Flying with Baby

The holiday season is here and this means many of you will be flying with your baby for the first time. The most important thing you should keep in mind is don’t stress. The better your attitude from the start of the trip the more positive the experience will be. The more prepared you are the better so here are some things to think about before you go.

Be Organized

Take the time to pack your diaper bag well. Make a list ahead of time noting the items you know that you will need, this way when you pack your diaper bag you can follow the list. Do not over pack but pack enough supplies to take you through your journey and an extra 5 hrs. It is not science but somehow a 5hr extra supply window of diapers, wipes etc. allows enough coverage to either know if your flight is canceled (therefore you exit the airport) or will be on your way. Review the items that you have packed to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything like a pacifier, favorite book or stuffed animal. Know that during takeoff and landing it is best for your little one to be sucking on something; usually a bottle or pacifier. This will protect their ears as the cabin pressure changes.

Plan Seating

If you are flying overseas most international carriers have bassinets that you can call ahead to request. They are limited in number so be sure to keep this in mind when making your reservation. Also many families decide to purchase a seat for their baby rather than have them on their lap. A car seat can easily be installed for their baby to be more comfortable during the flight. This is a practical choice especially if you do not have any connections. Request an aisle seat to have easier access for diaper changes and a window seat if you prefer more privacy. A favorite location for many families traveling with little ones is the bulkhead seating, which provides more leg room and no passengers in front of you. Most airlines do their best to accommodate families traveling with infants but know the earlier you make your requests the better they can assist you.

Getting Around

At the airport, if you decide to take your car seat for the airplane, you can gate check your stroller or use a car seat caddy. Most airlines do not allow you to bring your stroller on board because of limited space so be prepared with a stroller bag to protect it while in baggage area. I have always preferred to just use a baby carrier when traveling, especially if there are connections. This allows you to be hands free and also more compact with your gear.

Be Aware

Most airlines do not have baby supplies or food available unless you have made a special request so be sure to bring all your own necessities. Have important travel documents with you for your child such as birth certificate or other official identification, you will need to present them to security. Dress your baby in layers as the aircraft can be stuffy at times and very cold at others. Changing tables are not always available in every bathroom at the airport or in the airplane. Be sure to note the signs before entering to save yourself the trip.

If you have any specific questions contact your airline directly before your trip, they are usually eager to make your trip a pleasant one. During your flight cabin crew are also very helpful with any questions or concerns you might have. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with exciting travel memories!

Rania Kfuri is an experienced traveler and the mother of two girls who love to explore the world. These family adventures led Rania to found her company @FreeLikeBirdie a company that designs and manufactures travel accessories for infants and toddlers. Visit them at