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Tips For Flying With A Baby

Now that I have had a few days to get settled back in from vacation, I thought I would share with you some of the things I learned about flying with an infant! As you all know, Emmie and I went to Phoenix for a week for a friend’s wedding and to visit family. The weeks/days leading up to the trip were full of anxiety about the impending trip … especially since I would be making it ALONE. I reached out to fellow moms (thanks Lisa!) and got some great tips. Others I learned on my own. Regardless the information is worth sharing so maybe one of your trips can be anxiety free :)



Tips for Flying With a Baby 

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1.  If you can, try to travel at naptime or bedtime.  Both of my flights coincided with either bedtime or naptime.  While she didn’t sleep the entire flight, Emmie did sleep a good portion which made it easier.


2.  Research your diaper changing options.  One of my biggest concerns going into my flight was where I would change Emmie’s diaper.  I didn’t know it but many airplanes now have changing tables on board.  On my Southwest flight it was in the forward lavatory but not the rear.  Ask a flight attendant when you get on board.


3.  You can pack breast milk or formula.  The TSA allows both breast milk and formula through security.  They count it as medication so you can how more than the 3oz allotment you are normally given.  I packed some milk in a small separate bag making it easy to pull out for screening.  If you bring an ice pack, it needs to be a HARD, completely frozen pack.  Find more of the TSA guidelines and tips for traveling with children here.


4.  Wear your baby.  Since I was traveling by myself I thought the stroller would be more trouble than it was worth.  I wore Emmie thru the airport.  I even was able to wear her through security … they just had to swab my hands to check for explosives.  I didn’t take her off once.


5.  Check your car seat and stroller.  Most airlines allow you to check both your car seat and stroller without charge.  On Southwest I was able to check 2 bag, my car seat, and my stroller free of charge.


6.  Buy a new toy.  Even though Emmie is only 4 1/2 months old, having a new toy made all the difference!  I bought this toy at Babies’R’Us in Phoenix and she played with it most of the flight!  Even babies like things that are new and exciting :)


7.  Nurse/feed on take-off and landing. Babies cannot pop their ears the same way we can.  The sucking helps their ears adjust to the change in pressure.


8.  Bring “poop” bags. On the chance your child decides to go #2 on the plane you will thank me that you have these.  We have scented poop disposal bags we got from Babies’R’Us.  The whole plane will be glad you got one 😉  On the note of diapers … do NOT ask a flight attendant to dispose of dirty diapers.  First, they aren’t allowed since they serve food.  Second, it’s just rude.  Use your poop bag :)


9.  Have whoever is meeting you at the airport get an escort pass.  This was something I didn’t know about before this trip and my mom enlightened me.  You can have 1 person meet you at the gate to help you.  They have to go to your airline ticket counter, give your name and flight number, and get an escort pass allowing them thru security.  If you’re flying by yourself this will be a God-send.  My mom met me in Phoenix, got one when I was leaving so she could help me to the gate, and Chris got one to meet us in St. Louis.  Seriously, use it!


10.  Take a deep breath.  You will be A-Ok!  Babies can sense tension so the calmer you can be the calmer they will be.  :)  Take a deep breath and just be confident in your abilities!


Have you ever flown by yourself with kids?  Any tips?


**If you haven’t entered my ActivewearUSA giveaway yet … do it now!  You can find it here.

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Madeline @ Food, Fitness, and Family

Healthy living blogger sharing my love of yummy eats, sweaty workouts, and my sweet family!

12 thoughts on “Tips For Flying With A Baby”

  1. The gate pass!! Completely forgot to tell you about that one, sorry :-( My mom came through with me on our trip back from Boston, it was so helpful. And I couldn’t agree more about staying calm. Babies really can tell when you’re tense and they react to it, I truly believe that being a confident mama makes for a calmer baby. Great job, M and Em!!
    Lisa @ The Splattered Apron recently posted..Pulled Pork QuesadillasMy Profile

  2. What a great, great post! Thanks so much for all of the wonderful tips. I would have never thought about wearing him through security or Bf’ing during take off and landing. I am contemplating a trip with him in a few months. This will really help.
    Jennifer Z recently posted..Upcoming RacesMy Profile

  3. I am not a big advocate for bribing with junk..but when I flew with my son post breastfeeding/ bottles (he was like 19 months)…I would have given anything to have some lollipops. His ears hurt, but he refused to drink water or anything else…I would have loved to have something I know he wouldn’t pass up for takeoff and landing.
    Also, when flying with older kids bring empty sippies and buy milk when you get through the gate. I usually make sandwiches and bring hard boiled eggs andfruit put frozen bags of water (ziplocks) in my cooler bag and then throw them out as I approach security so everything stays cold to the last second.
    Caroline recently posted..Oh hello third trimester, nice to see you again.My Profile

  4. Great post! I will be flying with my little one this summer when he is about 4.5/5 months old, so this post was super helpful!

  5. Great Post!! I am flying with my 7 month old in 2 weeks. I was nervous about the times (both are evening flights) and would throw off our bedtime routine. She’s not the greatest sleeper anyways so hopefully we’ll be ok!

  6. Thank You! We are taking off with our 8 month old in two weeks. I know she is going to want to explore every inch of the plane because she just mastered crawling. The new toy is a really good idea. I am going to bring her favourite puppet along too since that will entertain her and won’t be noisy and bother other passengers.

  7. I just found your blog and am so grateful I saw this post! I am flying with my new little one in two weeks and have been a nervous wreck about it. This made me feel so much better–and gave me a fun shopping list :)

  8. Speaking from experience, all of this is right on. Unfortunately, I’ve always had to take baby out of carrier and walk through security; but still much better then having to collapse and hoist the stroller up onto the x-ray belt while holding baby. Also, for those on just milk; you can get warm milk from Starbucks or Caribou for just a couple of bucks. Bed time + 8 oz of warm milk + roar of that airplane engine = lights out for my baby every time.

  9. Thanx for these great tips. Especially the “escort pass”. I am traveling soon with my 14 month old on a 14 hr flight. So to say I’m a bit nervous would be an understatement.
    If anyone has more ideas as to how to entertain a baby that is starting to walk… and prepare me better for this 14 hr flight… I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanx :)

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