I posted in my Instagram story earlier this week videos about Lila and me flying and had so many questions about how I fly with a baby. Now, I’m not an expert like some other people I know, and Lila is a really good baby which helps, but this was Lila’s 8th flight so we do have some experience. Plus, being the oldest of a family that loves to travel has helped me learn a lot over the years. So here are some tips and tricks!
(this picture is from awhile ago, but it’s the most accurate photo for how I travel.)
1. PLAN BEFORE
Call your airline before your flight date to see what you need to do when you have an infant. Each airline is a little different. Delta has never asked me for any information about Lila, whereas Southwest needs some sort of ID (birth certificate, Shot record). It also will make your time at the airport shorter if you’ve already added them to your ticket. (all the airlines I have flown you have to call to add them you can’t do it online)
2. GATE CHECK.
Gate check will be your best friend when you’re traveling with a baby. I always gate check my stroller and carseat. If you don’t know what gate check is, it is different than checking your bag. NEVER check your carseat with your bags. It can hurt the integrity of the carseat being thrown around with the bags and make it less safe for future use. It also will cause you quite the problem if your luggage is lost because you will have no way to safely transport your baby. When you gate check something you take it with you through security to your gate. You go up to the counter at your gate and tell them you need to gate check your stroller and carseat (you NEED them both gate checked because they will come apart and one will get lost). If you have a layover they will ask if you want it during your layover and always say YES! After you get your gate check tags you don’t need to worry about anything until you board the plane. At the end of the tarmac you will leave your stroller folded up and your carseat as well (if you can’t take it on the plane – info in next point). When you get off your flight your stroller and carseat will be right at the end of the tarmac at the destination waiting for you 🙂 If you have a connecting flight, you have to get new gate checks! So head right to your new gate and repeat the gate checking process (it really takes two seconds). Then you can enjoy your layover with your babe in their stroller and not on your hip 😉
3. TAKING A CARSEAT.
As far as taking a carseat on a flight, it is the best! To guarantee that you will have a seat for your carseat you will have to buy your baby a ticket. I have never done this. I just always try to book flights on tuesday haha It is the least traveled day of the week and when I have booked my flights on that day the plane is never full. I always ask when I check in if the plane has space for me to bring my carseat and if they have extra seats they will say yes. Then I just carry it on and put Lila in it for take off and landing. She usually wakes up in the middle of the flight and we play on my lap. They will ask you when taking their head count if the carseat ticket was purchased or not and you just say no 🙂 I LOVE when I get to take Lila’s carseat on the plane. It happens about 50% of the time for me when I fly southwest. It makes everything SO easy. When I carry her on and off the plane I have her in the carseat and then when I get off the plane I can just snap her into the stroller in seconds and roll away.
4. PREVENTING EAR PRESSURE
I’m sure you have heard these tips before, but they’re important! I do them every time we fly and I’ve never had a crying baby on a flight. So, the tip is to have them nursing, drinking a bottle or sucking on a binky during takeoff and landing. This helps equalize the pressure in their ears. Half the time I nurse and half the time I make sure she is sucking on her binky. If you are nursing you HAVE to have the covered goods nursing cover. I’ve tried multiple kinds and this is the absolute best for flying. It covers you 360 degrees so you don’t have to worry about anything when you’re sitting so close to a stranger hahaha I had to nurse Lila once while shoulder to shoulder with a two middle aged men. It was SOOO uncomfortable but you gotta do what you gotta do to feed your baby!
5. WHAT TO PACK ON YOUR CARRYON
– Extra wipes and diapers than you would normally have in your diaper bag just in case
– An extra outfit (also in case of an emergency)
– 3-4 burp cloths. You can never have too many of these in my opinion
– 5-8 toys that your baby loves and are entertaining but aren’t too loud to bother other passengers (Lila loves the crinkle books! and we steer clear of electronic toys that play the same song over and over again haha)
-2 binkies (you always need a backup in case)
– Wrap. If your baby is new the wrap is a must! I would wrap Lila up to me before I got on the plane and she would fall asleep in there until we landed. It was great! She’s too big for it now, but it was awesome in the first 3 months.
-Birth certificate or shot record
FOR YOU- phone charger, wallet, phone and ear buds (you never know when you’re babe is going to fall asleep and you’ll want to enjoy that time!)
That’s all I can think of right now! If you have any other questions, just shoot me a direct message on instagram!