Flying with a baby for the first time this holiday season? Don’t sweat it, mama. 

My son’s first flight was with my husband and me when he was 8 weeks old. The second time was when my son was 12 weeks, and it was just him and me. Flying with a baby is more work than it is to fly solo, of course, but it’s easy to adapt.

Here are some simple tips to help make flying with a baby as smooth as possible:

1. Go hands free

If you’re bringing a stroller/carseat, check them at the counter in the airport and wear your baby in a carrier. It’s easier to maneuver through the sea of people when you don’t have to shout “‘scuse me” every 10 seconds while pushing a stroller between mobs of people. 

2. Use easy layers
Your baby will likely be warmer in the airport and colder in the plane, especially up in the air. Instead of packing a blanket you’ll have to hold onto and try not to lose, use a wearable blanket or sleep sack so you can zip it around your babe. It’s one less thing to keep track of!


For the colder months, this is one that we love.

3. Be blowout prepared
Expect a mess. You might not get a dirty diaper, but you’ll be glad you’re prepared if you do. All planes are different, sometimes there’s a changing table in the bathroom and other times there’s not. Ask the flight attendant when you board so you know where to go if you need one. 

Note: We had an open seat on one flight and changed his diaper right there. The flight attendant said they’re not allowed to take the diapers when they collect cups and trash. We packed a lavender scented Ubbi diaper sack, which helped mask the scent while we had to hang onto the diaper.

4. Takeoff and landing 
You’ve been told I’m sure…feed your baby at takeoff and landing to help him/her adjust to the cabin pressure. Sounds good on paper. Our baby was hungry as soon as we boarded, and then our plane took off later than it was supposed to. He didn’t want to feed again, so we missed that window. I just wanted to share that in all of the flights we’ve been on, we haven’t had any issues with our son’s ears adjusting regardless of feeding or not. 

That said, I know every baby is different, and it doesn’t hurt to have a pacifier or teether with you in case the feeding time doesn’t line up and baby needs something to suck on. 

5. Your agenda is not guaranteed
Flights get cancelled and delayed all the time. And with the holiday season, there will be an extra layer of chaos in the air. Be prepared (at least mentally) for your plan to fall apart. Unfortunately, it’s something we accept when we purchase airline tickets—the itinerary we purchase is most likely to happen but not guaranteed. Bring snacks and anything you need in case you’re waiting longer than you anticipated.

6. Don’t worry about them
There will be plenty of people around you who have flown with their own children, and they understand how it goes. You can only prepare so much, and the rest is out of your control. You will have some flights that are a breeze, and some that absolutely suck. Don’t worry about making anyone else around you comfortable or happy, if your little one is losing it, it happens. Babies are allowed to scream and cry on airplanes (or anywhere), it’s what they do sometimes.

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