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  • Writer's pictureMama Witzig

Tips for traveling with a baby

Updated: Apr 15

Flying with a Baby: Essential Tips for a Smooth Journey

Flying with a baby can be a daunting experience for parents, but with careful preparation and a few helpful tips, it can become a stress-free adventure. In this blog post, we'll share our top tips to help you have a smooth and enjoyable journey with your little one. From packing essentials to keeping your baby entertained, we've got you covered!

family waiting at airport gate

Choose the Right Flight Time:

When booking your flight, consider choosing a time that aligns with your baby's schedule. Opt for flights during their nap time or bedtime, as this may increase the chances of a calm and peaceful journey. Avoid peak travel times to reduce crowds and potential delays, and give yourself plenty of time between flights during layovers.

Pack the Essentials:

Be sure to pack all the essential items your baby will need during the flight, such as diapers, wipes, formula or breast milk, bottles, pacifiers, extra clothes, blankets, and snacks if applicable. Carry enough supplies to last the flight and some extras in case of any unexpected delays. Don't forget your baby needs a passport if traveling to another country. Pro Tip: You can bring your diaper bag and/or breast pump bag in addition to your carry-on luggage and personal item, but keep in mind you still have to carry it all so try to maximize space in as few of bags as possible. This diaper bag has ample space to carry your breast pump and a cooler for milk.

Check Airline Policies:

Before your flight, familiarize yourself with the specific policies and regulations of the airline you're flying with. This includes baggage allowances for your baby's items, stroller and car seat policies, and any restrictions on bringing liquids or baby food on board. Knowing these details in advance will help you plan and pack accordingly. Most airlines will check your stroller and car seat free at the counter or at the gate. When you land, check over your checked gear before leaving the airport to ensure it's all working. Sometimes gear can get thrown around and break, so check it all before you leave so you can file claims immediately and have the airline pay for any damages.

Be Prepared for Security Checks:
cooler with ice pack and breastmilk or formula

Be aware of the security procedures for traveling with a baby. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines for carrying liquids, formula, and breast milk through security checkpoints. Pack these items in an easily accessible and organized manner to make the security process smoother. Breastmilk, formula, and snacks are allowed through TSA and exempt from the 3 oz liquids rule. You can take bottled breastmilk or formula and food such as purees or apple sauce pouches for your baby through security.

Pro Tip: Get TSA PreCheck and strap your baby on with a carrier to speed through security

Board Early:
mom sanitizing screen in front of child on airplane

Take advantage of early boarding options. This will give you extra time to get settled, stow your carry-on items, and ensure your child is comfortable. Boarding early also allows you to avoid rushing and gives you peace of mind knowing you have ample time to organize your belongings. Pro Tip: Check/change the diaper right before boarding begins because the airport bathrooms are far roomier than the ones on board.

Consider Baby-Friendly Seating:

If possible, choose seats that offer extra legroom or have bassinet attachments. These seats provide more space and comfort for both you and your baby. Bassinets can be a lifesaver during long international flights, allowing your baby to sleep comfortably while you get a well-deserved break.

Dress Your Baby Comfortably:

Dress your baby in comfortable, breathable clothing. Opt for layers to accommodate changing cabin temperatures. Be mindful of diaper accessibility when selecting their outfit to make in-flight changes easier. Avoid any clothing with excessive buttons or accessories that may cause discomfort.

Feed During Takeoff and Landing:

During takeoff and landing, babies can experience discomfort due to changes in air pressure. To help alleviate this, feed or offer a pacifier to your baby. Sucking and swallowing can help equalize ear pressure and reduce any discomfort they may experience.

Keep Your Baby Comfortable and Entertained:

Bring along their favorite comfort items, such as a small blanket or stuffed animal, to provide a sense of familiarity. Pack a variety of quiet toys, books, or teething rings to keep your baby entertained during the flight. Remember to choose items that won't cause disruption to fellow passengers.

Pro Tip: Bring a new toy or two. Babies love new things, and a new toy may buy you a couple hours of a happily content baby.

Prepare for diaper changes on board:
diaper changing kit with diapers, wipes, and change of clothes

Have doggy poo bags or extra ziplock bags to seal away and minimize the smell from poopy diapers and/or poopy clothes from blow-outs. Familiarize yourself with which bathrooms have the changing table. Have your diaper kit stocked and easily accessible. Include extra diapers, baby wipes, sanitizing wipes, diaper rash cream, and a change of baby clothes.

Stay Calm and Relaxed:

Remember that babies are perceptive and can sense their parents' emotions. Stay calm and relaxed, even if unexpected situations arise during the flight. Take deep breaths, stay positive, and focus on providing a reassuring presence for your baby. Your positive attitude will help create a peaceful atmosphere for both of you.

Flying with a baby can be an enjoyable experience with the right preparation and mindset. By packing essentials, considering flight timings, and keeping your baby comfortable and entertained, you can have a smooth journey. Remember to stay calm and embrace the adventure! Safe travels!

Please note that these tips are meant to serve as general advice. Each baby is unique, so feel free to adapt these tips according to your baby's specific needs and preferences.


Pro Tips for Packing Light with a Baby

Book Family-Friendly Stays:

Look for Rental Properties with a washer and dryer. Babies are messy, so in order to pack less, you need to be able to wash the clothes, bibs, and burp rags you take with you.

Pro Tip: Pack washing detergent sheets; they are lightweight, don't take up much space, and are dry as opposed to liquid so you can easily fly with them in your carry-ons. They can be used in washing machines or hand-washing in a hotel sink.

Rent Baby Gear on Baby Quip:
Rent Baby Gear at BabyQuip

With tons of baby gear options in destinations all over world, Baby Quip minimizes the hassle of packing bulking baby gear by connecting you to rentals at your travel destination. Save time and have it delivered to your hotel or rental property and picked up at the end of your trip.

Purchase Diapers and Supplies at Your Destination:

Most destinations will have stores like Target or Walmart where you can purchase diapers and any other baby supplies for the duration of your vacation and trip home. This frees up luggage space and allows you to travel lighter. Just be sure you have plenty of diapers and wipes with you in the diaper bag while traveling. Other supplies you could purchase at your destination include baby wipes, sunscreen, and anything you might have forgotten to pack like toothpaste, brush or hair ties.

Ask Yourself Do You Really Need It?

Traveling can open our eyes to realizations about how other cultures live without things we might take for granted. You might have all kinds of wonderful conveniences at home, but maybe it's not really a necessity. Do you need a stroller, or would a baby carrier work just fine? Consider everything you think you might need, then ask, "Can we get on without it? What would that look like?" If it seems doable, leave it out!

Pro Tip: Definitely pack a basic first aid kit, packed with essentials like tweezers, bandages, pain reliever, and single-use calamine lotion.

All the products recommended here have been vetted by us in our own parenting experiences. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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