be nearly as scary as you think. We always book our flights using Expedia! They always offer the cheapest prices and have the best customer service! See the amazing deals they have going on right now here!
Here are some items you should not forget, as well as some tips that I found useful.
1. Checking the car seat is free and you can check it when you check in your luggage. It is so much easier then checking it at the gate, I'm always nervous they're going to loose it if I do that, plus you have to lug it through the airport.
2. A carrier/backpack for baby- use it, and wear the baby!
Wearing your baby makes this entire process so much easier! They let you wear him/her right through security. You will get to go in the priority line since you have the baby also! We use this one and love it.
We fed Carter right before we left for the airport, and didn't feed him again until the plane started to pull away for take off. Feeding during take off and landing is definitely the way to go! It helps prevent their ears from popping, and if your lucky, your baby will fall asleep right after being fed and sleep most of the plane ride. We kept Carter awake the entire time we were at the airport, so we knew he would be sleepy when it came time for his bottle. We use these bottles, recommended by our doctor, and they are definitely the best!
4. Lots of diapers and wipes!
You can never have enough of these! We packed our diaper bag, then whatever extra room we had, we stuffed with extra diapers. A helpful hint: when the plane arrives & people are getting off, change your baby. By the time your done, they will be done unloading and family boarding should start very soon.
5. Plastic bag/disposable diaper bags
They usually have a changing station and garbage on the plane, depending on the size, but bringing a plastic bag in case of a diaper explosion will give you somewhere to put the dirty clothes. Trust me, the person sitting next to you will thank you when your diaper bag doesn't start to stink.
6. 2 changes of clothes
For the same reason as #4, if your baby has a diaper explosion, wets himself, or spits up everywhere, you will be very thankful you have extra clothes and won't have to sit with a soiled baby on your lap.
7. Blanket & Burp Cloths
Your baby might not spit up a lot, but mine has a 50/50 shot, so we decided to be on the safe side and pack a few burp cloths. Planes can also get very cold and your baby is more likely to sleep and stay asleep if he/she is warm, so don't forget a blanket! We love using the muslin blankets like this one!
8. Pacifier (or two)
If your baby starts to get fussy, usually the pacifier will help because their ears are most likely hurting. For the same reason we chew gum on the plane, babies will suck on a pacifier. Carter also loves to suck on one while he falls asleep, so we try not to go anywhere without one. Of course, it has to be the right pacifier, these are the ones Carter uses!
9. Toy or Book
If your baby isn't tired, he/she might get bored if your flight is very long. Ours had tvs that were inside the back of the headrests so we put on Finding Dory and Carter just stared at all the colors. It is a good idea to bring something along, just in case your baby isn't tired and wants to play. Carter LOVES this monkey.
10. Get to know your neighbors People are a lot less likely to get annoyed with your baby, if they know a little about them. So introduce yourself, introduce your baby, ask if they have kids, show them your baby's face so they feel like they know him/her. We did this and the one time Carter started to cry, we had 3 of those 4 people we talked to ask us if there was anything they could do to help, and reassure us that his ears were probably hurting and that he will be okay in a few minutes. One of the guys was on his was home from a 6 month business trip from China, away from his kids, and had to land in New York to catch a plane to phoenix. He had spent over 18 hours on a plane so far, and he was still so sweet when Carter got fussy.
11. Aisle seats are your friend
Try to get an aisle seat if you can, they make it so much easier to get up and change the baby, or if the baby is fussy and you want to stand and rock him/her for a minute. Trying to squeeze by two people in those tiny seats while holding a baby and a diaper bag, probably wouldn't go very well. You also have a little bit more space when you are sitting in the aisle row.
Don't stress about the plane ride & follow the 11 tips listed above! I hope your trip goes better then you can imagine! You can see some of the items that we think are a must have when flying with an infant below: