10 Things I Learned from Flying with a Baby

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10 Things I Learned from Flying with a Baby

I feel like we are crazy people for flying with a baby (almost 5 months old) and maybe we are! Apparently people do this all the time. I personally don’t know these people, but I’ve read about them. The anxiety level is at a whole new high, especially when you have very limited flight experience. The week prior to the trip was filled with pacing, lists, and consolidating.  But somehow we made it out alive.  So, while this won’t dissolve your anxiety, here are 10 things I learned from flying with a baby that might help tone it down a notch.

1. Baby wear!
This literally saved my life.  E hates the car seat (can you blame him?) plus who wants to try and carry a baby AND all of their luggage? Having both hands free makes everything so much easier and it gives babe the ability to take in all of the sights! We use a Boba wrap because I love the convenience. I can put it on before we leave and am able to pop him in there in no time.

2. You don’t need the extra seat.
We bought E a seat because we figured it would be there if we needed to put him in his car seat, which we didn’t do. It was nice because then we got 6 carry on items rather than 4, but paying to check a bag is a lot cheaper than a ticket! So, if babe is under 1 just stick with the “infant in arms” option!

3. Have suction options prepared!
Whether it be a paci, bottle, or boob, be ready! The sucking/swallowing helps regulate the pressure during take off and landing and helps minimize the pain in their ears. This of course only works if babe is hungry and/or will take paci. E wasn’t having any of the above during landing on our way home *eye roll* so I’m sure you can imagine how that went.

4. Pack the bare minimum.
You really don’t need EVERY toy. I probably packed twelve and he only played with three. Save yourself the room and the sanity by bringing the ones that are most likely to entertain your little one while crammed in an airplane. Pro tip: we use a paci clip on his favorite teething toy to save us from having to pick it up 147 times. Plus, airplane floors? Ew.

5. Save yourself a carry on.
This is especially important if you’re visiting family. We needed an extra bag in order to bring back everything E got over the three days we were gone! If we hadn’t packed smartly, we would have had to buy and check a bag in order to bring everything home. If you don’t need the extra bag that is one less thing you have to lug around the airport, so still a win!

6. Improvise.
Ya do what ya gotta do! Need to pace the aisles? Have to sing the ABCs on repeat? Babe want to nurse the whole time? Whatever it is, do it!  You may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a whole lot better than dealing with a screaming child. My mom motto:  whatever works!

7. Throw sleep/schedule out the window.
Ugh, this was my biggest concern.  E struggles with sleep as it is.  How in the world was I going to get him to sleep between driving to the airport, the flight, and the trip itself?! I just had to let it go. I nursed E to sleep as close to the beginning of the flight as possible and hoped for the best! No point in stressing over something you have limited control over.  Just enjoy the trip and focus on getting back on track once you’re home!

8. Be cost-effective!
We brought our Pack ‘n Play as one of our carry-ons (yay!). However, if you are unable to consolidate things in order to be able to do this don’t immediately decide to check it. Delta charges $25 to check an item. Is bringing your Pack ‘n Play worth the $50? You can buy one for cheaper than that! Just leave it at grandma’s for the next visit!

9. Take advantage of preferred seating.
Getting on the plane first is so beneficial. It was so much less stressful not having to worry about being in other people’s way or being too slow. We were able to get everything situated and place our carry-ons right above us with no hassle at all. Plus, E loved watching everyone walk by as they were finding their seats. Win-win!

10. People RALLY!
Probably because they want babe to stop crying as much as you do, but still. It was so heartwarming for me to look back and see three different people smiling and making faces at E. These strangers were doing their best to help calm a baby they would never see again. Funny faces and all. How awesome is that?

Have you recently flown with a baby or will you be flying soon? What are some things that helped you make it without losing your sanity?

Happy flying!

About The Author
Lori Yerry
Lori Yerry
Lori is a NC living wife to Mike and SAHM to their adorable son. She is relatively new to motherhood, which has given her a plethora of things to write about. Life is full of unexpected ups and downs and Lori is excited to share hers with you, as she hopes that you may relate, or at least laugh every once in a while!
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  • March 14, 2017 at 1:26 PM

    People really do rally! I’ve gotten pushed ahead of TSA lines, people clear my tray tables, and pick up my bags for me!

  • March 14, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Baby wearing is my go to for planes and airports! Even with a two year old!!

    • Lori Yerry
      March 15, 2017 at 12:20 PM

      I literally could not have done it without our carrier. Having both hands & knowing baby is snug & safe is a huge weight lifted off our shoulders! Which carrier do you use with your two year old?!

  • March 14, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    All good tips, I know a few mamas who will be flying with little ones this year. Honestly I’ve avoided it because I’ve heard horror stories but you’ve given me hope that I might be able to fly with my kids without having a total mom meltdown.

    • Lori Yerry
      March 15, 2017 at 12:22 PM

      I’m so glad!! I’ll be honest, I was panicking over having my own mom meltdown for at least a week before we left, but then things were SO much better than I expected. Still a few hiccups, but over all smooth sailing.

  • March 14, 2017 at 4:19 PM

    I live in England but my family is in America so I have done so much traveling with a baby and I couldn’t agree more with your list! ESpecially the baby carrier! Makes all the difference!

  • Justina
    March 14, 2017 at 5:22 PM

    Not planning on any flying soon, but we are taking a 9 hour trip soon so some of these tips sure will come in handy

  • March 14, 2017 at 6:51 PM

    These are all SUPER great tips!! We have flown a few times with two kids 3 and under and all of these tips are spot on!!

    • Lori Yerry
      March 15, 2017 at 12:27 PM

      Wow, that’s impressive!! I’m so glad to know that they transcend from one child to two. That will be helpful to remember in the future when our family grows!

  • Kristie Parks
    March 15, 2017 at 2:29 AM

    Awesome read and great advice!

  • March 15, 2017 at 3:01 AM

    So I have YET to travel with a baby. Buuuut it’s coming. Soon. and I never would have thought about the pack n play thing!! They can be WAY cheaper than actually checking them!!

    • Lori Yerry
      March 15, 2017 at 12:30 PM

      I’m so glad you came across this prior to traveling! Flying isn’t cheap, so I know every dollar saving tip can be handy. Have safe travels!!

  • March 15, 2017 at 8:44 PM

    GIRL. yes. I flew often, by myself, with my husband, with one kid, or with two kids. My husband is in the Army, so I flew back home with the kids every so often to visit family.
    Another thing I suggest is to carry extra outfits and to carry a backpack. My kids got sick on me and on themselves so a change of clothes was nice. Being hands free was super helpful while walking through the airport. You’ll also get lots of help from other sympathetic passengers when you’re out numbered! Happy travels! <3

    • Lori Yerry
      March 31, 2017 at 8:43 PM

      Yes!! The extra outfits is such a smart idea. My diaper bag is actually a backpack, so that was a win-win! 🙂 I give you props for all your flying endeavors!!

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