We’re gearing up to go on two big trips at the end of this month! So all August long, I’m sharing my best travel advise as a jet setter and as a mom.
So for this this first week, I figured that I’d share with you the lessons I’ve learned form Edison first trip back in May.
To be completely honest, I was super nervous about it.
I fly all the time, but it feels different when it’s your first time with baby. It’s one thing to know that you have everything that you need, but it’s a completely different thing to make sure that your little one will be alright when you’re 20,000 feet in the air.
Thankfully, I had scoured the internet to find the best tips and practices from parents who have flown with young babies before. I was still super nervous about the trip, but I felt prepared enough to take on any issue that might have come up.
Now with our second plane ride just weeks out, I want to share these tips and tricks with you, in hopes that they will make your flying experience with baby go a bit smoother and maybe even clam your fears a bit.
1.Bring a copy of your baby’s birth certificate with you
You may need this if your child is flying on your lap and someone at the ticket counter is a stickler for the rule. You may also need this if you’re flying internationally and you and your child have different last names. having a copy of their birth certificate on hand is the fastest and easiest way to prove parentage of your child.
2. Utilize ship to store/delivery features
Carrying a weeks worth of diapers, bottles and extra clothes for baby can take up so much space, and its extra stuff you have to lug to the airport too. If you happened to be staying by a big box store, you can purchase the items that you want to have with you ahead of time and arrange a pick up for when you land. Alternatively, if you can’t get to a store when you land, may hotels/ AirBnB’s will allow you to have packages arrive to your room slightly ahead of you. just make sure to ask and arrange this a head of time.
3. Use Pre Check, CLEAR or Family designated lanes
Programs like TSA PreCheck and CLEAR can ease the stress of going through security with a little one one in tow. Especially if you still have to lug around a lot of baby gear (because you can’t ship everything ahead!), having PreCheck or CLEAR assess will allow you to bypass a lot of the security measure steps that tend to slow parents down. And it’s cheaper that you think. At $85 for the pass, PreCheck comes out to be just about $17 pre year. Best yet, children flying with you don’t need PreCheck clearance of their own.
PreCheck and CLEAR aren’t for everyone though. If you live in a smaller town, your airport might not have PreCheck or CLEAR available. If that’s the case for you, then keep your eyes out for family designated lanes. These will pop up from time to time, especially around holidays and make it easier for families to get through security.
4. Buy the row if you can
Edison was a lap baby on our first trip, but we were lucky enough to have the whole row both ways. This was amazing for serval reasons. The first being that it made it really comfortable to breastfeed. Now, I have ZERO problems breastfeeding in the public eye, after all, I’m not going to let my child go hungry. But having the whole row, and sitting by the window gave my a bit of privacy, which was definitely nice. The other great thing about buying the whole row is that it made doing mid air diaper changes really easy because we had the whole seat in-between us. Edison ended up having a full explosion on our first flight, so being able to change him right in our row made life for us (and everyone else on that flight) that much easier
5. Feed just before takeoff
The last thing any parent wants is for their baby to be screaming on the plane. So try to time your flights just before or during feeding time. Being close to mommy will help calm your baby during a stressful time for them and hopefully it will put them right out. If your baby is asleep during take off, then the pressure change won’t really bother them, and thus, no screaming. Don’t worry though if your baby doesn’t go to sleep before takeoff–so long as they are still sucking, their ears will be kept safe from popping.
6. Make sure that they have something to suck on
In the same vein as the tip above, making sure that your baby has something to suck on during the flight and the landing will help keep things going smooth. Edison’s favorite is definitely his pacifiers and we like to make sure that we have at least 4 on us during any flight. But I have heard of people using bottles, toys and lollies for older kids. Be sure to give these to your little one during anytime of pressure chance, like take off (if they’re not drinking milk), landing and turbulence.
7. Lap restraints
Before I closed out this blog, I did want to be sure to let new parents know about lap restrains. These are great options for folks who want to take advantage of babies flying free, but still want their little ones to to strapped in tight to something. they defiantly give you added security during the flight and are generally easy to use.
The only issue is, FAA regulations actually forbid parents from using lap restraints during takeoff and landing–which we had no idea about until after we boarded the plane. It was mildly frustrating, so I just wanted to share that did bit with ya’ll too
Flying with the littles is defiantly a challenge, but it’s so worth it to see them get their wings!
Are you going to be traveling soon with a little one? Which tips will you use?
And what are some of your best travel tip?
Oh my gosh, flying with a baby can be SO nerve wracking!! We flew from Australia to LA with an 8-month old, and I can wholeheartedly agree with your tip about purchasing the whole row – it was the best decision ever! Thanks for all the fabulous tips 👌🏼
Wow that is quite the journey!! Yeah having the whole row made a world of difference for us! We lucked out our first time, but for this upcoming flight, we decided to be more strategic about it.
I took my first plane ride with my then 10 month old back in April, solo. Like you, I also scoured the Internet. Your tips are right on point. I nursed her during take off (she never took a pacifier) and we didn’t have any issues.
I never knew about lap restraints. Thanks for sharing that tidbit. We are due fly again in a couple of weeks.
Yes!! That was literally the best tip that I could find. I’m glad that it work well for you all as well!
And the lap restraints are pretty amazing! It was a nice level or security to have during the flight. I just wish that the airlines had made it more clear from the start that you couldn’t use them during take off and landing