I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a bit now, but I was still gathering all my information and making notes on what I would include. Plus, I’ve had several people request this type of blog since they are asking themselves, “Can I travel with a baby?”.
Now that I no longer have a baby, but have a toddler I feel prepared to give some insight. 🙂
In short YES! It’s absolutely possible! However, it’s different for everyone, but if your end goal is to travel it can be done. When Andrew and I met, we made so many travel plans for the two of us. However, we didn’t even take our first out of state trip together until I was 6 months pregnant, haha. Nonetheless, having a child did not stop us from booking the best deals we could find. If anything, it encouraged us to travel even more so Olive-Lynn could see the world too! So here’s how to survive your plane ride with baby.
Fly before 2
This isn’t really a “survival” tip, but more of a, if you didn’t know, now you do! Travel as much as you can before your little one turns 2 years old. If you are already a traveler then you know that children under 2 typically fly for FREE! Need anymore of an incentive? I found that are flights were very easy with a little. Plus, everyone is super nice to you, or they don’t want to be anywhere near a baby on a plan and that means you all get a whole row to yourself (more on that below).
Early birds take naps
I would recommend flying as early as possible! Yes, I know sometimes the 540AM flight looks dreadful, but listen here. We ALWAYS booked AM flights and this is why. We’d clearly be waking up pretty early to arrive and get settled at the airport so that meant baby was getting up with us. This was good because that meant by 6AM she was ready for a nap. We were very fortunate to have her nap most, if not the entire flight going. Coming back varied, since we couldn’t always find early morning flights that weren’t too expensive but we managed. Another plus, there are a lot of direct flights AND usually they are a bit cheaper in the early morning.
A comfortable baby is a happy baby
As a parent you have already packed babies food and snacks for the trip. Be sure to have bottles ready to go with formula handy (these are great for flights), snacks if your baby is at that stage, or be comfortable nursing in public. I heard many times before flying that babies need to be nursing or drinking their bottle at take off to avoid issues with their ears. Though I’m not sure how true this is with every baby it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. When we flew my daughter would rarely nurse as we took off, but more so after we had been in the air for about 10-20 minutes then promptly knocked out. I think it was a combination of the hum from the plane and the early flight that would get her. It worked out perfect! Also, nursing for comfort can help keep baby calm and full 🙂
To piggy back this, change babies diaper right before jumping on that plane. Depending on how long the flight is you may not even need to change them, which is a challenge with the bathrooms being so small. You can always opt’d for changing baby on the plane before take off too, which is a easier because the plane is parked. Comfort is key, so if baby has a dry diaper they will be happier and so will you.
Choosing your seat
Depending on who you fly with you may have more flexibility on where you sit on a plane. I’ve only flown Southwest, so here are my tips when it comes to flying with them. First off, TRY to get ‘A’ boarding and if you can’t don’t fret because thankfully Southwest has Family Boarding which happens between ‘A’ and ‘B’ boarding. Once you are on the plane, I would say to choose the first row (which is usually taken once Family Boarding starts) or the last row. With the first row, other than having more leg room, another plus is that you are out first. For us though, we always make a b-line to the last row. We have found that most people do not go back there unless they need to, which works out great for us. A plus for mom, dad, and diaper changes is that the bathroom is right there. Aside from that, I feel like there is a little more freedom to get up and stretch your legs and the flight attendants are usually super nice 🙂
Bonus Tip: Leave the middle seat empty or sit by the window. Believe it or not people will try to avoid sitting in your row because they do not want to sit in the middle of a baby or on the aisle seat and risk you getting up multiple times during the flight. Of course, if the flight is full, just squeeze on in and take that window seat! For us at least, OL loved looking out the window which made for an easier flight.
I hope you parents found this helpful! Don’t stress it too much, make a list, bring a book/toy for baby and you all will survive the flight. Remember, travel is just as good for you as it is for your baby, so go on and book that trip!
PARENTS! If y’all have any tips or tricks you do to make flights easier, share them in the comments below! Let’s all help each other out 🙂