My best friend (who we used as our model for our maternity brace) had her baby girl in September. A month and a half later, she and her husband are flying home to visit family. I woke up to a text that said, "Don't fly with a baby, it's too stressful." This made me smile and laugh, but then I got extremely nervous for them. I imagined her daughter screaming throughout the whole flight and nasty stares of nearby passengers flashed into my mind. Many new parents have this exact same worry, which is why I decided to write this post.
Newborns to 12 Months:
Pack more clothes, diapers, and formula than you will need - Your flight may take longer than expected. Once, we were on a flight where it was too stormy to land. We had to circle above for a few hours. Then, when we still couldn't land, we had to fly to a different state to refuel and then back to our destination.
Take-off and landing - Feed your baby, or use a pacifier during take off and landing. This will make the pressure much easier on their ears.
Flight times - Try to schedule your flight during nap times, or nighttime. A sleeping baby means no crying, and no crying means happy passengers.
Buy them a ticket - If you're going on an extra-long flight, you might want to purchase your child their own ticket. You can bring their car seat and put it in their seat so you won't have to hold them the entire time.
Car-seat - If you decide to bring their car seat and have it checked at the gate, wrap it in a garbage bag so it doesn't get dirty.
Bottles - If you use formula, try to get them used to room temperature bottles so you won't have to ask to have it warmed. Some airlines do not have the ability to warm the bottles.
12 Months and Older:
Choose a window and an aisle seat - If you are able to choose your own seats and are not traveling alone, choose a window and an aisle seat. Other passengers try to avoid the middle seat at all costs when choosing their seats.
Get to the gate early - If you get to the gate early, you can ask the gate agent if there are any extra seats on the plane. You can request to sit where the extra seat is.
Try to avoid layovers - This will add more stress to your flight. You will have to pack everything from your first flight to unpack it again on your second flight. If you gate-check a stroller or car-seat, you will have to wait for it. Depending on how long your layover is, this may make you strapped for time when getting to your next gate.
Don't wash pacifiers with airplane sink water - Use bottled water when rinsing pacifiers or making formula. The bathroom sink water is "purified" with chemicals and should only be used for washing hands.