Air Travel With a Baby (Yes, It Can Be Done)
Air Travel with a Baby
Ok, you got your baby a passport, or have a domestic destination in mind, and you’re ready to take a flight. This is great news. Flying (and traveling) is fun! Remember??? But wait, can it still be this way?
I think so, yes. With four successful flights under our belts, here’s some info to help with planning.
BEFORE THE TRIP
When booking, we looked for flights during times the baby is usually in good spirits and/or napping. This was a hunch, but it really worked out. Also, just be prepared to leave a lot earlier than usual. For real this time.
Well, well, well, we meet again, airport. This time you all seem like even more of a cluster than before. But in the spirit of making Lady O’s first flight experience a positive one, and the fact that we have an award-winning home base airport, let’s go into this with an open mind (and extra preparation).
What to pack (just for baby) for the airport:
Car seat carrier. If you need your car seat when you land, it’s essential to have a bag/transporter so you don’t have to drag it around. I recommend one with wheels.
Stroller. For example, the best baby stroller for traveling is the gb Qbit LTE because it’s compact and sturdy.
Note: airlines let you gate check car seat and stroller free of charge and they get them back to you quickly after each flight. When you’re about to scan your ticket and board, they’ll take those items from you, no sweat.
A wearable baby backpack. Just in case! Good for navigating the airport, and even later on the plane if the flight is long enough for you to be able to walk around wearing the bambina.
What not to pack:
Anything you don’t need. Keep it extra light if you can. Nobody will know you wore the same thing all week.
Another piece of airport good news is that they are flush with changing stations. Even the men’s rooms! It’s becoming more magical sounding, isn’t it?
Security and Boarding
An interesting thing happened to us with our new +1 travel companion. First, airport security people were nice to us! Occasionally line skipping got to occur as well. And then at the airline gates, we got to board before all of the zones. Perks already, at just 6 months old, does Lady O even realize??
Confession: the first moment she cried on the plane I instantly rewrote my manifesto on “we will not change our lifestyle” to read something like “air travel isn’t that great anyway, WE HAVE NETFLIX AND GOOGLE IMAGES AND ROAD TRIPS.” But in her case, it was extremely few and far between, and if if your baby does cry, babies do that sometimes and it’s ok. Every other passenger? Former babies.
The major key is to nurse or bottle feed the baby during takeoff and landing so she doesn’t experience ear pain from the pressure. We were fortunate to have an air sleeper on our hands for most of the time. Probably a mix of the tip above, time of day, and immense white noise from the flight.
What to pack for the flight:
Cleaning wipes. Sit down and immediately give everything a once over. People tell me this is just a first child thing, but hey, it works.
Pacifiers. Nuff said.
Toys that the baby already likes.
Regular diaper bag stuff.
The knowledge that it will be ok.
Even though almost everything a baby sees is new to them, traveling views are extra new and I think they can tell it’s a special occasion (0 scientific evidence), so soak in the way they take it all in and the extra effort seems like a small price to pay. Happy and safe travels, everyone!
Extra shoutout to the nice people at Air Canada, who on every flight came to talk to us and explain information and say hi to the baby. Lady O is a big fan!